Remembering Jane Caliendo: a warrior from start to finish

October 7, 2016

Two years ago, Carl Sandburg High School lost one of the most influential faculty members in the school. Jane Caliendo was a cherished Sandburg faculty member who passed away in October 2014.

Jane Caliendo was a 1987 Sandburg graduate and a star athlete her fours years in high school. Over her 22 years at Carl Sandburg, she coached swimming and water polo. She influenced each person she met and she changed student’s lives at Sandburg. The passing of Jane Caliendo affected many lives however her legacy and heart lives on.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Coach Jane,” Tweeted former student Stephanie Pappas. “One of the most influential people I’ve ever met. Love you forever.”

Senior swimmer, Vaia Makris, said, “She always put people before herself. Jane had an amazing influence on all of the people she met. She inspired me to be a better person and work harder. I am a better swimmer and person today thanks to her. She will always be with us.”

On August 28, 2016, the aquatic center at Carl Sandburg High School was dedicated to Coach Jane Caliendo. Also, a new scoreboard and timing system were installed in the pool. The Jane Caliendo Aquatic Center is where Jane grew up swimming, competing, and coaching. Naming the pool after Jane Caliendo is a tribute to her hard work, compassion, and lasting impact she left on the Sandburg community.

A junior swimmer, Grace Morris says, “She definitely made every person feel special no matter what level of swimming you were at. She cared about everyone she encountered with on the pool deck and in the school. Everytime we walk into the Aquatic Center we remember her and all she did for us.”

There is now a foundation that Jim Caliendo created to continue Jane’s legacy throughout Sandburg lives and student athlete’s lives.

The Jane Caliendo Memorial Foundation supplies resources to the Sandburg Aquatic Center and also scholarships for deserving student athletes.

Senior swimmer, Kamila Guzy states “Mrs. Caliendo wouldn’t give up on someone even when the per son wanted to give up on themselves. She believed in others and was kind hearted. She knew what to say in certain situations and was someone we all looked up to. Her light shines bright over Sandburg.”

Another effort to pay tribute to Jane Caliendo is the Janes Warriors 5k run/walk. This is the second year this event will be held in honor of Coach Jane. All friends, family, and community were invited to participate in this event in support of the Caliendo family and the Jane Caliendo Memorial Foundation. The 5k was held on September 11th this year. All of the proceeds go back into the Jane Caliendo Memorial Foundation to reward two hardworking student athletes with scholarships each year.

Jane Caliendo was one of the most compassionate people to walk the halls of Carl Sandburg High School and through each effort her memory lives on. Jane Caliendo ‘s hard work and dedication has changed Sandburg and made the school a better place.The Sandburg community was truly blessed to have known such an amazing person.

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