2018 Pioneer Award Co-Winner,

Barbara Krantz Mambu Class of 1967

F-A.COM:  What was your foundation growing up? 

How did you build on it? 

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I guess my foundation was coming from a loving home, where I felt safe and valued. I watched my parents support each other, even when times were difficult. Money was sometimes tight and my sister was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 9.

 

My father took a second job and then adjusted his work schedule to help with her care. From that I built a home that exhibited those values. We support each other and support each other’s career paths.

 

“I THINK I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A TEACHER...”

 

F-A.COM:  Who or what inspired you to become a teacher and a school and library media specialist?  Why did you choose Holy Family and Dominican University?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I had wonderful teachers in grade school and wanted to be like them. As for a school librarian, I volunteered in my children’s school and was assigned to the library. I thought I would want to do that. There was a variety of tasks and interaction with children. And I loved literature.

 

WHY HOLY FAMILY COLLEGE?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I chose Holy Family because they were offering a full scholarship in exchange for sending their student teachers to Frankford High School. It was the only way I could attend college.

 

When we moved to Chicago, I had just started a program at Drexel.  When I researched schools in Chicago, I found Dominican (then named Rosary College) a good fit for my schedule as a wife and mother. It is one of the highest ranking library schools in the area.

 

F-A.COM:  Who inspired you at Frankford?  How?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I had some excellent teachers at Frankford who expected that we always do our best. Mr. MacNeal taught me Latin, Mr. Peters, history, and Mr. Hackenyos, English. I felt they prepared me for the work in college.

 

F-A.COM:   What challenges did you have to overcome in your teaching and media specialist careers?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

As a first grade teacher in Philadelphia, I was challenged to teach children who were not always prepared for school. I felt that sometimes I was teaching the parents also. Many times I felt as though I needed a mentor. That was not always the case in the early 70’s.

 

As a school Librarian I was taught that I was to partner with the classroom teacher, not provide release time. I was always fighting that battle, it seemed, until I finally had a principal who got it.

 

F-A.COM:  Give us a brief overview of your career as a school/library media specialist?

 

“I was a SLMS (School/Library Media Specialist) in an

elementary school for 18 years.”

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

My job was to teach, manage my collection, and know the curriculum. I was the liaison between the librarians and district, running meetings and dispensing info from the district. I was also our building union rep for several years.

 

F-A.COM:  Susan B. Anthony once said, every woman should have her own purse.  What else should every woman have?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

Good quote from Susan B. It could have been from my mother who was an independent sort. She was told that women need not go to college because they were only going to get married and have children.

 

When my father said that about me, she rose up and said women may need to have a career to support themselves and would do that better with a degree. Women should always have the opportunity to form their own opinions and have control of their own lives

 

F-A.COM:   What activities were you involved in at Frankford?  How did you meet your wonderful husband?

 

“I WAS QUIET AT FRANKFORD.”

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I was on the Yearbook and belonged to a sorority, although I can’t remember which one. I belonged to Y Teens. I’ll have to look back at my yearbook. ;)

 

As for meeting Ron, we met in Latin class and started dating at the end of Senior year. I would go watch him play baseball after school. I remember asking him to a Y Teen dance and then we just started dating.

 

F-A.COM:  Tell us about your family.

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

We have two children. Bob is 41 and is a special guy. He has a learning disability and diabetes, but drives and works in a grocery store. Teresa, 38, is married to Chris and they have two children. Catherine is six and Andrew is three. Terry is a lawyer and policy writer for the

AFL-CIO in Wisconsin. I had one sister who passed away a few years ago from complications of diabetes. My parents are deceased.

 

F-A.COM:  How did faith play a role in your life?

 

“FAITH IS SPECIAL TO ME.”

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

It has been a great support as I have faced joys and sadness in my life. My faith, however, is my choice for me. I don’t think I am any better as a Catholic than someone who is Muslim or Jewish. Cardinal George once said that you don’t need a passport to get into heaven.

 

F-A.COM:  What’s important to you now in this chapter of your life?

 

“WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO ME IS MY FAMILY,

NOT WHAT I HAVE OR WHAT I CAN BUY.”

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

I have been very fortunate and I want to use my gifts to help others.

 

F-A.COM:  If you were a student today at Frankford, what would you be like?  What advice would you give the class of 2019?

 

BARBARA KRANTZ MAMBU:

My advice to Class of 2019: be your own person, form your own opinions. Don’t forget there is always someone you can learn from. And look around and see who you can help.