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The Voice

Generations of dedication

Huntley has seen many families come and go, but the ones that stay are what define the community as a whole.

popenfoose photo
Photo courtesy of Popenfoose.

Originally from Woodstock, the Popenfoose family moved here in 1995 because pastor Joel Popenfoose planted the Westlake Community Church in Huntley. They have been active members of the community ever since.

After graduating from Huntley High School with the Class of 2008 and graduating from Upper Iowa University, Casey Popenfoose came back to teach Advanced Strength and Conditioning and Freshman Health at Huntley High School.

Casey is not the only one in his family who has an important part in the District 158 family. Although Casey is the only one teaching at Huntley High at the moment, his family has strong ties to this district’s schools.

His mother, Kim, works at Heineman Middle School, and also worked at Leggee Elementary as a special education assistant for nine years. His father, Joel, has worked in the district for 16 years coaching middle school basketball, high school football, and track and field. Last year he marked the end of his time at Huntley and is now coaching at Judson University.

Casey’s older brother, Adam, and younger brother and sister, Marcus and Myra, all attended Huntley High as well.

While growing up in the community, there were two things that were important: God and a strong relationship with his family.

“I grew up in a pastor’s home, so naturally the church has always been our family’s number one priority,” said Casey. “Going to church on a Sunday wasn’t even a thought, you just did it.”

With God and family so close in hand, Casey considered his family members friends.

“I enjoy spending time with my siblings and parents more than anyone else,” said Popenfoose.  “Growing up, my older brother Adam was always the person I looked up to. My younger brother Marcus has been my best friend, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten closer to my sister Myra as well. We’re a tight knit group.”

While attending Huntley High School, Casey truly believes that his performance in school was a direct reflection of the relationship he has with his parents and siblings.

“Any good decision I’ve made or bad decision I’ve dodged is a reflection of how I was raised,” said Casey. “My parents just flat out get it. They’re people of great integrity and character. The Big Man Upstairs blessed me with parents that I love and trust completely.”

As a highschooler, Casey was active in Huntley High’s athletics and was also a Link Crew leader in the first Link Crew group ever for Huntley High School.

“A common belief about most pastor’s kids is they turn out to be terrible people. I think most pastor’s kids feel the need to go against their faith in order to fit in with the rest,” said Casey. “I’m glad to say my siblings and I never had that problem. No one should be ashamed of who they are or what they’ve grown up in. Especially when what you’ve grown up in can have such a positive impact on your life.”

Now following in his father’s footsteps, Casey assistant coaches varsity football in addition to teaching physical education and health.

“I think the main reason I came back to Huntley to teach was the faculty,” said Casey. “Academically, I could not have been more prepared for the next chapter of my life after high school, and that is because of the quality of teaching I received in high school. I knew if I had the opportunity, I wanted to belong to this staff.”

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    Betty CallahanApr 5, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    i attended church at Huntley High. and loved it!! I was hoping Joel was still paster somewhere. I also really liked his wife. they were both so outgoing and caring.
    I miss the togetherness I felt at Joels church. Something I havent yet found in the church Im somewhat attending. with covid….mostly online Hope Joel , his wife and family are doing super great!!!!