Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Ellen Purl, pictured in 2023. Photo Credit: Flight Yearbook
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Evelyn Zwicky, Online Managing Editor • March 4, 2024
Jake Pfeiffer was named the Illinois Journalist of the year on Feb. 23.
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Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor • February 27, 2024
A Naperville Central swimmer races the backstroke at last years IHSA state championship.
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Humans of Central: Mary Wilkerson

“I’ve been a baker my entire life.

I was in Girl Scouts and 4-H [youth organization]. [I grew] up in a farming community—a little town called Abingdon in downstate [Illinois]. I learned how to bake mostly in 4-H and [then] competed at a lot of state and county fairs. My family is Swedish and my grandmother was a big baker. A Swedish Christmas tradition is that you have a huge sweets table with lots of cookies, and so I grew up baking with my grandmother and doing those kinds of things for Christmas and Easter.

Mary Wilkerson has baked sea creature cookies for her grandson and other cookies for her colleagues’ children.  (Photo courtesy of Mary Wilkerson)

I’m a little bit known in the communications and social studies departments for my cookies and my pies. [During] Christmas [of 2020], we were still [in remote learning.] There was just really low morale between the people in my department, and we missed celebrating things together. So for Christmas, I baked a whole bunch of Christmas cookies and winter themed cookies for my colleagues.

I like the feeling I get when I bake for other people and share. I feel like it’s one of my gifts. It’s something I’m good at and it’s relaxing to me. I like sharing, and people always appreciate when I share with them.

When I retire, I plan to have a little side business of baking cookies [called] Grandma Mary’s Cookies.”

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About the Contributor
Elaine Zhou, Features Editor
Elaine Zhou is a junior, and this is her second year with Central Times. Elaine is a lover of all types of writing- especially ones telling the stories of people around her. Along with being a student journalist, she is the vice president of Chinese Club, a staff of Literary Magazine, a member of Yearbook and a violinist. She is currently addicted to retail therapy, stationary and is gaslighting herself to like biology for the rest of her life. 
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