Life matters as a family affair – John Lofaro of BMHS
Berry Creek Middle School students and staff members know that teacher Penny Lofaro always smiles. And most of them know that she’s a “Tom Mom” ” the mother of three boys and no girls.
They also know that she’s quick with laughter and always on her toes. How come she’s not frazzled? Or tired? Or insane?
Because of a little-known secret that prepared her to be a mother of three active boys: she grew up the sister of seven boys. “My mom has seven brothers” says Battle Mountain High School senior John Lofaro, Penny Lofaro’s youngest son. Penny Lofaro was the second-oldest in a family of eight, being the lone girl.
“I feel very comfortable with boys perhaps because I was raised with them,” she says, adding that she was her mother’s “right-hand woman” helping raise her younger brothers. “They gave me the nickname ‘Sarge’ because I had no problem delegating orders,” says Penny, who is still extremely close to all her siblings.
Penny Lofaro’s boys grew up in the Vail Valley. Danny is now 23, Nick is 21 and the youngest, John, is graduating from Battle Mountain High School in May. Before BMHS, John attended Edwards Elementary School and Berry Creek Middle School. All three boys are known for their quick wit and friendliness.
Humor is abundant in the Lofaro household. “My mother was fun and had a great sense of humor,” says Penny, who has tried to pass that trait on to her own offspring.
When her boys were younger, they helped her run her business ” she had a cleaning company called “Swept Away” ” and enjoyed spending time with her. Penny Lofaro had her business for 10 years. “The boys would help me strip beds and take out the trash for me. They are very close,” she says.
And of course, as happens to most younger brothers, John was picked on. “It was always interesting. Every day it was something new,” John Lofaro says. When asked what he distinctly remembers his parents repeating to him and his brothers, he says without hesistation, “Don’t do that!”
John Lofaro says that one of his fondest memories from high school was a hiking/camping trip with his family. At BMHS, he played rugby. His first love is fire ” fighting it. He will work for the U.S. Forest Service this summer and then study Forest Fire Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. When asked to share something about himself that others may not know about him, he can’t think of anything until his mother reminds him that he once saved the house from burning down when he was just a second-grader.
And as for mom and dad suffering empty-nest syndrome, Penny Lofaro has mixed emotions.
“I always thought that I would want the boys to stay a little longer ” those days were so much fun. But I love the adult boys that I have. We enjoy being together and doing things together.”
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