Joseph Ocol

CHICAGO (CBS) — Friend or foe?

It depends on who you ask when talking about the coach of a champion chess team in Chicago.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, he was honored–and criticized–at practically the same time Wednesday.

Inside City Hall, the national chess champs from Englewood and their coach won heaps of praise.

Outside, the teachers’ union portrayed the coach, Joseph Ocol, as a rule-breaker and braggart.

Council members and the mayor congratulated the championship chess masters and their coach from Earl STEM Elementary in Englewood -for winning several top honors

City Clerk Susana Mendoza, called chess a model for life.


“It instills in them that there are consequences for every move they make in life.”

Coach Ocol knows that only too well.

He was expelled from the teachers union for skipping a CTU day of action, to coach his team.

Outside City Hall, there were no accolades. Rather, harsh words for the man CTU calls a strike breaker.

“There were a handful of people who crossed the picket line, and an even smaller handful that bragged about that in the press,” CTU’s Jesse Sharkey said.

“He was on of those members. It’s as simple as that.”


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