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1250 Sanders Road • Northbrook, IL 60062 Phone 847-498-2610 • Fax 847-498-5916 Dr. David Kroeze........................................................... Superintendent of Schools Dr. Theresa Fournier................ .........Asst. Supt. for Personnel & Student Services Dr. Katharine Olson..................Asst. Supt. for Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Mrs. Kimberly Arakelian................................. Asst. Supt. for Finance & Operations Mrs. Julie Revello.......................................................Director of Special Education Mrs. Karen Cowperthwaite............................... Asst. Director for Special Education Ms. Diane Cederlund............................................................ Director of Technology Mr. Douglas Heurich..................................................................Director of Facilities Mrs. Gail Kahover.........................................................Director of Communications Dr. Marc Schaffer.................................... Principal, Wood Oaks Junior High School Mrs. Cari Beake..............................Asst. Principal, Wood Oaks Junior High School Mrs. Laurie Heinz.........................................................Principal, Shabonee School Ms. Cory Hehn........................................................ Principal, Hickory Point School Mrs. Adrienne Moseley........................................................Principal, Grove School

Board of Education Dr. Jennifer Warner, President Mrs. Debbie Rabishaw, Vice President Mr. Edwin Feld Mrs. Helen Melnick Mr. David Nadig Mr. Kevin Ponticelli Mrs. Jamie Werhane

A Pictorial History of Northbrook School District 27 The idea for this book sprung from our plans to celebrate Grove School, which is closing at the end of the 2009-2010 school year. As I searched through the piles of dusty books and yellowing newspaper articles, I came to appreciate the depth and richness of District 27’s history. The Civil War hadn’t even begun when Levi Kennicott deeded a parcel of his land for a new school in 1853. By the time a larger frame building was constructed in 1886, a great conflaguration had destroyed most of downtown Chicago and Thomas Edison had just invented the light bulb. The 1950s and 1960s saw a huge influx of families move into District 27, causing many headaches for the administration and much change for the students and their parents. By the 1980s, enrollment began to stabilize then drop, beginning yet another chapter of change for the District. This book is not only a celebration of the long and storied history of Grove School. It is much more. It is also a history of Northbrook and the many generations of brothers, sisters, moms, dads and grandparents who have called Grove, Indian Ridge, Shabonee, Hickory Point and Wood Oaks schools their own for the past 157 years.

Gail Kahover Director of Communications, Northbrook School District 27 May 5, 2010

1850s to 1 9 0 0 N o r t h b ro o k S c h o o l D i s t r i c t 2 7 t ra ce s i t s roots back to t h e e a r l y 1 8 5 0 s a n d to a s e t t l e r named Levi Kennicott. Kennicott settled in a hickory grove in Northfield Township with his brothers in 1833. On November 20, 1853, Levi Kennicott deeded a small part of land north of Wheeling (now Dundee Road) and east of the Chicago Waukegan (Sanders Road) for a school. North Northfield Grove School District 3 opened for classes in 1853. Kennicott was one of the school’s first directors. Lev i Ke n n i co t t

In 1850, the U.S. Census Bureau rep or te d the p opulation of Nor thfield Township was 1,013, 540 male, a nd 473 female.

1875 Northfield Township Atlas

The school was located just east of where Our Lady of the Brook is now located and west of Temple Beth El


A total of 96 students were enrolled at Grove School in 1863. The average daily attendance, however, was likely half that amount.


The first teacher was Miss Anderson, who was paid $80 for four months of work. Mr. Kennicott was paid $6 for “boarding the teacher.” Students only went to school in the winter, because they had to help their parents on the family farms the rest of the year. District 3’s first tax levy in 1854 raised $132.11 for the school.




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The school building was replaced in 1886 by a frame building with a brick foundation, an exterior woodshed, and an outhouse. The cost: $224.95. The following year, voters approved an eight-month school term and in 1889, the school year lengthened to nine months. This ended the longstanding tradition of children attending school only in the winter.



California is admitted to the United States (1850). The Civil War rages (1861-1865). Abraham Lincoln is assassinated ( 1865) Thir teenth Amendment added to the Constitution abolishing slaver y (1865). Grove School students pose for a photograph in 1898.

Excerpts from official School District minutes: July 10, 1880: “Met on July 10th, 1880 for the purpose of buying Woods Mathematical Charts. We issued an order of $30 for them.” September 4, 1880: “Meet on Sep. 4th 1880 for the purpose of hiring a teacher. We hired George Fleischer for $45 per month for 5 months. If he gives satisfaction, we agreed for three more months at $35 per month.” April 18, 1891: “Otto Freese agreed to scrub the school house and clean the stove pipe for $3.75. It was agreed that the school-lot shall be tiled. It was agreed to gravel around the school house and that the directors see that the gravel is hauled.”

The G reat Chicago Fire burns for t wo days (1871). Alexander G raham B ell patents the telephone (1876). Thomas Edison patents the incandescent light bulb (1879). H.G. Wells publishes “ The Time M achine” (1895).

This is an entry from the official School District minutes, dated January, 1894. It lists the names of all the students who have been “Successful Vaccinated” that month. The children were most likely immunized to protect against smallpox.


1900 to 19 3 0

Grove School students and their teacher pose for a photograph in 1912.

Barbara Be rko w attended G r o ve School fr om 1940 to 1948. He r mothe r, Clara Lesse r Sch wab, also attended G r o ve School in the ear ly 1900s. “ She always ha d to walk, othe r wise, she w ent to school in a horse and bug g y. ” He r mothe r also r olle r skated to school, Mrs. Be rko w says, until the r e w e r e too many c ars on the r oa ds. She r ec alls a stor y of he r mothe r walking home fr om G r o ve School in the rain. A man, who was the to w n’s mor tician, picked he r mothe r up in a hearse. W hen the man dr opped he r off at home, Mrs. Be rko w said he r mothe r ’s family was mor tif ied.

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This is a photo from a school play at Grove in the early 1900s. The little girl with the “X” marked on her dress is Clara Lesser, Mrs. Berkow’s mother.

er Elsewh Excerpts from official School District minutes: The town of Shermerville apparently had the reputation of being an “unruly country town.” In an effort to change the town’s image, the village leaders in 1923 decided to change the name to Northbrook.

July 3, 1903 “A special meeting was called for letting a contract for a new Maple Floor, white washing and cleaning School House, which was let to the lowest bidder George Mentzer for $89.50” April 20, 1907: “Motion was made to have report cards.” April 18, 1908: “Motion that the school house shall be opened at 8 o’clock in the morning, carried. Motion that the Teacher should stay at the school house during the noon hour carried. Motion that the Teacher is to stay on Friday til 4 o’clock P.M. carried.”

The population at the time was 500.

The Wright Brothers fly their first plane (1903). Henr y Ford introduces the M odel T (1903). The Titanic sinks (1912). World War I rages in Europe (1914-1919). N ineteenth Amendment gives women the right to vote (1920). AA M ilne publishes “ Winnie -the -Pooh.” (1926). Charles Lindbergh flies nonstop across the ocean (1927).

This is the Grove graduating class of 1914. One of the graduates was Cy Fritsch, whose family owned a farm south of what is now Dundee Road. The current Grove School now sits on land that was once owned by Fritsch family.

These are the graduates of 1914 with others.

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of the District changed to Grove District No. Twenty-Seven. * In 1901, theInname 48 students enrolled in classes. * 1902, Enrollment in 1924 was at 32. *



The Stock M arket crashes, triggering the G reat Depression (1929).

1900 to 19 3 0 , co nt i n u e d In 1930-31, directors of School District 27 purchased a strip of land north of the school for $1,280. They turned the old one-room school building around, moved it further away from Dundee Road, and added another room and basement. This Grove School was used for classes until 1959, even after a new school building was built off of Pfingsten Road.

This is a class photo from 1930.

The District 27 school board consisted of three directors. The extra items for the school, such as play equipment, books, equipment repairs, curtains and even flag poles, were supervised and purchased by the Grove School P.T.A. The following are excerpts from meeting minutes: Minutes of the Grove School P.T.A. Meeting, October 5, 1934: “Curtain Committee reported the curtain material for the school room windows had been purchased. Thursday, Oct. 11, 1934, a meeting of the ‘Sewing Circle’ at the school house to make the curtains.” Minutes of the Grove School P.T.A. Meeting, Dec. 7, 1934: “Mrs. Roepernack made a motion 2nd and carried the P.T.A. give a X-Mas Party for the children to be held at the School house Wed afternoon at 2:00 o’clock Dec. 19, 1934. Each child to receive a bag of candy, nuts and fruit...Expenses not to exceed $15.00 dollars.”




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Students pose for a photo in front of Grove School, 1930-31.



 “Star Spangled B anner ” adopted as the National Anthem (1931). Amelia Earhar t completes first solo trans-Atlantic flight by a woman (1932). Centur y of Progress World Fair is held in Chicago (1933). Prohibition ends in the United States (1933).

Just (Einar) Hallen, who provided the photos in this section, has fond memories of his years at Grove. Mr. Hallen remembers meeting his first girlfriend in fourth grade and walking her home, a mile away from Grove. “She was my first true love, I guess.” This is the 1935 8th grade graduating class of Grove School. In the back row, from left to right, are Mildred Melzer (teacher,) Warren Harer, Harry Roepernack, Einar Hallen, Charles Laskowski and Fern Wahelie (teacher.) In the front row, from left to right, are Dorothy Maihack, Edith Langfield, Emma Frempter, Esther Mueller and Arlene Johnson.

The Hallen family lived next door to Grove and Mr. Hallen remembers going home during recess to listen to the “Vic and Sade” program on the radio. After the 15-minute radio show was over, he would walk back to school.


1930 to 19 5 0

Miss Mar y Osbor ne and Mrs. Margar et B. Haas taught togethe r at the t w o-r oom G r o ve School in the mid 1940s. Miss Osbor ne taught the lo w e r g ra des and Mrs. Haas (then Miss G r imm) taught g ra des 6-8. This was the f irst job f or both of the young tea che rs, who commuted fr om Chic ago. Fr om their homes, the y walked about a mile to an ele vated t rain station, took the “ El ” to the end of the line, hopped a bus to Glenvie w, then took a t rain to Nor thbr ook. Boar d P r esident Har old Meling picked them up at the t rain station and dr opped them off at G r o ve. The pr ocess was r epeated, in r e ve rse, in the afte r noon -- t w o hours ea ch way. Miss Osbor ne and Mrs. Haas still keep in touch.

Miss Osborne: “There was no one to answer the phone. It didn’t ring very much, but if it did ring, one of us would go and answer it. We’d always say, ‘well, that telephone call took the second grade geography time and the fist grade spelling time.’ They were very short class periods.”

Mrs. Haas: There were two rooms in the school and a basement, where the kids ate their lunches. “It was very small.”


Mrs. Haas: “We took the kids out to participate in certain games. It was a lot of the little things that were important to them.”

Miss Osborne: “They were darling. They were really cute kids. We had a really good time. Marge and I just had a picnic out there.”

This is Miss Osborne in her classroom. When she first arrived at Grove, there was hardly anything in the classroom, just the blackboard and furniture. She was able to obtain some first and second grade reading materials after contacting some family friends who worked at publishing giant RR Donnelly.

Miss Osborne and Mrs. Haas were proud of two programs they started at Grove before they left . The teachers organized field trips (recognizing that many of the children had not been outside of Northbrook). The two teachers also started a music program, brought in a cook, and set up a cab system to pick up students.

Mrs. Nott cooked lunches for the children. She also made hot chocolate when the students went on sleigh rides.

Miss Osborne: “What was nice was that we were totally on our own. There was Marge and me. That was it, plus the lady next door who came and swept the floor in the afternoon. And she opened the door in the morning and after we left in the afternoon.”

This is the classroom for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders, taught by Miss Grimm, now Mrs. Haas.


1930 to 19 5 0 , co nt i n u e d Board of Education levied $2,000 in 1940 for educational purposes, $500 for building purposes. * TheBecause of registration for the government’s sugar rationing program, school closed for four days in May of * 1942 so the two teachers could help with the registration process. School closed for a week in April of 1943 because of a measles outbreak. * In September of 1943, parents wanted another teacher added to the school. The Board disagreed, “in * view of war and enrollment.” students graduated from eighth grade in May of 1944, John Brown and Roy Clancy. The class * Two colors were red, white and blue and the class motto was “Onward and Upward.”

Field trip to Lincoln Park Zoo, 1942

Barbara Be rko w attended G r o ve fr om 1940 to 1948. She r emembe rs br ing ing he r lunch to school in a sa ck, but she also r emembe rs the cook who ha d to wash the metal t rays with hot wate r. She r ec alls playing ball outside dur ing r ecess. She r emembe rs the thr ee G r o ve g ra duates ha d a tough time a djusting to the siz e of Glenbr ook High School. “ The school ha d all those r ooms and w e only ha d t w o. ” She was the only one fr om he r eighth g ra de class to g ra duate fr om high school.

Barbara Berkow’s report card from her eighth grade year at Grove. Her teacher was Miss Grimm, who later became Mrs. Haas.


Field trip to Crystal Lake, 1942

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Thr ee Meling br othe rs attended G r o ve at var ious times in the late 1930s and 1940s. Wayne, Nile and Gor don Meling say the y ha ve good memor ies of their years at G r o ve. Wayne ha d a c ar ee r in insurance, Gor don in r eal estate de velopment and Nile as a pilot. “ I r emembe r w e played base ball and on the swings in the yar d, ” says Wayne, who was at G r o ve fr om 1938 to 1946. “ It was a nice pla ce to be. I always ha d a good time. ” “ It was a g r eat e xpe r ience, ” says Gor don.



The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (1941). Anne Frank goes into hiding from the Nazis (1942). The U.S. drops an atomic bomb on H iroshima, Japan and three days later, on Nagasak i, Japan (1945). Japan surrenders, ending World War II (1945). The Slink y toy hits the shelves (1945).

Enrollment was creeping upward at Grove School. In 1946, 45 children were attending school at Grove. By 1949, the number grew to 89. The enrollment steadily climbed throughout the next 20 years as a housing boom hit, leaving a huge impact on District 27.


1950 to 19 6 0 According to the 1950 Census, 3,348 people lived in Northbrook. By 1955, that number grew to 8,148 and by 1958, 10,853 called Northbrook home. Many of the newcomers were professionals, employed by such companies as Culligan Zeolite (which opened a new plant in 1951) and Underwriters Laboratories (which opened in 1954). The impact on the school system was immediate and dramatic.

“The Dundee Road exit was as far away from Chicago as one could drive on the new Edens Expressway. For families looking to move away from the busy city, the end of the road led to Northbrook.” - An excerpt from “Northbrook, Illinois: The Fabric of Our History”, Northbrook Historical Society



Enrollment Growth, 1946-1959

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1946





The 1950 Census showed 278 children living in District 27’s boundaries in 1950, and 431 adults. It was clear to the three-member Board of School Directors that an additional school building was needed. The Board looked at three sites for a new school:

Seven acres of frontage on the west side of Sanders, south of Dundee Road,

Nine acres off of Dundee, west of Pfingsten Road, and

Twenty-one acres off of Pfingsten, south of Dundee. A referendum was held in October of 1950 that asked residents permission to build “an additional school house,” approve a site, and borrow $100,000 for the construction of the building. The referendum passed and voters agreed to build the new Grove School on Pfingsten Road.


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This is a fifth and sixth grade classroom in the basement at the old Grove School on Dundee Road. The students would start the classes the following year at the new Grove School on Pfingsten.



The Korean War star ts (1950). U.S. Supreme Cour t rules racial se gregation in schools is unconstitutional (1954). R osa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama (1955). D r. S euss publishes “ The Cat in the Hat ” (1957). The Hula Hoop becomes popular (1957).

on the new Grove School began in July of 1951. Classes started in the spring of 1952 and * Construction finishing touches were put on the new building that summer.

* New Grove cost $102,000 to build and equip. new school opened with 100 students, but 75 kindergarten through second graders * The still attended classes in the old building. *

The new Grove School was officially dedicated on October 5, 1952 with a ceremony. The ceremonies also marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the District. A newspaper clipping showed a photograph of the youngest and oldest teachers in the District at the time, 85-year-old Jessie Westbrook and 24-year-old Janice Scholle.

Unfortunately, as soon as the new Grove School opened its doors, the Board of Directors realized the building would not be large enough to handle the anticipated growth, nor could it keep up with the costs of educating the additional students. A referendum was held in August of 1951 asking voters to raise the District’s tax rate. The Board of Education told voters if the referendum didn’t pass, “ the school year would have to be shortened to last only as long as funds are available.” The referendum passed by a vote of 39 to 4.


1950 to 19 6 0 , Co nt i n u e d

The Grove School graduating class of 1955 Grove School, grades 7 and 8, 1954

Parents ran the kindergarten program in the basement of the old Grove School for the 1953-1954 school year because of a lack of funds. The program was reinstated the following fall, but parents had to pay a $20 fee. An election was held in May of 1955 to elect the District’s first seven-member Board of Education. The Board consisted of Robert K. Louden, president; Wesley L. Brown, Thelma K. Thoma, Milton G. Garner, Stanley H. Butow, Edward C. Piggott and Arthur M. Lukens Jr.

A Grove kindergarten class in 1956

Between 1950 and 1959, the District went to the polls eight times to ask residents to help them pay for the schools. Four of the referendums were requests for additional tax money through increases in the tax rate. The other four were to build additions. Enrollment grew to 241 in September of 1955, forcing the Board of Education to send some students to school in shifts. After a request to build an addition onto the old Grove failed in June of 1956, residents agreed in November to plans for an addition of five classrooms and a multipurpose room onto the new Grove.

The average class size in 1958: 27.8 16


Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1958

The Grove School graduating class of 1959

Northbrook News, February 26, 1959


On January 7, 1958, all classes were held at the new Grove School on Pfingsten Road. Kindergarten classroom space, however, was rented at the North Northfield Community Church. An addition for eight more classrooms was approved by voters in September of 1959. A decision was made in August of 1959 to sell the old Grove school site on Dundee Road. A portion was destroyed by fire in 1958. The property was sold at auction on October 23, 1959 for $12,000 to William B. Wallace.


1960 to 19 7 0 Northwest Suburban Special Education District formed in 1960, providing services for students in 23 * The member districts. 1962, official grade levels ceased to exist. In this “nongraded” school system, the students were * Indesignated as being in Primary or Intermediate School, and given a number for their year in school, such as I-2 (Intermediate School Year 2) or P-5 (Primary School Year 5).

and fifth graders studied “arithmetic computation,” half used the abacus, the others used “usual * Fourth good teaching methods.” Grove School yearbook, 1961

A special program was held at Grove School on November 26, 1963 to remember President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just four days earlier.

An excerpt from official School District minutes:


November 27, 1961: “(Superintendent) Mr. (Armin) Beck is also to call the Northbrook Police Department and report that people are using the school grounds on weekends for hunting.”

Grove School, grade 4, 1963

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An addition was built onto Grove School in 1961, adding more than 10,000 square feet to the 10-year-old building, including eight classrooms. The addition was paid for, in part, by the sale of the old Grove School. Enrollment continues to climb. Before World War II, Northbrook had 300 homes in its borders. By 1962, that number had grown to 2,815. More than three-quarters of all those employed in Northbrook were business and professional people.

A referendum is held in 1962 to ask residents permission to buy land for a new school and to raise the tax rate. The request to borrow money to buy land passes, but the tax rate part of the question fails. Faced with rising costs and more students to educate, the District takes out an emergency loan from the Illinois School Building Commission for a new nineroom school and gymnasium on property south of Walters Avenue and west of Landwehr Road. The District leases the building from the Commission for $12, 650 a year.

The Board considered 12 names for the new school. Pastor Kenneth

Mull of the Northfield Evangelical United Brethren Church suggested the name Indian Ridge, after a ridge of land that started north of Dundee Road, went through Sportsman’s Country Club, and south of Walters Avenue. The ridge was said to be a place where Native American tribes held council sessions.

R ev. M ar tin Luther K ing delivers his “I Have a D ream” speech (1963). President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas (1963). U.S. troops are sent to Vietnam (1964). The B eatles appear on the Ed Sullivan Show (1964). M ar tin Luther K ing and S en. R ober t F. Kennedy are assassinated (1968). “S esame Street ” first airs on television (1969). Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon (1969). Even with the addition to Indian Ridge, space was at a premium. Kindergarten classes were held in two rented classrooms at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, across the street from Grove School. Later, space was rented at St. Giles Episcopal Church.

Indian Ridge opened to students in January of 1964. Students who lived west of Landwehr Road attended Indian Ridge, those east of Landwehr attended Grove. Grove also took in all of the District’s junior high school students. The paint was barely dry at Indian Ridge when enrollment forced the District to borrow money to build a 10-room addition onto the school. The addition was completed in 1965.

Northbrook Star, September 7, 1962




1960 to 19 7 0 , Co nt i n u e d The housing boom really exploded in the mid 1960s. The first residents of the Charlemagne subdivision moved into their houses in 1966. In the span of one year, between 1965 and 1966, the number of school-age children (between 5 and 14) in the District increased by 400. On June 10th of 1966, enrollment in District 27 was at 844. In just two months, by August 22nd, enrollment was up to 939. Six major housing developments were underway in District 27 in 1967. Administrators were planning for 40 to 100 new houses every year through 1970.


2000 1500

Enrollment Growth, 1960-1970

The District held nine referenda between 1962 and 1968. Five were requests to borrow money for new schools or additions. The other four referenda asked residents for increases in the tax rate to help run the new schools.

1000 500 0 1960







Grove School, 1964


Grove School, 1965

Northbrook Star, March 2, 1967

A referendum was passed on March 4, 1967 allowing the District to borrow money to build a junior high next to Grove School and apply for emergency building funds from the state for a new school in the Charlemagne subdivision (later Hickory Point School.)

The Board of Education considered different names for the District’s new junior high. Among the choices: Pheasant Trail, Thunder Rock , Stonehill, Shabonee and Kecheckpukwaiwah. The name Shabonee was ultimately chosen. Harold Fleig, a Board member in charge of researching school names, said Chief Shabonee was “a leader of the Potawatomi tribe, a man of character, lover of peace....” of the classrooms in 1967 were overcrowded. They were built for a maximum of 25 students but many * Many classes had 30 or more. In 1968, some junior high school classes had 40 students. November of 1967, the District purchased four portable classrooms to house fifth grade classes at * InGrove. * The basement at Indian Ridge School was converted for use as three classrooms in 1968. 1968, 150 students (five classes in all) were * Inbussed from Grove to classrooms in neighboring District 28 because of the overcrowded conditions in District 27.

Curt Johnson worked in District 27 for 34 years, most of them as an administrator. His first principal job was at Grove School. He remembers having an “office on wheels” when he started out as a teacher in 1969. He would begin the day by teaching District 27 students at the former Oaklane School, then Meadowbrook, and Westmoor, (all in District 28) and would drive back into the District to teach classes at Grove.


Indian Ridge, Grade 2, 1963

1970 to 19 8 0

Hickory Point (which opened in September of 1970), Indian Ridge, and Grove schools housed the District’s kindergarten through sixth graders, while Shabonee housed seventh and eighth graders.



After nearly 20 years of non-stop growth, District 27’s enrollment finally started to stabilize in the 1970s. After an all-time high of 2,000 students in 1971-1972, enrollment began to decrease.

2000 1500 1000

Enrollment Growth, 1970-1980


In 1970, one final addition was built onto Grove, adding 0 another seven classrooms and a remodeled office space. 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 Administrators determined another junior high school was needed in the western part of the District. In 1971, construction began on the District’s first two-story building at Sanders Road and Walters Avenue. Wood Oaks Junior High School was dedicated in 1972.

“The Intercom,” March 20, 1970

Northbrook Star, November, 1971

The Board of Education named the new gymnasium at Wood Oaks the “Rand R. Merker” gymnasium, named for Rand R. Merker, a former Wood Oaks student who died in Vietnam in 1969 at the age of 21. The plaque still hangs on the gym wall in the main corridor of the school.


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The first “Ear th Day ” is celebrated (1970). Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools (1972). The S ears Tower is built in Chicago (1973). The U.S. pulls out of Vietnam (1973). President R ichard N ixon resigns af ter the Watergate scandal (1974). “The Intercom,” March 20, 1970

Video cassette recorders ( VCRs) are introduced (1975).

An excerpt from official School District minutes: November 4, 1970: “The School Board believes that appropriate articles of clothing should be worn to school at all times ...under no circumstances will any student be admitted to School District 27 schools who is not wearing shoes.”

“Star Wars” is released in theaters (1977).

This painting of Chief Shabonee, which hangs in the front foyer of Shabonee School, was presented to the Board of Education on September 13, 1971. The artist was Fred Stueckemann, the father of David Stueckemann, who worked in District 27 for 27 years. David Stueckemann, who served as principal of Shabonee for many years, said his father liked to paint portraits of people “whose faces showed character.” Chief Shabonee (1775-1859) fought beside the warrior Tecumseh, but later worked to maintain peace with white Americans. He is credited with saving the lives of settlers in northern Illinois by warning them of Native American attacks.


1970 to 19 8 0 , Co nt i n u e d


Shabonee School yearbook, 1972

The Board of Education agreed to shorten the day for first grade students in 1973. They attended class from 9 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. In contrast, second through fifth grade students attended school from 8:35 a.m. to 3 p.m. This schedule remained in place until 1977, when the hours are changed to coincide with the other elementary grades.

Grove School, 1976-77


Members of the District 27’s PTAs took part in a national survey of television viewership. They watched CBS for one month in 1977 and reported their findings to the National PTA organization. The organization came up with the Best and Worst TV shows for the year. Here’s a sampling of the results: Best Shows:

Worst Shows:

“Little House on the Prairie”


“The Waltons”

“Welcome Back Kotter”

“Donny and Marie”

“Three’s Company”

The 1978-1979 school year was extended because of the “snow days” used when the District cancelled classes during the January 1979 snowstorm. On January 18, 1979, members of the Board of Education were told custodians had spent three days trying to clear the roofs of snow with snowblowers and shovels. The last day of school was set for June 22, 1979.

This Bicentennial project by Indian Ridge fifth graders won a blue ribbon at the Shermerville County Fair. The “Bicentennial Stitchery” featured scenes of Colonial life in applique and stitchery by students in Margaret Howard and Karen Sturm’s classes. District 27 students took home three of the four blue ribbons in the 1976 contest.


1980 to 19 9 0 The rapid growth that characterized the 1950s and 1960s slowed down. The product of those generations, the children, grew up and out of the house. Their parents, meanwhile, were staying put. This meant that fewer new families were moving into the District with school-age children. The median price of a house in Northbrook rose to $160,000, making first-time home ownership more difficult for young families. District 27 lost about 100 students a year since 1972. For the first time in the District’s history, there was talk of closing schools.


Enrollment Growth, 1980-1990

1400 1350 1300 1250 1981





The reconfiguration process involved task force meetings and public hearings. In the end, Shabonee School was closed for the 1980-1981 school year. Hickory Point and Indian Ridge housed students in kindergarten through sixth grades. Wood Oaks remained the only school open for grades seven and eight. A portion of the Shabonee building was reopened for the 1981-1982 school year to house the District’s kindergarten students. Hickory Point, Grove and Indian Ridge housed students in grades 1 to 6.

Jonathan Ho w e se r ved on the Dist r ict 27 Boar d of Educ ati on f or 21 years, beg inning in 1969. Hi s family was among the f irst to mo ve into Char lemag ne. Ho w e, an attor ne y in Chic ago, sa w the Dist r ict ’s t ransitions f irst hand. “ W hen I was f ir st on the Boar d, w e w e r e opening schools. By the time I le ft the Boar d, w e w e r e closing schools...The challenge was to be able to keep ahea d of the cur ve. We wanted to make sur e w e met the needs of the communit y. ”

In 1980, the Board of Education considered building a walkway that would link Grove and Shabonee schools.

The Shabonee PTA purchased a sculpture designed by former student Daniel Blue for Wood Oaks. The “Griffin” was erected in July of 1981 and remains in place on the north side of the building.



The “Griffin”


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In 1982, the District once again grappled with the idea of closing a school. There was one child coming out of every household in Northbrook, but only one child out of every three households in District 27. In February, the Board decided to close Indian Ridge School. The schools were reconfigured for the 1982-1983 school year. Grove and Hickory Point housed kindergarten through fourth graders, Shabonee was reopened to house fifth and sixth graders, and Wood Oaks stayed the same, housing seventh and eighth grade students.



Shirley Hufstedler is appointed as the first U.S. S ecretar y of Education (1980). An assassination attempt is made on Pre sident R onald R eagan (1981).

An excerpt from official School District minutes: February 16, 1982: Mrs. Susan Bagdale, speaking at a public meeting: “I think it’s time to bring District 27 together as a four-square-mile neighborhood.

Indian Ridge was rented to a day-care facility for a year, then sold to the Northbrook Park District for $1.2 million in 1983. The building now houses the Park District’s Leisure Center.

S andra Day O ’Connor is sworn in as the first woman Supreme Cour t Justice (1981). IBM introduces the Personal Computer (1981).

The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes af ter takeoff, k illing all seven crew members, including scho ol teacher Two of the last sixth grade and kindergarten classes to go through Christa M cAuliffe (1986).

Indian Ridge School in 1981.


The B erlin Wall falls (1989).

1980 to 19 9 0 , Co nt i n u e d Computer technology started to make inroads into District 27 schools in the 1980s. Five Apple II computers were purchased in 1980 for the computer science program at Wood Oaks. In 1981, Apple II Plus Micro computers were being used for a course in BASIC computer language. The necessity of teaching typing was debated in 1985 as the Board of Education considered dropping typing and industrial arts from the junior high curriculum. Instead, it was proposed students learn about keyboarding, word processing, and computer programming. Not everyone agreed, however. One parent, who sold business machines, told the Board that students will not receive the “advantage of knowledge, the feel, and the dexterity from working on a computer system and seeing a finished product by looking at the monitor, as they would a typewriter.” He told the Board that typewriters “are not on the way out.” Shabonee School, 1989

Wood Oaks, 1984

Grove School, 1989


“Our class was the one responsible for choosing the mascot of the Sharks (for Shabonee School). I remember the principal at the time came into our Grove fifth grade classroom and asked us for our suggestions and then we brainstormed a few possibilities. There was a vote and the majority ruled for the SHARKS. “ - Danielle Holden, who attended Shabonee in 1982 and 1983.

Abraham Lincoln visits at Grove School in the early 1980s

Hickory Point, 1980s Dr. Jocelyn (Bober) Garner attended Grove School from 1980-1985, Shabonee from 1985-1987 and Wood Oaks from 1987 to 1989. She is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and on the artistic faculty at the Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance. When asked what she remembered most about her years in District 27, she responded: My Teachers The “coziness” of Grove The camaraderie of Shabonee Friendships. Walking and riding bikes to school, Show Choir, Chemistry at Wood Oaks

How long can you hold this pose? When Melissa Chankin was 8, she held the position for 30 minutes and 23 seconds, a feat which was recognized in a “Chicago Sun-Times” article in May of 1989. Jeff Schwarz, the PE teacher at Grove at the time, told the reporter the previous best record in the school was 6 minutes. “We thought that was amazing,” he was quoted as saying.


Melissa Chankin


Melissa, who is now 28 and an accountant, said the attention was a “fun experience.” She enjoys physical activity and runs in an occasional 5k race for fun, but admits she hasn’t tried to recapture her old record.


1990-2000 The 1990s in District 27 can be categorized in two ways -- the decade of renovations and the attempt to bring American students to be the best in the world in math and science. While radically different from each other, the two featured the influence of two superintendents, Dr. James Rohrabaugh and Dr. David J. Kroeze. The first major renovation of Wood Oaks took place in 1990-1991. Eleven classrooms were added, as well as al lower level “commons” area for lunches and meetings. A separate gymnasium was added to the project. At one point, the Board of Education considered building an auditorium to seat up to 650 people. The Board ultimately decided to build a rotunda at the southwest corner of the new gymnasium area that would be a “centerpiece” of the new addition and provide outside access for future auditorium space.

Dr. James Rohrabaugh retired as superintendent on July 31, 1992, after a 23-year career as superintendent. One of his fondest memories involved Wood Oaks students. Dr. Rohrabaugh said he enjoyed sending off eighth grade graduates to Glenbrook North High School because so many became school leaders and honors students. “Wood Oaks students became outstanding students at Glenbrook North. It was an honor to award the diplomas to the eighth grade graduates because I knew what lay ahead.”


er Elsewh The Board of Education and the administration began plans to implement a middle school program in the District. This involved reconfiguring the schools and bringing the sixth graders to Wood Oaks. Under the plan, Hickory Point and Grove held kindergarten through third grade, Shabonee held fourth and fifth grades, and Wood Oaks became a middle school with sixth, seventh and eighth graders. During the 1991-1992 school year, a “steering committee” was formed to prepare for the reorganization. The committee was made up of Board of Education members, administrators, teachers and parents. The group developed the following Mission Statement for the District: “We believe it is our mission to provide students with experiences that build a foundation for lifelong learning and responsible leadership through a dynamic, nurturing, environment which encourages and challenges their physical, emotional and intellectual development.” The consulting firm of Hazard, Young, Bickert and Associates was hired to conduct a superintendent search. On March 30, 1992, the Board of Education hired Dr. David J. Kroeze as superintendent. Dr. Kroeze came to District 27 after serving as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in Wheeling District 21, where he had also been a teacher and principal.

Board member Dr. Maurice Netter said: “As far as the candidate, we thought we had a superstar (Dr. Rohrabaugh), and that we had to replace him with a superstar. We weren’t going to be satisfied with just a 'capable administrator.' We are looking toward the 21st century. We need someone who is visionary, and this is the man we feel we have hired.”

The Persian G ulf War begins on Januar y 16 and ends on April 6 (1991). The “Americans with D isabilities Ac t ” goes into effec t (1990). Americans are glued to their T Vs as they watch police chase a white Ford Bronco carr ying football great OJ Simpson in Los Angeles (1994). The “ Tick le M e Elmo” doll is introduced (1996). President William Clinton is impeached (1998) and later acquitted by the S enate (1999). Four teen stude nts and one teacher are k illed in shootings at Columbine H igh S chool (1999).

Wood Oaks, 1997-1998

“Since my retirement, this school district has progressed to the point where it is one of the most outstanding in the state,” says Dr. Rohrabaugh. His administration may have set the foundation, but he says “Dave (Kroeze) has taken the District so far.” “ I am so proud.”


n the World ...


1990-2000 , co nt i n u e d In 1994, Dr. Kroeze and 19 other area superintendents formed the “First in the World Consortium” after studying the National Education Goals (Goals 2000). The Consortium decided to focus on obtaining Goal 5, which was to have students first in the world in math and science by the year 2000. In March of 1995, the Consortium entered into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the North Central Regional Education Laboratory to obtain this goal. In order to benchmark student scores by schools in the Consortium, the group obtained permission for 4th, 8th and 12th grade students to participate in TIMSS, the Third International Mathematics and Science Study. In order to do this, the Consortium had to be dissagregated as a nation.



Overall our students scored well when compared with students who participated in TIMSS from around the world. Only fourth grade students in Singapore had scores higher than students from the Consortium schools. Students performed on par with those in Korea, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. In eighth grade, only students in Singapore scored higher. And no nations out performed the Consortium students in Science. U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley, at podium, speaks at a three-day workshop sponsored by the Consortium in 1999. Dr. Kroeze is seated at the far left.

“I believe that the most important thing you can do is to have high expectations for students - to make them believe they can learn, to tell them they’re going to have to learn really difficult, challenging things, to assess whether they’re learning or not, and to hold them accountable as well as well as to reward them.” -- President Bill Clinton, in a speech given in March 1996 when he visited Northfield Township District 225 to acknowledge the achievements of the Consortium.


This is a copy of letter sent to Dr. Kroeze by President Clinton.

In the years following TIMSS, the Consortium developed Teacher Learning Networks and an Instructional Support Network with teachers and curriculum leaders to further the improvement of math and science learning for students in the 21st Century.

Twenty-two computers were being used in K-5 in 1993 with teachers who volunteered to “pilot” technology integration. The use of technology was growing and Apple IIe’s were replaced at Wood Oaks with portable PowerBooks. Teacher Ginger Kranz communicated with her students via e-mail while on an educational trip to China in 1995. Electronic mail was still not widely used in schools.

Hickory Point, 1992

Construction began in 1998 on a new addition and renovation to Shabonee School. The addition featured six new classrooms for fourth grade students, a new front facade and office space, and a new library. Construction was completed in 1999.

Shabonee School under construction, 1998

Words to “Build a Better Shabonee,” lyrics by S. Mazaheri and J. Hoexer, music by L. Thomas “Build a better Shabonee. We’ll be there from the start. One step follows another. We can all play a part. Follow our vision, we’re on a mission. Here it begins. Everyone working, sharing a purpose now. Feel the change in the wind, it’s headed our way, just wait and see. Come tomorrow a new, Shabonee will be. New generations, teaching and learning. We’ll lead the way. Breaking new ground, we’re taking that first big step! 'Round the corner, a new corner, imagine you will see. Dreams unfolding ahead for you and for me. Build a better Shabonee. We can all play a part. We’re the link to the future. A school built from our hearts.”


2000-2010 Construction of a new addition onto Hickory Point School began in June 2000. The project included the construction of a new front entrance, office space, updated library, enlarged computer lab and a drop-off lane near the front entrance. Some of the words to “Sharpen the Point,” lyrics by L. Lovisetto and E. Temple, sung by the Hickory Point students and staff during the groundbreaking ceremony, June 2, 2000. (Sung to the tune of “YMCA”) Sharpen the Point We’re fixing up our school Sharpen the Point We will tear down the walls Put in new bathroom stalls It will be a model place to learn. Sharpen the Point It’s going to look so cool Sharpen the Point...

The District 27 Board of Education purchased six Automatic External Defribillators (AEDs) from the American Red Cross for $16,075 in October of 2001. While AEDs are now somewhat common, they Mr. Al Mazewski, 2009 were a rare site in school buildings in 2001. In fact, the state of Illinois didn’t require AEDs until 2004. The AEDs were put to the test in March of 2008 when Board Member Al Mazewski suffered a heart attack during a meeting. He survived the attack, thanks to the quick actions of those in attendance and a nearby AED. Mr. Mazewski thanked his “lifesavers” in April 2009 when he stepped down from the board after 12 years of service.


District 27 students and staff joined the rest of the world in celebrating the year 2000 and the start of the new Millennium.

er Elsewh

n the World

When terrorists attacked New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, District 27 students and staff joined the millions of other Americans trying to cope with the horror. Some classes raised money, others sent letters of support to school children in the cities affected by the tragedy. The following are just a few examples of the outpouring of support from District 27:


Concerns about problems with Y2K diminish with the star t of the new M illennium (20 00).

More than $2,000 was raised by students and staff from Hickory Point as part of “Project Bulldog.” The money was sent to the New York Firefighters Fund.


Shabonee students sent artwork and letters of support to students at Patrick Henry School in Washington, D.C.




Wood Oaks art teacher John Grebe encouraged his students to “write from the heart” and express their feelings through words and pictures. In a “Northbrook Star” article, an eighth grader told the reporter: “It’s helped because there’s not much you can do except for showing what you feel.”

Terrorists k ill 3,000 in attacks in New York Cit y, Washington, DC and in Pennsylvania in the early morning of S eptember 11th (2001). US forces attack Afghanistan (2001). The Space Shuttle Columbia explodes on reentr y (2003). Hurricane K atrina causes widespread destruc tion in New O rleans. (2005). The War in I raq begins (2003). B arack Obama becomes first African-American president (2009).

The District 27 community showed another outpouring of support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the New Orleans area on August 29, 2005. Wood Oaks students held car washes and sold wristbands to raise money for victims. The school also hosted a student whose family was displaced by the hurricane. Shabonee students collected toothbrushes and toothpaste, while Grove students collected 110 backpacks filled with school supplies to send to New Orleans. Some of the many backpacks collected at Grove for Hurricane Katrina victims, 1995


2000-2010 , co nt i n u e d District 27 underwent a major change in 2008 when the Board of Education made the decision to reconfigure the schools. After months of discussion and public engagement, the Board voted on April 3 to close Grove School at the end of the 2009-2010 school year and reconfigure the remaining schools into grade level centers. The following changes would be implemented at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year:

Hickory Point School would house kindergarten through second grades;

Shabonee School would house third through fifth grades; and

Wood Oaks would continue to house sixth through eighth grades.

Additions were made to Hickory Point and Shabonee schools to accommodate the new grade configurations. The addition to Hickory Point was completed in time for the start of the 2009-2010 school year. Shabonee’s new addition is expected to open for the first day of classes in September of 2010.

Hickory Point

September, 2009


February, 2009

April, 2009

Shabonee School

February, 2010

This is an architect’s rendering of the new entrance to Shabonee School.

September, 2009



136 WEST VALLETTE ELMHURST, IL 60126 T (630) 834-5727 F (630) 834-2869

J ULY 2 2 ,




T (847) 394-6200


F (847)-394-6205

Research for this book was conducted by reviewing Board of Education minutes dating back to 1852, archived newspaper clippings, Northbrook Historical Society documents, and interviewing former students and staff. Thanks to all of you who contributed photos and other memorabilia for this project. Special thanks go to the following individuals and organizations for their help: Ms. Judith Hughes and the Northbrook Historical Society Dr. Theresa Fournier Mrs. Helene Spak Dr. James Rohrabaugh Mr. Just Hallen Miss Mary Osborne Mrs. Margaret Haas Mr. Jim Olinski Mr. Curt Johnson Mr. Jonathan Howe Mrs. Barbara Berkow Gordon, Nile and Wayne Meling Mr. Dave Stueckemann Ms. Leslye Danecker Mrs. Danielle Holden Dr. Jocelyn Garner Mrs. Karen Jump Melissa Chankin Mrs. Nancy Stoddard Mr. Stephan Swanson and The Grove National Historic Landmark I would like to acknowledge the following for their support and guidance: The District 27 Board of Education The District 27 Administrative Team The District 27 PTAs The Grove School Staff A special thanks goes out to Matt Sampson and Pools Press in Northbrook for their printing services.


Here’s to G rove


Grove School Fight Song, 1950s

Grove School is our school It's the school that's best Come on, let's go gang It beats all the rest Grove School, Grove School G-R-O-V-E Grove School, Grove School That's the school for me.

Grove School --1951-2010


A Pictorial History of District 27  

History of Northbrook School District 27