Though Monday was the official holiday marking the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oak Park and River Forest High School got a jump on the celebration last week with its annual assembly honoring the civil rights leader who was 39 when he was slain and who would have been 82.
A dip in a pool probably never felt so good to students. After going without swimming pools throughout the summer and all of fall 2010, Oak Park and River Forest High School reopened its girls and boys pools last week after passing a health inspection by the state.
The Buzz Café hosted several parent cafes this fall around the issue of drug use at Oak Park and River Forest High School. So it was more than fitting for the Buzz, 905 S. Lombard, to host a conversation Monday evening with this year's Wednesday Journal's Villagers of the Year for Oak Park and River Forest — members of the OPRF Citizens Council.
If there were ever a more candid, straight-talking Oak Park public official, Peter Traczyk, this year's runner-up for Villager of the Year, is probably the leader. A financial planner by trade, Traczyk was first elected to the District 97 school board in 2007, taking one of that year's uncontested seats.
District 97's new superintendent last month made a formal request to the faculty union to consider a pay freeze as the district tries to plug the deficit hole in its budget. He is still awaiting a formal response.
Becoming a school administrator wasn't in Peter Groom's plans when he became a teacher at Fenwick High School, fresh out of college in 1995. He began as a substitute that year at the Oak Park private school, located at Washington and Scoville. His brother was also teaching there at the time.
2010 wraps up one of the busiest years for school districts in memory for Oak Park and River Forest. Superintendents in Oak Park came and went, along with a slew of teachers and administrators often owing to retirements.