Peter Groom

A Catholic high school principal is stepping down to take on the role of a teacher at the same school. Peter Groom, who joined Fenwick High School in 1995 first as a teacher and as principal beginning in 2011, plans to return to the classroom next fall, according to a recent schoolwide email sent by Fenwick president the Rev. Richard Peddicord. 

Groom will rejoin Fenwick as a teacher and faculty member starting July 1 and teach Spanish and history for the 2022-23 school year, Peddicord wrote in the email sent June 27. 

School officials have yet to confirm with Wednesday Journal whether the staffing changes are related to the investigation of longtime teacher John Quinn, who was accused in recent months by at least two former students of sexual misconduct and harassment. Quinn was placed on paid administrative leave in March, pending a third-party investigation. The investigation is still ongoing, school officials told Wednesday Journal earlier this month. Groom could not be immediately reached for comment. 

In the June 27 email, Peddicord praised Groom for his commitment to Fenwick and guiding the Oak Park-based school through “many challenges while maintaining (and improving!) the high academic standards and excellent teaching.” 

“He has also been a valuable partner to me, the senior administration of Fenwick, the board, the faculty, the parent community, and most importantly, the students,” Peddicord said about Groom. 

The email noted the school will be searching for a principal. In the meantime, Terrence O’Rourke, director of student services, will become the interim principal, and Charly Ieremia, who serves as the dean of students, will replace O’Rourke. Both are set to take on their new positions July 1. 

Peddicord, in the email, also commended O’Rourke and Ieremia for “stepping up to these new responsibilities.” 

“As with any institution that has stood the test of time and thrived (93 years and counting!), Fenwick High School will always change and evolve,” Peddicord wrote. “We welcome these ‘transition times’ as opportunities for further improvement and growth.” 

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