‘I’m your school bell, ding dong ding, come with me to play and sing.” Ah, I can still hear the lilting voice of Dr. Frances Horowich, who sang those words at the start of the TV show “Ding Dong School.” For many of us that was preschool.
It is that time for the real school bell to ring as it heralds the start of another school year. It’s hard to believe how fast the time went as schools got all spiffed and polished over the summer to meet the students.
Students have been preparing, packing their backpacks with No. 2 pencils, paper, erasers, crayons, markers and whatever else was on the list. Tissue, don’t forget a box of tissues. Those backpacks weigh a lot and we are creating a generation of people with back problems.
As students go to their selected schools I have often wondered if they knew whom their school was named after, some are obvious, like St. Mary, Blythe Park, Hollywood and Riverside-Brookfield High School. So here is a little pre-school year lesson.
In the early 1900s there was Central School. As the population of the township grew, Hollywood School was built in 1929. In 1923 Ames School was built; it was named in honor of A.F. Ames the superintendent of Riverside schools for many years.
Hauser Junior High was named in honor of Dr. L.J. Hauser, who came to Riverside as the assistant superintendent and became superintendent following the death of A.F. Ames. The two men were important to the growth of the public school system in Riverside.
North Riverside has Komarek School, which is named in honor A.W. Komarek, an early Realtor who donated eight lots for the building of the school.
Brookfield has students attending S.E. Gross Middle School, which is named for Samuel Eberly Gross, the Chicago real estate speculator who founded Brookfield. Students also attend Brook Park School a combination of the two villages comprising the school district, LaGrange Park and Brookfield.
Now you are ready for your first day of school and don’t you feel smart already? For the rest of us, let’s watch out for those students on their way to school. Best of luck to the teachers!
Last word: You people really read this column. The list of curb painters grows by two — Gary Krogh and Roger Stedronsky. Hopefully, that is it! A truly ambitious group of young men. The names were sent courtesy of Patricia Krogh-Schejbal.