When you walk through the doors leading to the Komarek School gymnasium this fall, you’ll be walking into the Neil L. Pellicci Gymnasium, which is being named in memory of the former longtime principal and superintendent who died suddenly on June 5 at the age of 64.
Gail Anderson, who served as Pellicci’s administrative assistant at Komarek School for 23 years, said District 94 intends to dedicate the gym in the former administrator’s honor at the open house planned for Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.
Superintendent Brian Ganan will preside over the dedication ceremony, which will be attended by Pellicci’s wife, Debra.
“His presence definitely lives here,” said Ganan, who got to know Pellicci while he transitioned into the superintendent’s role in 2015. “His passion and inspiration are still here.”
If it is ready by the time of the open house, the school will also display a plaque that eventually will hang above the doors to the gym.
According to Anderson, the plaque will be made of brushed stainless steel and will include a photo of Pellicci, taken in 2014 prior to his final year as the district’s superintendent.
The plaque will state that the gym is “dedicated to the memory of Neil L. Pellicci for a lifetime commitment to improving the lives of children through strong leadership, dedication and an inspiring passion for the Komarek community.”
The Komarek School Board of Education approved spending about $700 for the plaque at their July 9 meeting.
On the floor of the gym, the words “Neil L. Pellicci Gymnasium” in blue letters will frame the image of the school’s Wildcat mascot in the center of the gym floor.
Anderson is also planning to devote a shelf to Pellicci inside the trophy case outside her office, which also includes memorabilia from notable former students, like retired NBA star Jeff Hornacek.
The items on display will include Landmark stories reporting Pellicci’s retirement in 2015 and his death earlier this year; a tribute to Pellicci by Anderson’s husband, Bob, published by the Landmark in June; and a framed photo of Pellicci taken by former Landmark photographer William Camargo.