When I first moved to the Round Lake area my children were just starting school. At the time, the Junior High School was operating on a triple-shift schedule. Over time, a new High School was built and the old High School became what is now known as Magee Middle School. We lived in Round Lake Park and my kids attended Murphy Elementary School. Around 1978, we built a new home in Round Lake Beach and the kids transferred to Beach Elementary School.
All three kids went through the Round Lake school system and after attending the two year program at College of Lake County, they continued their education at a higher level at various colleges. I have nothing but good things to say about the Round Lake school system. My kids all played in the band program under the leadership of a wonderful lady, whose name slips my mind, as well as the marching band director. While in Junior High, I went as a chaperon to Florida where the band won FIRST PLACE against High School bands! We can all remember arriving back in the area when we were met by local police and fire trucks in the wee hours of the morning blaring their sirens as we drove down Rt. 134 heading to the Junior High School. That was what it was all about back them, team spirit and family involvement. Those days can once again return as we attempt to take over control of the district from the State authority. But, as residents and parents, we MUST get involved whether it be demanding better education for our children or simply helping out as home room assistants.
The one thing that sticks out in my mind is the way that the referendum for the reconstruction of Magee Middle School was handled. The State authority, rather than force a huge burden on us, gave the taxpayers three options to vote on. This made us feel a part of the process and they were able to pass the referendum when most villages were turning them down. All we ask is to be included, and they gave us that opportunity. I would hope that this continues as we move forward with control over local taxing powers. When Cliff Houghton was Superintendent the District ended up mired in debt, building a new school off Nippersink with poorly based future enrolment figures. If it weren’t for SEDOL (Special Education District of Lake County) utilizing the building, it probably would have been boarded up.
It’s YOUR School District and YOUR Community and YOUR responsibility to get involved just like my wife and I did back in the 80’s and 90’s when my children attended the schools