Integrity, honesty and loyalty. That always defined Russ Attis, whose name is forever linked to the history of 62-year-old Arlington High School.
Attis, a man whose industry and sincerity earned him tremendous respect and many friends during his career in education at Arlington, will enjoy a birthday milestone on Saturday, Aug. 10 that will give some of those friends a chance to shake hands and say thanks once again to an area legend.
Attis will celebrate his 90th birthday back at the school he served for 34 distinguished years and now is the home of Christian Liberty Academy. The reception is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon in the air-conditioned former home economics room in the hallway that borders the south wall of Grace Gymnasium. There will be a cake-cutting and brief ceremony at 11 a.m.
Refreshments will be served. There is no charge for the event, and there also will be a chance to take a few minutes to tour the school and stroll down memory lane.
Parking will be in the east lot across the street from Christian Liberty at the intersection of Walnut and Euclid. Greeters will be at the southern-most doorway on Walnut to escort people to the reception room.
Attis traveled from the near north side of Chicago to Wells High School and the University of Illinois and back to Chicago before finally arriving at 28-year-old Arlington High School in 1950. He arrived as a temporary replacement for an ailing track coach and stayed until the school’s emotional closing ceremony on June 8, 1984 when he read a speech in rhyme that he created for the occasion.
Through the years, Attis, a man of boundless energy whose dedication to physical fitness is legendary, impacted so many young people in positive ways as he launched the cross country program, built the track and field team into a state powerhouse, molded popular Arlington Heights Park District summer athletic programs and guided a successful Arlington athletic department as athletic director. He served 14 years as a member of the Lattof International YMCA Board of Directors.
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