Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will celebrate its 100th birthday during the 2014-2015 school year and kicked off the centennial festivities at Thursday's board meeting.
"We have a lot to celebrate," said Jessica Thunberg, director of community engagement and outreach. Events marking the 100th year of the district's existence will span the whole school year and include a look at the past, present and future of what is now the second-largest high school district in the state.
District 214 centennial eventsSaturday, Sept. 27Open house at former Arlington High School, 502 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. Along with self-guided tours of the district's first school, visitors will be able to view a screening of "Our Lady in Red," a documentary on Arlington High School.
Sunday, Nov. 9- Sunday Nov. 23 The district's six high schools and three alternative programs will collect food to benefit local food pantries.
Thursday, Feb. 5- Saturday, Feb. 7 Community Centennial Celebration at Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights.
The celebration will kick off Thursday with a reception before the school board meeting. Guests will include former board members, superintendents and students.
Friday will bring a free evening of musical and theatrical talent provided by nationally recognized District 214 students.
And on Saturday, cheer on your favorite District 214 school as boys and girls varsity basketball teams play one another in a daylong competition at the Centennial Classic.
"District 214 is the place where students discover future possibilities, staff grows professionally and community members learn new skills through Community Ed," Superintendent David Schuler said. "We look forward to continuing this tradition and shaping public education for the next 100 years."
District 214 was created through a referendum in March of 1914, though the first high school didn't open until several years later.
At the time it was a controversial vote, Thunberg said, and one that played a part in history. The election came in the middle of the women's suffrage movement when men's and women's votes were still being counted separately. The measure to create District 214 passed because of 16 votes cast by women, she said.
District officials spent the last year planning the centennial celebration and said they hope the community gets involved.
"We thought it was important to celebrate our past, but also look toward our future," Thunberg said.
The community is invited to share memories, photos and thoughts from their time at District 214 or throughout the celebrations on social media using the hashtag #214bday.
A partnership with the Daily Herald will highlight 100 things that make District 214 great, 15 alumni that changed the world and thoughts from readers about their favorite teachers and staff at District 214 over the past 100 years.
"For 100 years, our schools have served as an anchor in the community, and as a longtime Board member, community member and most importantly, parent of District 214 alumni, I have always been impressed with the achievements of our students and dedication of all our teachers and staff," said board president Bill Dussling. "I invite the whole community to attend our celebration events and Discover District 214."