Former Elgin Academy headmaster remembered as visionary leader
A former headmaster of Elgin Academy is being remembered as a visionary leader who helped steer the independent school during a challenging time in its history.
Frank Hogan, 85, died June 27 in Point Loma, California, where he had retired five years ago.
Hogan served as headmaster of Elgin Academy from 1975 to 1985. He later held the same position at the nationally renowned Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Florida, and the Latin School of Chicago.
Although the current headmaster of Elgin Academy Seth Hanford said his tenure didn't coincide with Hogan's, he had spent time with him over the years.
"His legacy at the school overlaps everybody's tenure," he said. "And he was ahead of his time in a million ways."
Hanford said Hogan took over Elgin Academy when its future was tenuous.
"He saved the school," Hanford said. "The way he did that was to understand that schools are cultures, and he really helped Elgin Academy find what it needed to be."
Hogan was raised in the Rogers Park neighborhood, where he embraced Jesuit principles and attended St. Ignatius, Loyola Academy and Loyola University.
Before his career in education, he served in the U.S. Army. He then worked with his father, television and theatrical booking agent Frank J. 'Tweet' Hogan, executive producer of the "Bob Newhart Variety Show."
His education career started as an assistant to the president at Loyola Academy before taking over at Elgin Academy in 1975 and establishing a culture that Hanford says exists to this day.
"He cared for everybody who came here equally," Hanford said. "No matter who you were, you were cared for as an individual. That was true of students and the people he hired."
Jim Kidston was one of the people he hired. Kidston was brought on as a math teacher by Hogan in 1980 despite having no teaching experience and a degree in English.
"I would not have been teaching were it not for him," said Kidston, who will soon tie the record for the longest-tenured teacher in the school's 183 years.
Kidston has seen five headmasters during his time at the school, each with their own strengths.
"Frank was the visionary," Kidston said. "He was a leader."
Hogan is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nancy, and their six children, thirteen grandchildren and two younger brothers.
Although they haven't yet worked out the details, Hanford said the school will honor Hogan in the fall.