Friday Flyover: Oak Forest High School

OAK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- This week, we feature Oak Forest High School on ABC7's Friday Flyover, celebrating high school sports!

PHOTOS: Friday Flyover

Oak Forest will play Lemont High School at home Friday night. Game times are 4:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.


The Oak Forest High School Cheerleading Team was the 2016 State Champion

Principal Sikora will be recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education on October 22 with an ISBE "Those Who Excel" award.

Oak Forest High School Principal, Dr. Brad Sikora was nominated by Mrs. Kristine Kalnins, a parent in the community.

In her nomination, Mrs. Kalnins stated, "Dr. Sikora's complete dedication and commitment to the betterment of Oak Forest's students and teachers alike is exceptional. His unwavering enthusiasm extends to seemingly every facet of Oak Forest's curriculum as well as the Oak Forest High School's athletics program, of which he never seems to miss an event. Although Dr. Sikora's influence on the educational processes are widespread, he has not lost the ability to inspire on an individual level. This is truly most evident on his effect on special needs student, of which I am a parent. The affect Dr. Sikora has had on my son as a mentor, leader and most importantly, as a friend, will be forever felt."

Oak Forest High School celebrated Homecoming last week and inducted Class of 1977 graduate, Colonel Kevin Madden into its "Alumni Hall of Fame."

Seniors Claire Doolin and Alex Martinez were named Queen and King of last week's Homecoming celebration.

The City of Oak Forest recently named a new Police Chief and we are proud that he is Tim Kristin, a 1987 Oak Forest High School graduate.


On Oak Forest, Fight!
Charge right through that line.
Stand up for your right,
We'll win every time.
Fight, fight, fight!
Fly your colors high,

Keep your spirit true.
We'll go on and up forever,
As we pledge our love to you.
Charge you Bengals - When we have our say,
Fight you Bengals - We'll be on our way.
Here we come,
We've got you on the run, as we sing...


Oak Forest High School Inducts Colonel Kevin Madden into Hall of Fame
Colonel Madden, Class of 1977, symbolizes the Pride of Oak Forest High School

"Oak Forest High School is a great school. Make the effort to be great," Colonel Kevin Madden told students gathered to witness his induction yesterday to the Oak Forest Hall of Fame, held in the OFHS Instructional Materials Center.

Colonel Madden, OFHS Class of 1977, was inducted yesterday afternoon in a special ceremony witnessed by student leadership teams. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame under the category "Pride of Oak Forest."

Dr. Brad Sikora congratulated Colonel Madden on the behalf of Oak Forest High School saying, "We are proud to call you a Bengal."

"Teachers made a huge difference in my life," Madden said at the start of his remarks, mentioning Oak Forest High School teachers John 'Skip' Moroz, Ken Irvine, Don Mohar, and Bob Burt, all of whom are now retired. They were very meaningful teachers in his high school career at Oak Forest High School.

One of his favorite memories has stuck with him his entire career. He had just finished an epic run of at least eight miles with more to go in track practice one day and the pain of it had caught up with him, so much so that he was vomiting on the sideline of the track. Oak Forest High School teacher Bob Burt walked up to him and said, "Get it all out--10 seconds--and get back on the line."

Madden remembered this lesson throughout some of the toughest times in army training and beyond and it motivated him to continue on through these tough circumstances.

"Even when I hadn't slept or hadn't eaten in days and was on some tough maneuvers, I remember Bob Burt saying that and I got back on the line," he said.

"OFHS teachers taught me so much about life," he said.

He spoke about the importance of ethical behavior and standing by one's word. Madden, nicknamed "Mad Dog," was the only Lt. Colonel who didn't have to bring in his 3-, 2-, or 1-Star General with him when he briefed the 4-star Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on world affairs and situations.

Colonel Madden said, "If your word is your bond, your life will be wonderful." He told the students that the friends they make in high school will hang with you for life if they know you to be an ethical person.

He also had academic advice for the students. Colonel Madden said, "I didn't have the best grade point in high school, and in college it was lower. When I wanted to get a Master's Degree, the Army said I wasn't cut out for that based on my grade point average. I took night school so that I could prove to the Army I could attend grad school."

The Army believed him after seeing his excellent grades and he got to go to his desired program and this started him on a career path of being a lifelong learner and realizing the importance of applying himself to his studies and trying his best.

"Academic achievement is very important," he said. He has been a lifelong running coach of high schools, college, and post graduate runners. "Every team I have ever coached has had the highest grade point average of any team."

"Oak Forest High School is an awesome school. These teachers and this administration are giving you great opportunities," he said. "These teachers were committed to me."

"Make an effort to be great," he said. "If you get a B this time, get an A next time."


Colonel Kevin W. Madden, Oak Forest High School's Class of 1977, served as a United States Army Cavalry and Foreign Area Officer from 1982 until 2011. His education included a B.A. from Northern Illinois University, M.A. from the University of Washington, M.S. from the University of Canberra in Australia, and Senior Fellowships at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and Korean Institute for Defense Analysis. His military service included assignments in armor and cavalry units from platoon through brigade and staff assignments at the division through army level.

As a trained Korean linguist, Kevin served as a Foreign Area Officer in key national security policy positions, supervised Korea's Demilitarized Zone, managed over $24 billion in security assistance programs, and advised the U.S. Ambassador to Seoul as the Defense and Army Attache.

Kevin is the only American to be twice decorated by the President of the Republic of Korea with the Order of National Security Merit. His other awards include recognition by the Department of State and the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit and seven Meritorious Service Medals.

Upon retirement in 2011, Kevin began service as a Senior Intelligence Officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency. Significantly, since 1979, Kevin coached track and field from youth through NCAA Division I to post-collegiate levels, training numerous state champions and national qualifiers as well as several national champions.

His successful career of commitment to nation and community stands as a testimony of the power of the strong ethics, superb academics and sense of sincere citizenship taught him at Oak Forest High School. Colonel Kevin Madden symbolizes the Pride of Oak Forest High School.

"The entire Oak Forest High School community is proud to call Colonel Madden one of their own. He has sent an example for our students and given his all for our community, our state and the entire nation. We are honored to call Colonel Kevin Madden an Oak Forest High School Bengal and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank him for his service." said Principal Brad Sikora.

TO find out more about Oak Forest High School, visit the school's website.
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