Friday Flyover: Rich Central High School

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. (WLS) -- This week, we feature Rich Central High School on ABC7's Friday Flyover, celebrating high school sports!



Rich Central High School
"Home of the Olympians!"

Principal: Todd Whitaker
Associate Principal of Operations: Dr. Sherrie Birts
Associate Principal of Teaching and Learning: Ms. Cynthia Knox
Assistant Principal of Athletics: Dr. Donald Parker
Coordinator of Special Education: Debora Matthews
Colors: Scarlet Red & Columbian Blue
School Nickname: Olympians

High School District #227 serves the residents of Country Club Hills, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park, a small section of Chicago Heights and adjoining rural areas in South Cook County. The district was formed from non-high school territory in 1949. Construction of the East Campus of Rich Township High School, financed by a $1,600,000 bond issue, began in September, 1952. Twelve months later it was operating as a four-year high school. During the 1952-53 school year, a ninth grade school was operating in the Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest, Located on a 55-acre site donated by American Community Builders, Inc., the original building accommodated approximately 750 students.

The East Campus was formally dedicated in December, 1953 by the Secretary of Health, Education and Safety; Mrs. Oveta Club Hobby. It was fully accredited by both the North Central Association and the State of Illinois during the initial year of operation. In 1954, it won, for the municipalities which it serves, the All-American City award, the first ever to be awarded by a school.

In 1955, a $450,000 bond issue financed the addition of 12 classrooms and a gymnasium. This increased the capacity of the school to approximately 1,100 students. In 1957, a $1,050,000 bond issue was passed and the money used to increase the size of the East Campus to accommodate 1,500 to 1,600 students. At the same time, 50 acres of land for a new high school site was purchased in Olympia Fields.

In 1959, a $1,690,000 bond issue was passed to finance building of the initial stage of a new Central Campus in Olympia Fields. The first stage provided facilities for about 700 students. The building has been recognized as one of the "significant schools of the future" in a monograph published by the Ford Foundation. In its July, 1960 issue, The Nation's Schools carried a cover picture and a ten-page article on the new school under the title, "An Image of the Future in Olympia Fields, IL." In 1960, a bond issue of $225,000 was approved to equip the new school which opened to approximately 425 students in the ninth and tenth grades in September, 1961. At the same time, the East Campus enrolled about 1,600 students.

In 1962, a $1,250,000 bond issue was authorized by voters in the district to build and equip an addition to the Central Campus facility bringing its capacity to 1,500 students. This addition was completed for the opening of school in September 1963.

In 1966, a $2,700,000 bond issue was authorized by voters in the district. $2,500,000 of the bond issue was for the purpose of building and equipping additions to the Central and East Campus facilities. This brings the capacity of the Central Campus to 2,100 students and the East Campus to 1,800 students. $200,000 was used to purchase land for a third high school.

In 1969, a $3,200,000 bond issue was authorized by the voters of the district. $300,000 was to build an addition to the East Campus. This addition consisted of a little theatre and two arts and crafts classrooms. The remaining $2,900,000 was for the purpose of building Rich South High School. Rich South opened at the East Campus for freshmen and sophomores in September of 1972 with an enrollment of 600 students and then moved into the new facilities at the South Campus in January 1973.

Meet Principal Whitaker
Mr. Todd Whitaker

I would like to welcome you to the 2015-2016 school year. I am truly excited about what this year has in store for Rich Central High School. My name is Todd Whitaker and I have the distinct pleasure of being Principal of this great school. Not only am I the principal, but I am a graduate of Rich Central.

Coming "Home" has always been a goal of mine. As the Educational Leader, we will ensure Rich Central becomes one of, if not, the top performing high school, not only in the region, but in the state.

Teachers have been working diligently over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. They have been equipped with new strategies and teaching methods that will allow students to become independent thinkers who take ownership of their education; students whom are tenacious in becoming eternal seekers of knowledge which opens the doors for a multitude of opportunities beyond high school. We here at Rich Central cannot do it alone. We need ALL stakeholders, students, parents, guardians, family members, business owners, and the community at large, to set the tone. This means we all have the expectation that every student will show a significant amount of growth based on their ability and that failure is not an option. We have the expectation every student will conduct themselves like intelligent young men and young women who take pride in themselves and their school; one who does not want negative distractions deterring them or their peers from greatness. We do not want anyone to miss an opportunity, so we are asking for every student to be in attendance everyday!
I look forward to a prosperous school year with the understanding that we may not see eye to eye on every topic, but please keep the lines of communication open so we can work toward a positive solution. I ask that you continue to challenge us in a positive way to create and build something special. Again, I am truly excited about this school year. We are RC!

Rich Central High School's Marching Band

Congratulations to the Rich Central Marching Olympians, who took first place in the 2015 Chicago Football Classic Battle of the High School Bands at Soldier Field for the second consecutive year.

The band, lead by drum major Angel "Mighty Mouse" Anderson, competed against a field of high school bands that included Rich East, Rich South, King Career Academy, Thornton Township, Proviso East, Proviso West, and Morgan Park, among others.

Under the direction of Band Director Phillip Crews and Auxiliary Coach Brittany Bobo, the band performed music from Kanye West, Parliament, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Gill, and Jussie Smollett, to name a few.


Game Day:
Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Rich Central vs. Rich East - @ Rich East

2013 - IHSA 2nd Place State Champs

Jabari Moody class of 2015, Rich Central wrestler competed in Croatia as a world Team USA member ranking 5th place in the world!

2015 Gates Millennium Scholarship
One of our students of the 2015 graduating class was the recipient of the 2015 Gates Millennium Scholarship. She is now a student of the University of Illinois-Chicago, pre-med program.

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