Schwartz’s impact honored by award


Kristin Weidner

“He really knows what’s happening in our community whether it’s academically, athletically, activities or with the parents. I think he’s the heart of South,” Jennifer Martinez said.

Ava Lafin, Opinions Editor

Retiring principal Edward Schwartz has won a Principal Recognition Award through Illinois Directors of Student Activities (IDSA), and will be receiving it on April 7 at the IDSA conference. The prestigious award recognizes a principal’s participation, support and commitment to student activities.

Student Activities DirectorJennifer Martinez has worked with Schwartz for 15 years.

“He is caring, he is funny, he is down to earth and he is a total community guy. I’ve never worked with a principal that knows as many names of students as he does,” Martinez said.

Martinez submitted this application for the award through IDSA.

“As our school principal, the students have selected him as the most spirited and involved Mustang on campus. This is because he is always cheering Mustangs onto victory at sporting events and applauding the contributions and accomplishments of our students involved in activities,” Martinez said.

Junior Alex Sitko is the leader and creator of a group of students who wear shirts with Schwartz’s face on them that say, “I Love Eddie.”

“When we found out that Mr. Schwartz was leaving us after this year, I tried making something for all students to remember him. There were many ideas that went around, but a friend suggested that we make shirts. I thought it was a great idea, so I went home, made the shirts and started taking preorders, and now we’re at over 60 orders,” Sitko said.

Sitko has created a group of students who show their love and appreciation for Scwartz and express how much he means to them as a principal.

“Just in the last week I can see all the smiles and laughs with kids that are wearing them, and that was my ultimate purpose. Even though Mr. Schwartz won’t be here after this year, we will always have something to remember him by,” Sitko said.

Schwartz talked about his reaction to the shirts that students wore.

“I was out of the building, and one of the teachers sent me an email. When I got back, I was going through the learning commons, and I saw a few of the kids had them on. That was very sweet,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz has been the principal of DGS for eight years, and has worked at South for 17 years. Over the years, he has made connections with students and staff alike.

Schwartz is often seen around the building talking and interacting with students. Students remember Schwartz in the student section with the crowds at every football game in the fall. Schwartz participated in dress up days throughout school spirit weeks and dressed up for the themed football games.

Senior Noah Rapinchuk said Schwartz is involved in student life.

“He says hi to everybody every day, and he’s at every football game in the front row, so I think he’s really involved in what his students are doing,” Rapinchuk said.

Associate Principal Karen Taylor reminisced on Schwartz’s involvement.

“One thing that always comes to mind when I think of Mr. Schwartz is him standing in the North-East corner of the stands by the student section of every football game, and weather permitting, he’s wearing flip flops. I also always picture him in the hallways greeting students and just a lot of student centered interactions that he has,” Taylor said.

Senior Mika Watson spoke on her memories of Schwartz.

“He’s always really involved and cares a lot for his students. He even showed up for my state meet that was two hours away for ten minutes, and that was really nice,” Watson said.

Schwartz spoke on what he plans to do after his contract ends on June 30.

“I don’t want to have a plan. I want to be able to do what I want, when I want. I want to travel, golf and work out; I love to work in my yard. I am looking to do anything I want to or nothing at all,” Schwartz said.