Author tells positive stories in new U46 book (Sun-Times Media)

by Emily McFarlan Miller

ELGIN — When Traci O’Neal Ellis of Elgin tried to think of places she could give back to her community — places where she had “sucked the most resources” — it was School District U46.

Ellis attended U46 schools. She met her husband, Elgin Public Works Supervisor Rick Ellis, in fifth grade at Century Oaks Elementary School in Elgin. Their children attended U46 schools.

Her mother, Carolyn O’Neal, was a teacher and principal of Oakhill Elementary School in Streamwood. Her late father, Ron O’Neal, was a teacher and longtime principal of Elgin High School, the first black U46 principal and a Kane County Educator of the Year.

Ellis now is a member of the U46 Board of Education, and hers is just one of the stories shared in Elgin author George Rawlinson’s just-released book “Looking In, Looking Up: A Year with School District U46.”

“It was very cool. It kind of captured, for me, the essence of how I feel about U46,” she said.

Rawlinson, who has written for The Courier-News and now published four books, signed copies of “Looking In, Looking Up: A Year with School District U46” at a publication party Thursday night at the Elgin Public House. More than 75 people passed through the event, including Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain, U46 Superintendent Jose Torres, U46 Board of Education members, administrators, teachers and students.

The book is “part daily diary, part academic travelogue,” according to Rawlinson, recording his travels from school to school, looking for positive stories in the Elgin school district, during the 2010-11 school year.

For the rest of the story, read Author tells positive stories in new U46 book (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media.