Outdoor classroom fitting tribute to retiring District 28 superintendent

  • Dr. Larry Hewitt

    Dr. Larry Hewitt

Updated 8/11/2022 12:05 PM

An outdoor classroom at Northbrook Junior High is planned to honor Dr. Larry Hewitt, who presided over his final Northbrook School District 28 board meeting as superintendent of schools on June 21.

It's perfect for a 33-year educator, the last 15 in District 28, who grew up on a farm in Manlius, Illinois.


At a June 1 open house to celebrate Hewitt's tenure, District 28 board President Tracy Katz Muhl unveiled plans for the Larry Hewitt Outdoor Classroom, adjacent to the outdoor garden at the junior high. The space will offer native plants and landscaping, and stone seating areas for students, plus a stone teacher's desk.

More than 100 staff members, board members, retired district personnel and community members attended the open house.

On June 21, Hewitt presented the 2021-22 year-end report for the district's strategic plan, Navigate 28, then addressed his departure.

"I want to thank the board for these past several years," Hewitt said in a District 28 release. "One of the reasons this district works well is because of the board. The community has elected great board members, and you are continuing a wonderful tradition. There has been a terrific group of people through the years."

At the start of the school year, Hewitt told the Herald his highlights with District 28 included $23 million in renovations to Greenbriar and Westmoor elementary schools, and Northbrook Junior High achieved, without a referendum, instituting a STEM class at the junior high, adding full-day kindergarten and also adding an early childhood program for 3- and 4-year-olds.

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He also noted presenting an option for parents to send their children to school or to keep them home to participate in remote learning when the 2020-21 school year began under the COVID-19 pandemic. Hewitt said dealing with the pandemic was the most challenging part of his career.

"As a superintendent, it's not about me, it's about all of us," Hewitt told the Herald on the first day of the 2021-22 school year. "I think that's what I've tried to cultivate, is that sense of camaraderie and teaming. We can do great things together."

Hewitt retired July 1; the new District 28 superintendent is Jason Pearson, former St. Charles Unit District 303 superintendent.

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