District 27 Mourns the Passing of Former Superintendent

We are sad to announce the passing of Dr. James Rohrabaugh, the superintendent of District 27 schools from 1969 to 1992.

Dr. Rohrabaugh left a far-reaching legacy in our schools and in the community of Northbrook. He was a member of the Northbrook Rotary, served on the Northbrook Plan Commission and was a very active member of the Village Presbyterian Church.

He provided sound leadership over one of the most tumultuous times in District 27’s history, when the housing market exploded in Northbrook. Enrollment reached its highest level 1971-1972 at 2,000 students. At one point, the District operated five schools to handle this large influx of students -- Shabonee, Grove, Indian Ridge, Wood Oaks and Hickory Point.

In an interview with the Northbrook Historical Society as part of its “Northbrook Voices” program, Dr. Rohrabaugh spoke about his first years in Northbrook. A native of Indiana, he had wanted to work in a large unit school district, encompassing grades K through 12. But he fell in love with his adopted town of Northbrook and District 27.

“I thought I would stay four years….” he said. “We decided it was such a wonderful community that my wife and I wanted to raise our children here.”

David Kroeze replaced Dr. Rohrabaugh as superintendent of District 27 schools in 1992. He called his predecessor a “pillar” in the Northbrook community.

“Dr. Rohrabaugh was an exceptional educational leader who led District 27 to a level of excellence experienced by only a few districts in our nation,” Dr. Kroeze said. “We have the deepest gratitude for Jim for his leadership and friendship. We will miss him very much, but his legacy of excellence will forever be woven into the fabric of District 27.”

Dr. Rohrabaugh is survived by his wife, Carol, children and grandchildren.


If you know Dr. Rohrabaugh, or had the pleasure of working with him in District 27 or in the community, please feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.