140 Years and Counting Lombard's Trinity Lutheran School Celebrates History of Religious Education

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Sanchez Daily Herald Staff Writer

In 1953 dozens of outraged mothers took dramatic action following the death of a Trinity Lutheran School student.

The women formed a human roadblock across Roosevelt Road where it meets Westmore-Meyers Road in Lombard - bringing traffic to a halt where a young girl was struck and killed by a car while walking to school.

They were protesting the lack of traffic signals and stop signs at the intersection near Trinity Lutheran School.

The protest drummed up lots of media attention. A photo of the women standing hand-in-hand across Roosevelt Road appeared on the front page of a Chicago newspaper.

More importantly, it led to the state installing traffic lights at the intersection.

It's one of many contributions to Lombard that Trinity Lutheran School parents, teachers and students are remembering as their school turns 140 years old.

"Everyone has that one great, good place," Trinity parent Lori Solyom said. "For some people, it's the bar where everyone knows their name. For Trinity church and school families, Trinity has become that great, good place."

For as long as anyone can remember, Solyom said, the school and adjoining Trinity Lutheran Church - built in 1868 - have been landmark fixtures on the northeast corner of Roosevelt and Westmore-Meyers roads.

"It's unbelievable that the school has been around that long," said Trinity Parent Sue Bower, who has a son in seventh grade and a daughter in fifth grade.

"I graduated from a Lutheran school too, so that's why I felt it was important to send my children to a Lutheran school as well," Bower said. "Trinity has been around so long and has so much to offer ... it was the clear choice."

One benefit of the school, which enrolls preschoolers through eighth-graders, is its "family" environment.

Principal Kenneth Krohse, who has been with the school since 1983, welcomes the 145 students outside the main doors every morning and sees them off as they go home at the end of the day.

Krohse said the school's size and relationship to the church create its family environment.

"The teachers and students all go to church together on Sunday and study together during the week," he said. "Everyone knows each other. I know all the students by name. I know their parents."

Bower said a positive relationship between Trinity's parents and 10 teachers helps parents be involved in their children's' education.

"You have more of a say," she said. "You are not lost in the school system. You are not just another face within a sea of faces. …