Sports helps bring Union Ridge principal to education
Union Ridge Elementary School Principal Michael Maguire speaks to students during Friday's back-to-school assembly in Harwood Heights. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:54PM
HARWOOD HEIGHTS — Union Ridge Elementary School’s principal knows quite a bit about the area in which he works.
“I grew up on the Chicago side of the border between the city and Harwood Heights,” said Michael Maguire, who has served in his current position for three-and-a-half years. Before that, he was assistant principal three-and-a-half years at the Harwood Heights grammar school.
“I like it here,” he said, “and I was fortunate to get this position.”
Maguire earned his bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University at Charleston and his master’s degree in education administration from Loyola University at Chicago. He embarked on a career in education because of his love of sports.
“I was a (physical education) teacher,” he said. “I wanted to be a coach.”
And while he said he enjoyed being in the classroom, changing his career path to administration has been for the better.
Maguire praised the community for the value it places on education.
“This is a very diverse school,” he said, “but the students are classy, optimistic and very well behaved.”
He viewed those qualities as a reflection on the parents, who have instilled the values of community.
“The parents are really involved,” he said. “When we held open house recently, the place was packed.
“This is such a caring community,” he added.
Maguire said Union Ridge’s staff sets it apart from other schools.
“The faculty is world-class, outstanding and diverse in age and experience,” he said. “They work well together.
“Everything they do is for the betterment of the school. It’s a team effort.”
Away from work, sports still have a hold on him.
“I love to play sports,” he said. “I love to watch sports, especially golf, football and softball.”
He also admits to another diversion.
“I like music and attending concerts,” he said.