It is always our pleasure to host student groups from our neighborhood educational partner, Jacqueline Vaughn Occupational High School. This is a unique school for students with special needs that has a faculty committed to helping these students take advantage of their talents.

Today, we hosted Ms. Marlene Winn, a Vaughn teacher and school leader in career development, with a group of sophomores. We appreciated their interest in careers at Eli’s and the opportunity to take advantage of the resources of Wright College.

Monday started with a rain storm so it was great to be able to get the group out on our patio. Vaughn is just 1 1/2 miles east of Eli’s and the group took public transportation over for their tour.

Vaughn teacher, Marlene Winn, and Eli’s Marc Schulman, with Eli’s associate, Ivan Hernandez in the center. Ivan joined Eli’s as an intern in his senior year and has become a valuable member of Eli’s team.


History of Jacqueline
Vaughn Occupational High School from the Vaughn web site

The Jacqueline Vaughn
Occupation High School has a history that spans almost three decades. Our
enrollment has always consisted of special education students with cognitive
disabilities. Our primary focus was to provide an academic program that prepared
students for the World of Work and fostered self-reliance and social

The Jacqueline Vaughn
Occupational High School originally was created in 1968 as a part of three
occupational high schools serving areas “A”, “B”, and “C”. Our school was called
Occupational Center C and was located at 2508 N. Maplewood Avenue. The other two
schools later became known as McLaren and Las Casa. Our first principal, Bruce
Berndt, was also overseer of the other two branches. Conrad DePaul was the first
assistant principal and was also the person most instrumental in creating the
program. We had approximately 140 students.

In 1975, the school
name was changed to Orlando W. Wilson Occupational High School after the
reformist former Chicago Police Commissioner and criminal justice

In 1978, we moved to
the old Mayfair Junior College building on 4626 N. Knox Avenue, now the
Irish-American Heritage Center. We occupied the entire third floor, with the
district offices on the first floor. At this time, Conrad DePaul accepted the
position with the Chicago Teachers Union and William Bandelin, our counselor,
became acting administrator. We were officially a branch of Prosser High

In 1982, we again moved
to the third floor of Beaubien Elementary School at 5025 N. Laramie Street,
under its principal Dr. Thomas Plain and assistant principal Mr. James Pawelski.
When the building enrollment became too large and conditions became cramped; the
decision was made to obtain our own facility. By this time, Mr. Jay F. Mulberry
was assigned as principal of Orlando W. Wilson Occupational High

In 1992, under the
leadership of Mr. Mulberry and the determination of Mrs. Marlene Curylo, then
the Local School Council president, our staff found the present building at 4355
N. Linder Avenue and the Chicago Board of Education purchased it from the
Illinois Bell Telephone Company. The building was designed with input from
teachers, students, and parents. The state-of-the-art facility is fully
handicapped-accessible with a fully-functioning food preparation laboratory,
exercise room, and a modern cafeteria. After two years of hard work, planning
and development, the school again was renamed.

On April 1, 1993, and
with great pride, our school was officially renamed Jacqueline Vaughn
Occupational High School after the late and courageous president of the Chicago
Teachers Union and special education teacher.

In 1998, Ms. Nancy J.
Mayer was assigned as principal of Vaughn with Anita Andrews as assistant
principal. In 1999, Patricia Woodson succeeded Ms. Andrews as the assistant
principal of Vaughn. Through their leadership, we are preparing our students for
the new millennium.