Russ Attis Celebrates 90-Year-Old Birthday Saturday, August 10, 2013 at Former Arlington High School

Russ Attis 1966
Russ Attis looks over his athletic field in 1966 at Arlington High School.

The last Athletic Director to serve at Arlington High School is Russ Attis, who arrived at Arlington High School as a physical education teacher and temporary replacement for an ailing track coach. He kept the job and became Athletic Director in his later years. Attis was at Arlington for the construction of the main gym — later named Grace Gym. That gym and a corner office near the gym, and the football field to the north was his domain.

More than a respected coach for the successful cross country teams and track and field teams, Russ Attis was a leader of character. He was as much interested in physical fitness for everyone — well before the fitness craze of the 1980s developed into the current interest in wellness and physical fitness. He was all about school spirit connected to athleticism and physical fitness, and how it related to an entire student’s whole being — intellectually and physically. To Russ Attis, that message to all students was as important as any sports trophy.

Russ Attis 1980
Athletic Director Russ Attis defined school spirit at Arlington High School and athletic character — as shown here in 1980 [MORE PHOTOS …].

Up to 1984, when Arlington High School was closed because of declining enrollment in District 214, Attis was remained a physically fit example to students. He led, but was never condescending. The school closing broke his heart, and he retired with the school building’s closure (Make sure you see Attis TURN YOUR SCARS INTO STARS SPEECH IN 2002 at ARLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL POST-CLOSING HOMECOMING in 2002). Attis kept up with his workouts, and today looks forward to being 90-years-young.

An informal reception is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday August 10, 2013 in the former home economics room just across the hallway that borders the south wall of Grace Gymnasium. There will be a cake-cutting and brief ceremony at 11 a.m. There is no charge for the event, which will include a chance take a look at the school — including Grace Gym, the Dragon Gym, hallways, Dean Guy Vena’s detention area, Bruno Waara’s and John Rowe’s principal’s office, the football field, and Christian Liberty Academy’s new track, and more.

Parking will be in the east lot at the southeast corner of Christian Liberty Academy (the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and Walnut Avenue). Escorts will be available from the Main Office door at the east entrance (Walnut Avenue) at the southeast corner of the old Arlington High.

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