Harold G. Fearn was born on September 1, 1913 in Rosamond, Illinois, a rural farming community. He attended Pana High School and Eastern Illinois State Teacher’s College where he earned a master’s degree.
He taught in Elgin for a number of years and then became superintendent of schools in Plato, Illinois. He and his wife Evelyn had one child George.
Fearn served as superintendent of the West Aurora Schools for eighteen years (1954-1972). Eight schools were built during his tenure (Lucia Goodwin Elementary School, Frank H. Hall Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Wayne E. McCleery Elementary School, John P. Schneider Elementary School, Gertrude Scott Smith Elementary School, Hope D. Wall School and George Washington Junior High School).
Two schools were brought into the district when the citizens of Montgomery and North Aurora voted to join West Aurora. The Montgomery School was renamed for Grace Nicholson, who served the school for forty seven years, first as a teacher and later as principal. The North Aurora School remained open as a grade four to grade six center. It later closed and the new Lucia Goodwin Elementary School served those students.
Fearn partnered with the East Aurora School System to build a school for children with special needs on Indian Trail Court in the late 1960s. This school was named for Hope D. Wall.
He directed several expansions of West Aurora High School (a new north wing, field house, enlarged cafeteria, football stadium and auditorium). He also oversaw the move of the offices for the administration and board of education to River Street in downtown Aurora. Previously, these offices resided in the district’s grade schools. Fearn left an incredible legacy for the future of the district. Through his efforts, the district responded in an effective way to the growing needs of the citizens who resided in the West Aurora School District.
Mr. Fearn died in 2012 at the age of ninety-eight. He and his wife’s ashes reside at the Willowbrook Methodist Church in Sun City, Arizona. In 2001, the Harold G. Fearn Elementary School was opened and named in his honor.ness and honor. Mayor Finch has done well and is entitled to high credit for a most worthy appointment.”
HAROLD G. FEARN
Fearn Elementary School
1600 Hawksley Lane,