“Local Girl” Wendy Antrim is Like a Second Mom

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Clare Lawler, Managing Editor

Art teacher Wendy Antrim, a self-described “local girl,”  is retiring after 39 years. 

She taught a plethora of art classes, but she also taught tech, business, and music. Outside of teaching, Antrim was a Personnel Director, Girls Track and Cross Country Coach, and a Faculty Advisor of Forest Trails.

Perhaps Antrim has such an in-depth understanding of LFHS  because she also attended the school as a teenager.

“I guess you could say that I am ‘a local girl.’ My dad built our Lake Bluff house in the 1950’s. I spent 39 years as an administrator and teacher at the high school. Our current home is less than a 1/2 mile from where I grew up,” said Antrim. “I vividly remember how big and daunting LFHS, even West Campus, was to me as an incoming freshman from the 60 member class at St. Mary’s.  I was a member of the first Freshman class to attend West Campus when it opened.”

Fellow art teacher Jennifer Thomas praised Antrim’s extensive knowledge of LFHS .

Her time at LFHS has made her a wealth of information about the school and its history,” said Thomas.

Antrim feels very comfortable at LFHS and often assists students who need a little support.

“Mrs. Antrim is like a second mom to many at school. Many of our art students know that her room is a safe space for them. A place where they will be supported and encouraged.  Personally, Mrs. Antrim has been a source of encouragement and support for me as well. She is always willing to help me write a tough email, celebrate an accomplishment, or lend a hug on a bad day,” said Thomas.

Antrim isn’t just a second mom to some students, however. She is the actual mother of seniors Ryan and Steve Antrim.

Her children admire her both as a teacher and as a mother.

“She had a passion for art, and she was able to stick with that for her entire teaching career,” said Steve Antrim.

Ryan Antrim believes that his mother’s passion for art can be applied to other aspects of life as well.

“Her ability to work hard and practice something over and over again is what helped shape me as a person over the years,” he said.

She leaves with a lot of great memories, including the time Varsity Football Coach Chuck Spagnoli let her call the opening play of the season two years ago. 

“I got a chance to go down on the field right as the game started.  I  gave my play to Coach Spagnoli, and watched as the long pass tipped off the hands of Ryan Cekay in the end zone.  He told me later he gave it his best effort as usual!” she said. 

Antrim has plenty planned to keep her busy once she retires. She isn’t leaving LFHS entirely yet; she plans to stay involved with LFHS through substitute teaching.

Ryan and Steve Antrim are both heading to Carelton College to play baseball next year, and Antrim plans to watch many of their games, something she was pained to miss this spring.

“Coach DelFava has built a program strong enough so that even good players, players that will eventually play in college, have to wait until their senior year to make major contributions.  This year’s group was one of the strongest in recent memory,” she said.  “My sons have been waiting for this opportunity since they were 9-year-old Lake Bluff baseball players. It was really a shame their season was cancelled through no fault of their own.”

Most of all, Antrim says she is planning to continue to smile and enjoy life.