Who was Joseph Arthur?
In 1984 Joe Arthur came to Central School District #104 with a vision. He believed that one day Central would grow to be the wonderful school district it is today. He and his staff strove to improve Central’s academic performance. He worked with the School Board to make considerable physical plant improvements during difficult and trying times including: overseeing the repair of dilapidated facilities, reopening the school library, completing a major expansion of Central and purchasing the land for the new middle school. It was with his leadership and dedication as the superintendent and principal that Central flourished.
When those who knew him think of Joe Arthur, they remember a gentleman who gave his heart and soul to the children of Central School. He ensured that every student was able to participate in sports events or field trips even if it meant he sometimes anonymously paid their fees. One of the building improvements that he was especially proud of was the construction of the Central School gymnasium. It was all about the kids and he wanted them to play their home games in a gym they could be proud of rather than in their cafeteria/all-purpose room.
Joe created a family atmosphere at Central that was fun loving, cohesive and supportive. He was famous for greeting kids and staff with “Hey Bud” or “Here comes Hewey, Dewey and Louie”. This would bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Christmas was Joe’s favorite holiday of the year. He wanted every little girl and boy to have a special day so he made sure that Santa Claus visited their classroom every year, listening to the children's wishes and giving them a treat. Ironically, Joe passed away on Christmas Day in 2002 at the young age of 55.
As an ambassador for Central School, he was a respected and loved community leader who did much to improve the name and acceptance of Central in the greater community. Joe had researched and planned for the future of Central School District. One of his last major contributions to the district was figuring out a way for the district to buy the land for the middle school. When the new middle school was built in 2008, it was named “Joseph Arthur Middle School” in his honor.