Former Dean Mr. O’Rourke Returns

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     After many years away from Fenwick, Mr. Terrence O’Rourke, a prized member of the faculty, has decided to return to Fenwick to teach high school students. 

     Mr. O’Rourke has made his journey back to Fenwick after many unique experiences. He is a firm believer that “everything happens for a reason if you open your heart and mind to God.” He is excited to be working with high school students again after many years of education and experience in the business field.

     Before coming to Fenwick, Mr. O’Rourke received degrees from DePaul University, Dominican University, and Northern Illinois University. He has completed additional graduate work at many schools, including Notre Dame and Harvard. Prior to his return to Fenwick, Mr. O’Rourke coached varsity soccer at Marist High School and substitute taught at high schools on the southeast side of Chicago. 

     When Mr. O’Rourke previously worked at Fenwick, he served for thirteen years; his last post was that of an assistant principal in charge of academics. However, Mr. O’Rourke had always wanted to see if he could succeed outside of education, and just at the right time, he received a unique opportunity from a friend in business. He claimed that leaving Fenwick was a very hard decision, but he remarked that “whenever you make a choice, you must have no regrets.” 

     During his business career, Mr. O’Rourke started several businesses and sold two. He has experience with home building and property development, environmental consulting, building demolition and asbestos abatement. After his business work, Mr. O’Rourke sought a new challenge as the new principal of two different Catholic elementary schools, including St. Albert the Great in Burbank, where Mr. O’Rourke helped increase the school’s enrollment. Following that success, the Archdiocese of Chicago asked Mr. O’Rourke to combine four grade schools into one on the northwest side, as envisioned by Cardinal Blase Cupich.

     After his business and education experience, Mr. O’Rourke missed the day-to-day interactions with students: teaching and coaching them. He received a job offer from Fenwick. Mr. O’Rourke is currently an honors and AP English teacher working with seniors. 

     Mr. O’Rourke claims that all of the Fenwick students are still empathetic, genuine, intelligent, and kind. Mr. O’Rourke is also excited to see that there have been many infrastructure changes at the school since his departure, and that there are still so many changes to come, including the additions of a parking garage and green space.

     When asked if there was anything he would change about Fenwick, Mr. O’Rourke responded with what he would not change. He hopes that Fenwick will continue to evolve and improve as it has always been doing. Mr. O’Rourke is continuing to make a positive impact on his students. He is looking forward to spending every day with them, reading papers, and supporting the athletics and activities. 

There is no doubt that Mr. O’Rourke has had an enriching and successful career in business and education, and that he will continue to make a positive impact on Fenwick and its students. When asked what advice he would give to students, he replied, “I have always told my students and athletes to make choices with no regrets. Do not fear the life in front of you but embrace each challenge with confidence. Open yourself to God’s will, and you will know you have done right.”

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