Education Blog

Illinois Remembers Patrick Dolan


Dave Heninzel

According to Google, “Glue” is an adhesive substance used for sticking objects or materials together.  When some people from Illinois begin to talk about public school districts and labor unions; the name Patrick Dolan comes to the forefront of these discussions.  For these people, Patrick Dolan was the glue between the two and was able to bring them together. Patrick worked tirelessly for years to help mold the working relationship between public school teachers unions and administration nationwide- and more importantly, here in Illinois.

Dusty Rhodes from the Education Desk at NPR Illinois takes a moment to share some reflections and facts about the impressive work that Patrick Dolan did with public education in the state of Illinois.  Mary McDonald was a teacher in the early 90’s and she shared some of her fond memories of Dolan:

“I was really a teacher in a classroom, and I was working on various committees with the union. At Dinner with Dolan. We had about 700 people show up at Southeast High School in an auditorium, and Patrick basically showed his frame of how you improve schools through a collaborative approach and partnership. The union has work to do and the district has work to do, and all of that is around student-centered learning.”

Memories like Mary’s McDonald’s make his work unforgettable and significant to educators in Illinois.  When not working hard for our schools and children, Patrick liked to enjoy his free time.  He loved to hunt and recently received an injury while out on a hunting trip.  He was placed in the hospital with this injury, and then a serious infection set in.  Unfortunately, this infection was fatal. Even though Patrick is no longer with us, his work will be remembered for years to come. The impact of Mr. Dolan’s work and legacy will not dwindle.