In 1980, three women came together with a shared goal: to begin a high quality school in the North Lawndale community.
With limited resources, these women began renovating the second-floor of a three-flat building in North Lawndale to create Lawndale Community School. They creatively transformed the space into two classrooms for primary and middle school students, a library, a reading and testing room, and a storage area. They had to obtain supplies, instructional materials, equipment and furniture through donations. Mrs. Margaret V. Romano joined these three women in their mission about a year after the school’s inception. She quickly became a strong advocate for the power of education – not only of the mind but also the heart.
Together, their perseverance and dedication allowed the small but mighty Lawndale Community School to grow from 11 students to a waiting list of over 500 students.
In 2001, Lawndale Community School applied for charter school status, resulting in the transition to LEARN Charter School. Over the course of its 36 year history, LEARN evolved from the small private school to a growing, thriving public charter school network. From conception, LEARN has been blessed with champions who truly believe in our vision and have worked tirelessly to bring it to fruition. Margaret Romano was one of the key leaders who brought LEARN to life, which is why we are deeply saddened by the news of her passing.
Described as the mother and heart of LEARN by scholars today, Mrs. Romano possessed a profound, unwavering commitment to LEARN as a founder, indefatigable volunteer, educator, board member and proud Life Trustee.
“Mrs. Romano will be greatly missed not just by those of us who knew her and worked with her at LEARN, but by the entire community in North Lawndale,” says Greg White, President and CEO of LEARN. “Mrs. Romano has always believed in the dreams and goals of the scholars and inspired them to persevere and reach for the stars. She has always been there for the scholars and will be greatly missed.”
We are grateful for the 38 years of passion, service and friendship that we have been blessed to receive from Mrs. Romano. We love you, and we thank you.