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HIASAA - Highland Community School District 5
Highland Community School District 5
HIASAA - St. Paul Catholic School - Highland, IL
St. Paul Catholic School
HIASAA - Highland Community School District 5
Highland Community School District 5
HIASAA - St. Paul Catholic School - Highland, IL
St. Paul Catholic
School
HIASAA
Highland Illinois Area School Alumni Association
HIASAA
Highland Illinois Area School
Alumni Association
HIASAA
Highland Illinois Area School Alumni Association
HIASAA - Highland Community School District 5
HIASAA - St. Paul Catholic School
Gathering
Gathering
Gathering
Staff, Classmates and Alumni
Staff, Classmates and Alumni
2014 HIASAA Hall of Fame Member
Jerome Zobrist - Career Public Service
If you grew up in Highland in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s, you've probably met Jerome Zobrist. You have most likely benefitted from a program steered by him. While he wasn't Highland's first Recreational Director (the late Dick Hebrank was in the position for a year), he was the longest tenured and was the guiding light for programs ranging from youth basketball to Senior Citizen's bingo.

Zobrist graduated from Highland High School in 1952 and headed off to SIU-Carbondale. After a semester, he came home, got married and joined the work force. The Weinheimer Building opened in late 1953. A year later the position of Weinheimer supervisor was announced and he got the job. Keeping the Weinheimer and its many programs functioning was never a 9 to 5 job. On many days Zobrist was at the facility from 8AM to 9PM. This was especially true in the winter when basketball leagues and roller-skating kept the building open four nights a week. In the early years the staff consisted of Jerome and family members. Despite the long hours, Zobrist relayed that he had a lot of fun in the job. It wasn’t usual for two or three generations of the same family to come through the recreational programs. Those memories are special to him. Many of those multi-generations became the volunteers to help the undermanned department keep the programs afloat, according to Zobrist. In the early 60s, “we couldn’t have functioned nearly as well without help from the community. The people of Highland were always there for us,” he said.

Zobrist was named the Director of Parks and Recreation. The new title meant he reported to the City Manager. It also meant he could expand his department outside the boundaries of the Weinheimer Building. Taking the lead and with the backing of the city fathers, he began forming what is now the Highland Parks and Recreational Department. City parks developed by him include Spindler Park, Silver Lake and Silver Lake Park, Hoffman Park, Water Tower Park, Merwin Park and Glik Park. A few years later, his department took over operations of the Highland Swimming Pool and the Highland City Cemetery. In his 40-plus years at the helm he developed and supervised programs that included every demographic group in Highland. Among those he is most proud are the Weinheimer Senior Citizens, Highland Teen Town (for students at Highland and St. Paul High Schools), the Highland Playground Program, the Highland Youth Baseball and Softball Program, the Highland Optimist Basketball Program and the Highland Lions Girls Basketball Program.

Zobrist has received many awards for his tireless dedication to Highland and its citizens. He has been the Grand Marshall of the Schweizerfest Parade, received the Highland Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellowship, recipient of the Homer Poss Lifetime Achievement Award and the George H. Khoury Baseball Association's Meritorious Service Award. He even has a ball field at Glik Park named for him. A 37-year member of the Southern Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, he is a member of the Highland Historical Society as well as a founding member of the Highland Arts Council.
2017 HIASAA
HALL OF FAME BALLOT
DOWNLOAD the 2017 HIASAA Hall of Fame Ballot HERE!. Print it, fill it out and mail it in by May 31, 2017. Voting open from 5/1/17 to 5/31/17.
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© 2006-2017 HIASAA | Bylaws | Sitemap
Certified Non-Profit
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