Longtime Field School educator Razes dies
Updated: August 20, 2012 6:22AM
Daniel Razes, an administrator, educator and mentor at Stanley Field Middle School for 43 years in Northbrook, died suddenly July 2.
Razes, who was 63, began his career at Field Middle School as a science teacher in 1970, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois.
He said he applied for a science teaching job at a neighboring high school and didn’t even know West Northfield School District 31 existed.
However, when the district heard about his application, he was asked to interview and offered a job at Field.
During his 41-year career, Razes taught science to sixth, seventh and eighth graders for 10 years, while at the same time earning a master’s degree in biology from Northeastern Illinois University, and a master’s degree in school administration from Loyola University. After becoming assistant principal of Field in 1980, Razes worked for seven different principals at Field; he said the job of assistant principal was the best fit for his personality and skills.
When he retired, Razes said, “I like the operational end of things. What I like is that no two days are ever the same. I have to wear a lot of hats and I am constantly juggling all of these different balls — discipline, student schedules, the lunchroom, sports programs and bus programs — to make sure that things run smoothly.”
Razes spent his entire career at Field and told staff at his retirement he had never wanted to leave.
“I started at Field and I stayed at Field 41 years. The district grew around me. I think I was very, very lucky to be in a community like this, surrounded by professional people.”
Razes described his retirement plans as “an open slate, an unfinished lesson plan, a project under construction, TBA.”
Field Principal Erin Murphy described Razes “as a man who embraced life and that was exemplified through his commitment to District 31 students and families for the past 42 years.”
She said although he retired in 2011, he continued to have a regular presence at Field during the school day, as well as at district activities.
“On a personal note,” she added, “he was more than a colleague, he was a mentor and a friend.”
Family and friends met at St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, for his funeral service. Interment was at Elmwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the Razes family asked memorial donations be sent to St. Andrew’s Church.