Forrest L. Tabor’s name hasn’t been forgotten across the Sauk Valley. The Rock Falls High School Board made sure of that when it named its busy school gymnasium after the legendary educator, who died last week at the age of 99.
Although Tabor served in other schools before moving here, Rock Falls High is where he made a name for himself, first as principal and then as superintendent. His 23-year tenure coincided with the enlargement of the science lab, a resurgent band program and other advances.
Tabor lent his considerable skills to the Sauk Valley at large. In the 1960s, he served on a committee that researched the need for a community college. After the Sauk Valley Community College district was formed, Tabor became the board of trustees’ first president. A few years later, he played a significant role in creating and leading the Bi-County Special Education Cooperative.
Those institutions have had a profoundly positive effect on thousands of Sauk Valley residents’ lives, due in no small part to Tabor’s visionary leadership.
Friends and co-workers were effusive in their praise of the qualities Tabor exhibited:
“He really cared about the Sterling-Rock Falls community.”
“A great example … of community service”
“A very wonderful person, very understanding, very patient with the students.”
Sterling Mayor Skip Lee worked with Tabor at RFHS and absorbed Tabor’s commitment to community service.
Lee observed, “We need more people like Forrest Tabor.”
People who are helpful, caring community servants.
People who are understanding and patient.
People who cultivate their skills and use them to help the community.
We salute Forrest Tabor’s fine career. We mourn his passing. We encourage residents to take Tabor’s last lesson to heart.