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TF South track renamed in honor of Rich Dust

LANSING, Ill. (April 27, 2023) – Thornton Fractional High School District 215 Board Member Rich Dust received a special surprise during District 215’s April meeting, in the form of a naming honor.

Rich Dust Track

As part of the Superintendent’s report, Dr. Sophia Jones-Redmond surprised board member Rich Dust by renaming the Thornton Fractional South track field as the Rich Dust Track. 

“It is with great honor that based on policy, the superintendent may name a designated area on school property in honor of an individual that has performed outstanding service to the school district,” said Jones-Redmond.

Rich Dust Track
The TF South track will be renamed in honor of Board Member Rich Dust. (Photo: Quinton R. Arthur)

After graduating from college, Dust, a 1965 graduate of TF South, returned to teach social studies at his alma mater for 37 years. In addition to his role as a teacher, Dust served on the school board for 14 years and has held the title of president.

Coach Dust

Of all the service Dust has done, his most recognizable moniker is Coach Dust. He has coached softball, girls and boys track, and boys and girls cross-country. 

During his four seasons as a softball coach, the team won three conference titles. In his 29 seasons as a track coach, girls teams have won six conference championships in Illinois and Indiana. 

In his 36 seasons as a cross-country coach, the girls cross-country program won seven consecutive conference championships and three consecutive regional titles; the boys won two conference championships and one team were state qualifiers, finishing 18th overall. 

In 1972, Dust started the TF South Cross-Country Invite, which is now called the Rich Dust Invitational.

During the presentation, Dust’s family surprised him by attending the meeting. 

“I spent 37 years teaching, 14 years on the school board, four years at TF South. This is a wonderful surprise and I thank everyone” said Dust.

The official ribbon cutting for the Rich Dust Track will take place in the fall. 

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Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton R. Arthur
Quinton received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University and his Master of Science in Journalism from Roosevelt University. In addition to reporting for The Lansing Journal and the Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle, he volunteers with 100 Black Men of Chicago, Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Burst Into Books, and various other organizations. A south suburban resident since 2004, Quinton is passionate about telling the unsung stories of the community.