It is Our Mission to Produce Lifelong Learners

Orr Community Academy was first established as an elementary school in 1918. It later became a branch of Austin in 1920 and then a prevocational school for 7th and 8th grade boys in 1940. It was the temporary headquarters for Our Lady of Angels Catholic School following the 1958 fire, and it became a branch of Marshall High School in 1962. 

Rezin Orr High School opened to 240 freshmen and sophomores in September 1963. A junior class was added in 1964, and a senior class in 1965. The present school building designed by the firm of the world- famous architect, Mies van der Rohe, opened in July 1973. In 1985 Orr was reorganized and renamed Orr Community Academy. 

Rezin Orr, the man for whom the school was named, was born June 18, 1854, in Licking County, Ohio. When he was nine years old, his father moved the family to Indiana, where Mr. Orr grew up and taught school for a short time. He moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and devoted the rest of his life to helping workers improve their working conditions. In Fort Wayne, he was a member of the first labor union, the Knights of Labor Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railroad Employees of America. When Mr. Orr died in Detroit, Michigan, on October 21, 1917, he was nationally known as a man dedicated to education and improving the life of the worker.



Orr Academy High School

730 N. Pulaski Ave.
Chicago , IL 60624

Enrollment: 417
A CPS Neighborhood School

Principal's Message


Greetings and Welcome to Orr Academy High School!

As we continue on our path of academic success and demonstrate higher order thinking skills, it is important that our students remain active in after-school programs and extracurricular activities. These are essential undertakings that aid in developing our students behavioral patterns and soft skills. Students and staff respecting one another is a key ingredient to student achievement and success. One-on-one coaching and advising can have a tremendous effect on student performance. These are only a small number of useful tools that are available to heighten learning. It is my sincere desire and objective to use all of the available academic resources that will make our students superior learners and better citizens in all communities. 

Again, thank you very much for welcoming me and I look forward to serving the Orr Academy High School community.


Ms. Shanele Andrews



Our Growth In

Steady, positive improvements in academic achievement, student engagement, and parent satisfaction are hallmarks of all AUSL-managed CPS schools. You will find reports for Orr Academy High School to the right.

Our History

Building on Our History to
Create a Culture of Excellence

Orr Academy High School is named in honor of Rezin Orr (1854-1917), an early labor leader. Orr taught for several years in Indiana before becoming a street car driver and a motorman in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Later, Orr moved to Indianapolis to help organize the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America and served as secretary and treasurer of the union until his death.

Orr Academy High School’s original building was built in 1919 as an elementary school. In 1962, Orr was used as a branch of Marshall High School, before officially becoming Orr High School in 1964. In 1966, a 35-room addition opened to students, relieving overcrowding at the school.

As enrollment continued to increase, a new site for Orr Academy High School was approved in 1970 on the southwest corner of Chicago Avenue and Pulaski Road. The three-story academic building, designed by the firm of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, is linked to a two-story physical education center. The building was designed around four clusters that could hold 500 students each. Each cluster includes its own large lecture area, seminar rooms, labs, and dining area. The building opened to students in the fall of 1973. In 1985, Orr was reorganized and renamed Orr Community Academy.

Orr has seen many reform strategies. The school was reconstituted in 1997, which meant that faculty were required to reapply for their positions. In 2002, Orr was converted into four smaller schools (Applied Art Science and Technology Academy [A.A.S.T.A]; EXCEL Academy; Mose Vines; and Phoenix Military Academy, which moved out of Orr and into a new location. When AUSL took over management in 2008, Orr’s small schools were consolidated into one large school.

The building was renovated in 1995 and 2008. Orr contains 88 classrooms and serves 660 students.


AUSL (Academy for Urban School Leadership) is a Chicago nonprofit school management organization that creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) turned over management of Orr Academy High School to AUSL in 2008 as a turnaround school. Turning around a school is one approach that CPS uses to improve neighborhood schools that have been failing for many years. The transformation begins with the new leadership and teachers in the building to deliver effective instruction and the right climate and culture to the same neighborhood students.

AUSL is committed to to providing all AUSL students with a quality education to prepare them for college and career.

Staff List

Questions for Our Staff?

If you have any questions, the Orr Academy staff will be happy to assist you.


Fax: 773-534-6504


Ms. Shanele Andrews
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Mr. Thomas Johnson
Dean and Athletic Director
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Ms. Pamela Greyer
English IV,
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Ms. Susan Juhl
English II and Foundational Writing Teacher
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Ms. Lindsey Williston
Foundational Writing, Advisory, and Drama Teacher
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Support Staff

Ms. Patricia Colon
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Ms. Gale Ollie
Main Office
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