Arthur H. Illing (1895-1986), for whom Illing Junior High School is named, was the superintendent of schools in Manchester
from 1935 to 1961, during the town's most ambitious school-building period.
During his tenure as superintendent, Bowers and Verplanck schools were built in 1950; Waddell School in 1952; Buckley School in 1954; Keeney Street School and Manchester High School in 1956; and the North End Junior High School in 1960, which was later renamed the Arthur H. Illing Junior High School. Also during these years, additions were built on the South and Washington schools.
Illing assumed the superintendent's job in 1935 when Fred A. Verplanck retired. He started the push for audio-visual aids in the classroom; he also helped get social workers into the schools; and he set up a program for students with speech impediments.
Illing was born in Buckinghamshire, England, in 1895; and was a graduate of Simsbury High School and Wesleyan University. He taught math and science at Chapman Technical School in New London from 1920 to 1928, after which he became the principal of Stonington High School for 2 years. He came to Manchester in 1930 and was principal of the former Franklin Building of the high school. In 1934, he was appointed assistant superintendent of Manchester schools.
Illing was a charter member of the Manchester Rotary Club and a member of the Eastern Connecticut Schoolmen's Association, serving as its first president. He was also a charter member and trustee of the Lutz Children's Museum, and treasurer of the Manchester Historical Society.