The face of Central: who is Monopoly Man?

For the past 9 years, he has paraded through the halls, the cafeteria, the grounds. He has vigilantly kept watch over students, only interfering when conflict arises. He is known for his mustache and peering eyes. He has become the striking symbol of Hinsdale Central.

This man, of course, is the Monopoly Man.

Mr. Dave Stringer is Central’s Monopoly Man. And while all Central students know of him, not many are well acquainted with the famous student superviser. Many students are clueless about the origins of Stringer’s nickname “Monopoly Man.” The beginnings of the name are humble.

“Five years ago, there was a young man in the cafeteria behaving inappropriately, so I started to talk to him about it,” Stringer said.  “But he was very belligerent.” This student then angrily retorted to Stringer that he looked like the Monopoly Man from the board game Monopoly.

This title was meant to be offensive, but instead it was embraced by both Stringer himself and the entire student body. The nickname spontaneously appeared off-the-cuff.

“If that young man hadn’t said that, then I don’t think it would have been [my nickname],” Stringer said.

Throughout that year, the name significantly grew in popularity.

“That first year, I had about maybe 150-200 yearbooks that I had to sign – it was kind of flattering,” Stringer said.

Over the next few years, the legend of the Monopoly Man had disseminated throughout Central and feeder middle schools. Stringer’s face became part of the iconic lore of Central. Stringer has completely embraced this image. Every Halloween, Stringer dresses up as the Monopoly Man, complete with a homemade Monopoly board and suit.

“I get asked constantly if I’m going to be the Monopoly Man again next year [for Halloween],” Stringer said, and he insists that as long as he is still asked, he will still continue to dress up.

While intended to be malicious, the nickname Monopoly Man “[represents] a good relationship,” Stringer said. “Students here are probably the best of any that I have ever encountered. We have a few here who obviously have problems, but they are in the minority. The vast majority are really wonderful kids.”

Stringer is well known for his no-nonsense style. He is famously known for enforcing the rules of the school with little tolerance for deviation from them. But, ultimately, Stringer acts this way not to persecute Central students – he seeks to protect.

“I look upon all of you [students] as my kids,” Stringer said. “I don’t want to see anything go wrong with [Central’s students].” Over the past decade, Stringer has become deeply involved with student life. In the 2012 fall play, the Laramie project, Stringer participated in the production as an actor.

“I was drafted into being a character in the play,” Stringer said. He then laughed, “I have seen virtually every play here except that one because I was in it.” But Stringer’s activities with students don’t stop there. He has attended meetings and getaways with Central’s popular social club Snowball. “Snowball was really probably the most moving experience I’ve had here in this group, besides making all the friends [over the years],” Stringer said.

Every year, Stringer meets more and more new students, constantly enlarging his social influence. As new freshman classes rotate in, he is quick to greet the newcomers and make an impression. But as these new students come in, he must say goodbye to the students he met four years ago.

“May is my worst month because I lose a lot of friends,” Stringer said.

The graduating seniors always contain many of Stringer’s closest friends. However, he is excited to watch the graduates begin their adulthood adventure.

“I get a lot of emails from students who graduate telling me what they are doing and how they are getting on. I enjoy that – I love that,” Stringer said. “It tells me I’ve done something right. It’s one of the reasons I keep coming back.”

Students embrace Monopoly Man’s legacy despite his tough love mentality.

“I have to say that [Stringer’s legacy will include] his stern hall monitoring and his passion for monitoring,” said Jack Griffin, senior. “He’s witty. Charming.”

Stringer recently had a heart surgery to repair a faulty aortic valve. Stringer missed several weeks in recovery, and his absence did not go unnoticed. However, Stringer returned very healthy.

“[My heart] has been fixed good. The aortic valve has been replaced and so everything is cool. And now I’m officially a part of the zipper club,” said Stringer, laughing and referring to his chest scar.

Stringer hopes to continue supervising students in Central’s halls for years to come.

“I don’t know [how much longer I will be at Central],” Stringer said. “It depends on a lot of things. My health, for instance, right now is good, but who knows?  When my health starts to fail, then I probably won’t be here.”

For now, Central students can expect many more years of the famous Monopoly Man.