Hinsdale Central High School

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Hinsdale Central High School
5500 S. Grant St.
Hinsdale, Illinois, 60521
United States
Coordinates 41°47′14″N 87°56′00″W / 41.7872°N 87.9332°W / 41.7872; -87.9332
School type public secondary
Opened 1879
School district Hinsdale Township High School District 86
Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law

Acting Superintendent of Schools

Principal Mr. Dr. Tom Paulsen

interim Principal

Faculty 352[1]
Grades 912
Gender coed
Enrollment 2,686[2]
Average class size 21.8[2]
Campus suburban
School color(s)      red
Athletics conference West Suburban Conference
Nickname Red Devils[3]
Average ACT scores 27.6[2]
Publication Solstice[4]
Newspaper 'Devils' Advocate[4]
Yearbook 'El Diablo[4]

Hinsdale Central High School, or HCHS (locally referred to as simply "Central") is a public four-year high school located at the corner of W. 55th St. and S. Grant St. in Hinsdale, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Founded in 1879, the school is well known for its large spending per student, academic excellence, and athletic programs. It is part of Hinsdale Township High School District No. 86, which also includes Hinsdale South High School. The school is 17 miles west of Chicago and serves a suburban residential area of approximately 35,000 people. The Central campus draws its students from all of the village of Hinsdale, majority of Clarendon Hills and Oak Brook, and small parts of Burr Ridge, Darien, Willowbrook and Westmont.[5]

The official name of the school is Hinsdale Township High School Central, often abbreviated Hinsdale TWP HS Central. This name is derived from the school's original name: Hinsdale Township High School (HTHS). "Central" was added to the original name when Hinsdale South High School opened in 1965.


Hinsdale High School was established in 1879 when community members began to see the need for education beyond eighth grade for their children. The first students, Alice Warren, Minnie Hinds, Grace Redfield, and Florence Webster graduated in 1883. In this period, there were five teachers, including the principal, teaching about 120 students in grades 1 - 12. All twelve grades shared the ca. 1866 schoolhouse at Garfield and Third Streets, built by William Robbins to serve the community he was developing.

In 1894 the school building burned, and was replaced by a new building on the same site. In 1911 the school district was reorganized, and the school became officially known as Hinsdale Township High School. In 1916 a new school building was completed nearby.

By the 1930s, a site for a new school to serve the growing community was purchased south of town at the corner of 55th & Grant Streets. Though a new football field was dedicated on this property in 1932, Depression and World War II constraints postponed construction until 1948. The current high school building was dedicated in 1950.

By the 1960s, two additional school sites were purchased. Hinsdale South High School opened in 1965 at the corner of Clarendon Hills Road and 75th Street in Darien. It was then that the word "Central" was added to the name of the school. The other property at the corner of Midwest Road and 31st Street in Oak Brook, for a potential Hinsdale North High School, was later determined to be not needed, and was sold. This property now forms part of the Trinity Lakes Subdivision.

In 2004, the school underwent additional construction to alleviate crowded hallways and rebuild deteriorating parts of the building. The reconstruction included a new 5 million dollar library, extended cafeteria, and connected hallways greatly opening up the campus and improving the flow of traffic.

In 2007, it was the only high school in the country to be nominated as a Character Counts school and was named Character Counts School of the Year [6]

In 2009, Hinsdale Central was named the National School Of Character by the Character Counts! organization.


In 2011, Hinsdale Central High School was rated the 69th best high school in the U.S. and ranked #3 in Illinois-based high schools by Newsweek Magazine's annual “America’s Best High Schools” feature.[7] Only Northside College Prep in Chicago (No. 24 nationwide) and Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora (No. 37 nationwide) placed ahead of Hinsdale Central in Illinois, although both of these schools have very selective admissions criteria.[7]

The Class of 2011 average SAT score was 1853.[7] With a 98% graduation rate and 97% college-bound-student rate, Hinsdale Central students are well-prepared for success, and flourishing in a challenging environment with a 20:1 student-to-teacher ratio.[7]

In 2013, The Chicago Sun Times ranked Hinsdale Central as the #1 suburban high school in the state of Illinois.[8]

The May 2012 Newsweek rankings document that the average ACT score was 27.2 and the average AP Score was 3.9.[9]


In recent years the administration has moved towards integrating technology into the daily life of the school. A so-called "Tablet Initiative" attempted to have every freshman from the class of 2009 purchase a tablet PC for use in classes. However, this initiative was met with poor enthusiasm, fewer than 10 notebooks were sold.[citation needed]

Grade notification, attendance, discipline records, schedules,and registration information are available online. Hinsdale Central has integrated their server with Microsoft's SharePoint Services solution as opposed to their original use of Blackboard in the 2003-2004 school year. Students and faculty members are also given a school email, running Microsoft Exchange Servers.

The school currently provides teachers with Tablet PCs, and the school is equipped with wireless internet access points. Tablet PC carts and desktop PC workstations are also available to students. Also, students at Hinsdale Central are allowed the option of bringing a laptop computer, tablet PC, or personal digital assistant for note taking and word processing in class. The school offers several wifi networks, each with varying degrees of access control and freedom.[citation needed]

Hinsdale Central has a fully equipped and operating radio room which powers its own radio station, WHSD 88.5 FM. This station is also operated by Hinsdale Central's sister school, Hinsdale South High School.

Student life[edit]

Athletics and clubs[edit]

One logo of the Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Hinsdale Central competes in the West Suburban Conference and is a member school in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in the state. Its teams are stylized as the Red Devils.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for young men and women in: basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. [10] There are teams for young men in baseball, football, and wrestling, while young women may compete in badminton and softball.[10] While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors teams for young men and women in lacrosse, and a team for young men in hockey.[10]

Hinsdale Central has finished in the top four of the following IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:[11]

In the 2006-07 season, the girls lacrosse team won the state championship.[12] In 2007-08 and 2009-2010 the girls lacrosse team finished 3rd in state.[13] In 2010-11 the girls lacrosse team finished 2nd in state.[14] In 2011-12 the girls lacrosse team finished 3rd in state.[14]

The boys gymnastics team's 33 top ten finishes and nine state titles is the state record.[15]

The boys tennis team's 57 top ten finishes and 19 state championships is a state record.[16] The girls tennis team's 34 top ten finishes is the second highest total in state history, though their 11 state titles is the state record.[17]

The boys swimming & diving team's 44 top ten finishes and 17 state titles is the second highest totals in state history.[18] The girls swimming & diving team, similarly, is second in state history with 27 top ten finishes and 7 state championships.[19]


The school offers more than one hundred clubs,[citation needed] including community service organizations, academic competition teams, foreign language groups, and special interest clubs. Many clubs have won local and state awards and competitions.

The following IHSA sponsored competitive activities have finished in the top 4 of their respective state tournament:[11]

  • Chess: State Champions (1972–73); 3rd place (2009-2010); 3rd place (2010-2011); 7th place (2011-2012), 4th place (2012-2013)
  • Individual Events: 3rd place (2007–08)
  • Scholastic Bowl: 2nd place (1997–98, 2001–02); State Champions (1991–92)

In November 2013 the school newsmagazine, Devils' Advocate, was awarded the prestigious National Scholastic Press Association Newspaper Pacemaker Award for the 2012-2013 school year's publication.

Sexual assault[edit]

During the years 2000-2004 two female students were sexually assaulted by the men's basketball coach, Bob Mueller, who was also a teacher at the school. The school district received sharp criticism for its handling of the cases, as school administrators did not immediately report the abuse to the authorities when tipped by an anonymous caller. The DuPage county State's Attorney argued that school administrators violated a state law mandating abuse reporting when they decided to conduct their own investigation instead of contacting the authorities. The superintendent and principal at the time were not charged with any crimes after they signed an agreement to improve training of the staff and to report suspected abuse in the future.[20] The teacher is now serving 32 years in prison for eight counts of criminal sexual assault. The two girls testified they had consensual sexual relationships with the teacher.[21]

Identity theft[edit]

In the 2004-2005 school year, two students broke into the school's server and obtained the Social Security numbers of the student body and faculty.[22] The incident was reported to authorities on May 12, 2005.[23] The school's administration was not aware of this network security breach for several months, but upon finding out the principal sent a letter home, stating "Our investigation is on-going, but the students seemed to be more focused on entering files to demonstrate that they could gather the data than on actually using the Social Security numbers." [24] Hinsdale Central High School administrators gave the Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission as a precaution. There was no indication that the students used the Social Security numbers they obtained, and both students later claimed to have destroyed the information obtained. However, some incident reports indicate that the information was retained by the students.[22] There is no way to verify if the Social Security numbers were actually destroyed. As a result of this incident, Hinsdale Central no longer keeps electronic records of Social Security numbers of its students and faculty. The IT department restructured the system to prevent future security breaches, but it is unclear if the changes have helped. The two students were indefinitely suspended from the school network.[24][25]

Turf Field[edit]

On August 17, 2009, the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education voted to install artificial fields at both schools in the district. The new field is said to be of better quality than ordinary fields and may be safer as well.[26] Central Coach Skipper Begley noted how the artificial field would allow for more practice out of the year, because bad weather often hinders practice.[27] There have also been plans to erect an inflatable dome over the turf field in September 2009, but as of now, such plans have not gone into effect.[28]

The turf field was completed over summer 2010, the last class to graduate on "Old" Dickinson Field being the class of 2010.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Staff listing for HCHS; accessed 10 July 2009". Central.hinsdale86.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Illinois School Report Card". Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Hinsdale Central HS information; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  4. ^ a b c 2008-09 list of student activities at Hinsdale Central HS; accessed 3 May 2009[dead link]
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Character Counts! Chronicle". Charactercounts.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  7. ^ a b c d "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC (“NDB”). Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  8. ^ ; "Top 100 High Schools in Illinois". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  9. ^ "America’s Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek Magazine. The Daily Beast, Newsweek. May 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c "HCHS Athletic Department; accessed 2 August 2009". Athletics2000.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  11. ^ a b "Hinsdale Central Season Summaries; IHSA.org; accessed 2 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  12. ^ "2007 State Tournament results; Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association; accessed 2 August 2009". Ihswla.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  13. ^ "2008 State Tournament results; Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association; accessed 2 August 2009". Ihswla.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  14. ^ a b primary source Brad Anlauf
  15. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Gymnastics; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  16. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Tennis; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  17. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Girls Tennis; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  18. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Swimming & Diving; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  19. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Girls Swimming & Diving; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  20. ^ Coach's case tests abuse reporting law Hinsdale Central officials under fire
  21. ^ Kelley, Lane (2007-03-01). "Mueller sentenced to 32 years - Downers Grove, IL - Downers Grove Reporter". Mysuburbanlife.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  22. ^ a b "Application Security Database Hacks and Security Breaches". Appsecinc.com. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  23. ^ "High school students access Social Security numbers". Datalossdb.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  24. ^ a b Two students investigated for identity theft at high school
  25. ^ "A Chronology of Data Breaches". Privacyrights.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  26. ^ "AstroTurf." Hinsdale Township High School District 86. Web. 08 June 2010. <http://www.hinsdale86.org/archived_news/Pages/AstroTurf.aspx>.
  27. ^ Reports, Staff. "Artificial Grass Turf Takes Root on Many Area Soccer Fields - Huntley, IL - Huntley Farmside." Home - Downers Grove, IL - MySuburbanLife.com. Huntley Farmside. Web. 08 June 2010. <http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/huntley/sports/x1681294163>.
  28. ^ Woodward, Steve. "Covering the Stealth Dome | Hinsdale Talks." Home Page | Hinsdale Talks. Web. 08 June 2010. <http://www.hinsdaletalks.com/?q=node/1648>.
  29. ^ Bosch, Sandy (2010-07-27). "Bosch, ; 'New BP chief has Hinsdale connection''; 27 July 2010; ''Pioneer Local''; accessed 27 July 2010". Pioneerlocal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g Bell, Taylor (2007-08-22). "Bell, Taylor; ''Hinsdale Central - High School of the Week''; 22 August 2007; ''Chicago Sun-Times''; accessed 3 May 2009". Suntimes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  • Baaken, Timothy. HINSDALE. Hinsdale, Ill.: Hinsdale Doings, 1976.
  • Dugan, Hugh. VILLAGE ON THE COUNTY LINE. Privately Printed, 1949.
  • Sterling, Tom, and Mary Sterling. HINSDALE AND THE WORLD. Hinsdale, Ill.: Sterling Books, 19

External links[edit]