Joliet West High School

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For schools of a similar name, see West High School (disambiguation).
Joliet West High School
401 North Larkin Avenue
Joliet, Illinois, 60435
United States
Coordinates 41°31′45″N 88°7′33″W / 41.52917°N 88.12583°W / 41.52917; -88.12583Coordinates: 41°31′45″N 88°7′33″W / 41.52917°N 88.12583°W / 41.52917; -88.12583
Type Public secondary
Established 1964
Principal Teresa Gibson
Faculty 322
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 3005[1] (June 2014)
Campus Suburban
Color(s)      Black
Mascot Tiger
Newspaper Tiger Tales
Yearbook Alpha Omega

Joliet West High School, along with Joliet Central, makes up district 204 Joliet Township High School district in Joliet, Illinois. West's mascot is the Tiger.


The school was originally constructed in 1964, one year after its identical sister school Joliet East, and has since been added onto 4 times. The first addition, completed in the early 1980s, added a bookstore to the cafeteria, additional space around the maintenance area, a multi-purpose room by the gymnasiums (primarily used for dance and wrestling), six additional classrooms, and a greenhouse. That greenhouse was later torn down.

The second and third additions (not shown in the picture) were completed as two consecutive projects, adding several additional classrooms, a new band room, cafeteria, conference room, dean's offices, and student commons area. The first phase broke ground on November 4, 2001 and was completed the following school year. The second phase began during the 2002-2003 year and was open for fall 2003 classes.

A field house was built in late 2007, and an additional building housing science classes was constructed in 2011.

Separation of Schools[edit]

During the 2008 - 2009 school year, Central and West began to again divide the schools' athletic programs, allowing the West mascot to become the Tiger once again, leaving Central as the Steelmen. The split began with Joliet's Freshmen football team dividing. As of the 2010 - 2011 school year, Joliet Central and Joliet West have their own, entirely independent sports programs.

Music tradition[edit]

Joliet West has been known for its outstanding music programs, both instrumental and choral. Many alumni continue on in music as a career, including Charlie Adams, John Barrowman, Jimmy Chamberlin, Andy Dick, Doug Pinnick, Anthony Rapp, and Janina Gavankar. The Marching Tigers, Joliet West's marching band, is one of the few groups that held the Tiger name throughout the adoption and relinquishment of the Steelmen mascot. There have been six band directors at Joliet West: Arthur D. Katterjohn, 1964–1968; Dean H. Sayles, 1968–1990; I. V. Foster, 1990–1992; Ted Lega, 1992–1993; Kevin T. Carroll, 1993–2014; Eric Wellman, 2014- Present. The band program has consistently received high scores at competitions and has been invited to the Superstate band festival multiple times. Similarly, the choral program continually ranks top in every competition, gaining the title of Grand Champion in three Music in the Parks festivals since 2010.

In April 2008, Joliet West High School was the first high school to perform a comic opera of Edwin Penhorwood entitled "Too Many Sopranos".

Recently, Joliet West High School's music program has come to note by being one of only a handful of high schools to have an "Opera Scenes" program, performing snippets from different operas translated into English. The Joliet West Vocal Music department has performed scenes ranging from "La Boheme" to "Die Fledermaus" to "Dialogues of the Carmelites". September 25, 2009's Scenes of Murder, featuring "Don Giovanni", "Hänsel and Gretel", "Dido and Aeneas", and the aforementioned "Dialogues of the Carmelites", surpassed the attendance of the 2008 spring play; 338 people attended the event. A 13-foot guillotine was built specifically for 2009's Opera Scenes.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]