Maine West High School
|Maine West High School|
|1755 South Wolf Road
Des Plaines, Illinois, 60018
|School type||public, secondary|
|School district||Maine Twp. H.S. 207|
|NCES District ID||1724090|
|Superintendent||Dr. Ken Wallace|
|NCES School ID||172409005032|
|Principal||Dr. Audrey J. Haugan|
|Teaching staff||169.76 (FTE)|
|Average class size||22|
|Student to teacher ratio||18.6:1|
|Athletics conference||Central Suburban League|
|Average ACT scores (2010-11)||21.4|
Maine West High School, or MWHS, is a public four-year high school located in Des Plaines, Illinois, a north-west suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Maine Township High School District 207, which also includes Maine East High School and Maine South High School.
In 1957, with the population of the district predicted to rise, the school district leadership purchased 73 acres (300,000 m2) of land which had been the location of two truck farms.
While the school was designed to be home to 3,000 students, there was concern about the environment being too large. Thus, the school's design was made with a central core, and three classroom wings, each of which would be its own separate school.
While opened in time for the start of the 1959–60 school year, the school was formally dedicated on November 8, 1959.
On October 31, 1980, five days before the 1980 presidential election, Ronald Reagan appeared at Maine West with actors Cesar Romero and Robert Conrad, giving a 30 minute address to the students and other invited guests.
Campus grounds 
The floor plan could be compared to a cross, with a rotunda at the center, and several wings extending outward from the rotunda like branches of a cross.
The rotunda, is circled by a corridor on the first and second floor. A staircase connecting the two floors of the rotunda is found in the lobby of the main entrance. In the middle of the first floor is the student cafeteria. On the outside of the first floor rotunda are offices (including the main office) and the faculty cafeteria. The center of the upper floor of the rotunda contains the auditorium.
The main wings of the school, all accessible from the rotunda, are lettered "A", "B", "C", and "E". Each of these wings has two floors containing classrooms, storerooms, and department offices, and ends in a gymnasium. E-wing was the first addition made to the school, and ends in the large spectator gym which is used for many interscholastic contests and school assemblies.
Between C-wing and E-wing is a driveway for bus arrival and departure, called the bus concourse. Across the driveway is the entrance to D-wing the only wing not directly connected to the rotunda.
On the ground floor, between B-wing and C-wing is L-wing, most of which is used for the Tech Center and the Little Theater. This is the shortest of the wings extending from the rotunda. The Teacher Resource Center and the principal's conference room are located in this wing as well. Located directly above L wing on the second floor is the school library, the Learning Resource Center (LRC), which is connected to the Tech Center via staircase.
The most recent addition was H-wing, which is a small passage connecting the first floors of B-wing and C-wing. It has an "L" shape as it wraps around the far end of L-wing. The wing includes additional laboratories, classrooms, storage, and a multipurpose meeting room.
There are four computer labs for student use: the LRC, the Think Tank (located in A-wing), Tutor U (a tutoring center located in the back of the LRC), and the Tech Center.
The basement level of the school, currently a fitness center (nicknamed "The Pit"), was designed to be used as a fallout shelter capable of protecting 1,000 people in the event of a nuclear incident. Additionally, under each of the small gyms, there are crawl spaces which were filled with boxes of crackers, boxes of lemon drops, and also bottles of water that was meant to hold the students if a nuclear attack were to happen. Today, these spaces are used for storage.
In 2008, Maine West had an average composite ACT score of 21.7, and graduated 92.9% of its senior class. Maine West has not made Adequate Yearly Progress on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, which with the ACT comprise the assessment tools used to fulfill the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. While the overall school did achieve their AYP, two student subgroups did not meet minimal requirements in reading.
In 2002, Maine West was the only school in District 207 and one of only 50 nationwide to receive U.S. News & World Report's Award as an "Outstanding High School." The school was recognized in the local media and with a plaque. This award recognizes schools where performance of students exiting compared to entering high schools exceeds expectations. In 2008, District 207 applied for and received nearly $1,000,000 from the Department of Education through the Teaching American History grant for U.S. History. All three schools and seven partner districts participate in the program coordinated at Maine West and the Chicago Metro History Education Center. The Teaching American History Grant was extended and received funding for two additional years in August, 2011.
The school offers 15 Advanced Placement courses: English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Physics (C), Calculus (BC), AP United States History Statistics, Computer Science (AB), Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, European History, Micro/Macro Economics, Music Theory, and Studio Art.
The school offers the opportunity to study five foreign languages: French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. As of 2010, Maine West does not offer Chinese on campus, but a student has the option to take the class at Maine South in the morning if they would so choose to do so.
The school sponsors interscholastic competition for men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, fencing, track & field, volleyball, water polo. Men also may compete in baseball, football and wrestling. Women may compete in badminton, gymnastics, and softball.
The following teams won their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournament or meet:
- Badminton (girls): 1982–83
- Baseball: 1962–63
- Basketball (girls): 1987–88
Of special note are the 65 consecutive wins by the girls basketball team which encompassed the entire 1987–88 season, and lasted until February 13, 1989. As of 2010, this remains the record (including State Series playoff games) for girls teams in Illinois, and second among boys and girls basketball teams in the state.
The IHSA also recognizes that Maine West is the caretaker of all records posted by the now closed Maine North High School, though that school did not finish high enough in any sport or activity to warrant mention.
While not sponsored by the IHSA, Maine West is one of less than ten schools in Illinois to compete in varsity fencing. Maine West competes in the Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference which also includes teams from Wisconsin and Indiana. The Maine West girls team won the Conference Championship each year from 1981 through 1986. The boys won the Conference Title in 1989.
Lacrosse is also being added to the list of sports offered at Maine West.
Notable alumni and Media 
- Jacob DeHart (class of 2000) is the founder of the Threadless clothing company.
- Adrian Fulle (class of 1990) is a film director and writer of films such as Love 101.
- James Kahn (class of 1965) is a physician, author and screen writer whose works include an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, 4 episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, and 21 episodes of Melrose Place. His books include the novelizations for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the recent collaboration with George Lucas to write the 25th Anniversary edition of the original Star Wars trilogy.
- Jim Lindeman is a former Major League Baseball player who played in the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Jeff Daniel Phillips played one of the cavemen in a series of Geico.
- The ORIGINAL Maine West High School is where parts of The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off were filmed. That structure is located at 9511 Harrison Street, Des Plaines, IL. Today the building is a district headquarters for the Illinois State Police, a communications center for the Cook County Sheriff's Department, an Illinois Lottery payment office, the largest regional office of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Northern Illinois office of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board as well as regional offices for other various Illinois state agencies including the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Central Management Services, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The building is also home to a neighborhood youth center. The land near the school that was used for athletic fields has been redeveloped into townhouses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_North_High_School
- "Maine West High School". Statistical abstract. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). 2009-10. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Ken Wallace - Superintendent". Maine Township High School District 207. 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
- "Staff Directory (Administration)". Maine West High School. 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "Des Plaines (Maine West)". School information. Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 21 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "2010 Illinois School Report Card - Maine West High School". Statistical abstract. Chicago Tribune. 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- "West Words Literary Magazine". Maine West High School. 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
- Lux et Veritas: presenting a new concept in education Dedication program for Maine West High School, 1959, p. 5; accessed 3 Aug, 2008
- Lux et Veritas: presenting a new concept in education Dedication program for Maine West High School, 1959, p. 9; accessed 3 Aug, 2008
- Lux et Veritas: presenting a new concept in education Dedication program for Maine West High School, 1959, p. 1; accessed 3 Aug, 2008
- pictures and yearbook excerpts of Ronald Reagan's visit to Maine West
- E-wing construction @mainewestalumni.org
- Maine West 2012-13 Profile (retrieved December 2012)
- Maine West interscholastic sports teams
- Maine West Athletic Records at IHSA.org
- Girls Basketball Records at IHSA.org
- Boys Basketball records at IHSA.org
- Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference History
- Steve Johnson's Chicago Tribune article on the founding of Threadless
- James Kahn's Random House page
- James Kahn's page at imdb.com
- Reynolds, Dave (18 October 2010). "Where Are They Now? Jim Lindeman". Peoria Journal Star (Peoria, IL, USA). Retrieved 12 July 2011. "Lindeman, a shortstop-third baseman, was in Dewey Kalmer’s second recruiting class at Bradley in 1980, plucked from Maine West in suburban Chicago."