Marian Catholic High School
|Marian Catholic High School|
|700 Ashland Avenue
Chicago Heights, Illinois, 60411-2073
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Oversight||Archdiocese of Chicago|
|President||Sr. Judine Hilbing, O.P.|
|Principal||Sr. Kathleen Anne Tait, O.P.|
|Average class size||24|
|Student to teacher ratio||18:1|
|Campus size||72 acres (290,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Black, White and Vegas Gold|
|Slogan||Teaching Scholars with a Soul|
|Athletics conference||East Suburban Catholic Conference|
|Accreditation||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Affiliation||Dominican Sisters of Springfield|
In 1949, after making a request to Samuel Stritch, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, a priest at St. Agnes parish in Chicago Heights was given permission to purchase land and begin raising funds for the construction of a coed high school. By 1951 enough capital had been raised to hire a local architect to design the building. The Cardinal then mandated that there were to be two cooperative schools, one for women and one for men, each to be run by a religious order. The new plan called for the first school to accept coed classes until the boys school was ready, about four years after the school for women was open.
The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois agreed to oversee and staff the new school in 1955. Ground breaking occurred on January 6, 1957, and opened in September, 1958. The school was dedicated by Cardinal Albert Gregory Meyer on January 11, 1959.
In September, 1961, the first group of seniors preparing to graduate stood at 165, but the incoming freshman class was 450. The initial staff of six nuns was now at 18, and had outgrown the capacity of their convent in nearby Homewood. The Dominican Sisters also added on a new convent to the school to accommodate the growing staff. Without a male religious order to sponsor the male school, plans were eventually dropped to build the second school. Mobile classrooms were brought in to help with the overcrowding.
In 1970, the Sisters and the Archdiocese reached an agreement that would leave the sisters as the sole sponsors of the school, while the Archdiocese committed more money to build an addition. While the Archdiocese did not cover all of the needed additions, over the intervening years the school continued to raise money and make needed additions and renovations.
The address of the school and convent was 666 Ashland Avenue until the city changed the address to 700 in the autumn of 1991 following requests from the administrators.
The school received some criticism over tuition payment issues in March 2009, with an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune and various local media outlets. 100 students who were late on their fees, causing a $450,000 hole in the budget, were temporarily sent home from the school. Most quickly returned to class after working out payment plans with Marian. The Chicago Tribune was charged with bad reporting by many parents, who felt that many vital facts were not accurately represented in the initial article.
The school sponsors interscholastic sports teams for both men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The school sponsors baseball, football, and wrestling for men, while sponsoring cheerleading, softball, water polo, and swimming and diving for women.
While not sponsored by the IHSA, Marian Catholic also sponsors interscholastic teams for men and women in lacrosse and fencing. The men's lacrosse team competes in the West Suburban Conference, while the women compete in the Southwest Suburban Conference. The fencing teams compete as a part of the Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference.
The following teams have placed in the top four of their respective state tournament sponsored by the IHSA:
- Football •• 2nd place (1999—2000); State Champion (1993—94)
- Women's Basketball •• 4th place (2003—04); 3rd place (2006—07); 2nd place (2001—02), State Champion (2012—13)
- Women's Golf •• 4th place (2006—07); 3rd place (2007—08); 2nd place (2005—06)
- Softball •• 4th place (1986—87); 3rd place (1984—85)
- Women's Volleyball •• 4th place (2011)
- Baseball •• State Champion (2012)
The Marian Catholic Band is, to date, the only marching band in Illinois to receive the Sudler Shield, "an international award recognizing high school, youth, and international marching bands of world class excellence" from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. In 1991, the concert band received the Sudler Flag of Honor, another international award given for outstanding concert performance. Marian Catholic is one of only ten schools in the world (as of 2008) to have received both awards.
The Marian Catholic Band has won seven Bands of America Grand National Championships and five Bands of America Summer National Championships, the most of any band, as well as holding the record for most consecutive Finals appearances, at 30 consecutive appearances. The Band also has won their class in the Illinois State Marching Band competition consecutively since 1980, a 33 year feat unmatched by any other Illinois High School Association program - band or otherwise. The band also holds 17 ISU Grand Champion trophies.
The band is directed by Greg Bimm as well as Bobby Lambert and Tyler Sammons. It is also well known for being student run with many section leaders, squad leaders, and drum majors.
Notable alumni and faculty
- Vance Cooksey (class of 2006) is a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls. He played at Youngstown State and Pikesville as well as playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League
- Colin Egglesfield (class of 1991) is a professional actor, best known for playing Joshua Madden on the soap opera All My Children.
- Mike Feminis, college football head coach
- Keith Waznonis, former second string XFL quarterback for Orlando Rage
- Rodney Harrison (class of 1991) is an NFL defensive back who played for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots (Super Bowl XXXVIII & XXXIX).
- John Holecek (class of 1990) was an NFL linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers.
- Dennis Kelly (class of 2008) is an offensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Mike Prior (class of 1981) was an NFL defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXI).
- Shonda Rhimes (class of 1987) is the creator of the TV shows Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal.
- John McGarry is a former Green Bay Packers guard who played in the 1987 season
- James Conroyd Martin is the author of Push not the River and its sequel Against a Crimson Sky.
- NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-07-28.[dead link]
- History of Marian Catholic HS
- Football information sheet with old address
- http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-marian-catholic-tuition-11mar11,0,1556983.story. Missing or empty
- "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
- Men's lacrosse standings
- Women's lacrosse standings
- Great Lakes HS Fencing Conference members
- IHSA records for Marian Catholic HS
- John Philip Sousa Foundation website
- Compiled from Bands of America score records
- Compiled from score records
- local ABC news article about Colin Egglesfield
- Rodney Harrison stats/bio @nfl.com
- John Holocek stats and bio @internet football database
- Mike Prior stats and bio @internet football database
- Chicago Tribune interview with Shonda Rhimes
- Marian Catholic High School English Department; accessed 5 January 2009
- "Wisconsin Division Honors James Conroyd Martin, author of Push not the River". Polish American Congress. Retrieved 5 January 2009.[dead link]
- Marian Catholic High School
- Private School Review
- Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference
- Ill. HS Womens Lacrosse Association
- Ill. HS Lacrosse Association