Simeon Career Academy
|Simeon Career Academy|
|8147 S. Vincennes Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60620
|School type||Public Secondary Vocational|
|School district||Chicago Public Schools|
|Principal||Sheldon Dion House|
|Athletics conference||Chicago Public League|
|Accreditation(s)||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools|
Neal F. Simeon Career Academy (formerly known as Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School) is a public four-year vocational high school located in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is part of the Chicago Public Schools system. The school is named for African-American educator and administrator Neal Ferdinand Simeon. Simeon opened in 1949.
Simeon was founded in 1949, as Westcott Vocational High School in a building located at 8023 S. Normal Avenue, where it operated until the Kroger company donated a vacant warehouse (located at 8235 S. Vincennes Avenue) to the Chicago Public Schools in 1963. The school was renamed Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School in September 1964. The school named changed from "Vocational High School" to "Career Technical Academy" in September 1998. Simeon operated in the Kroger building amidst horrible conditions until a new building was built and opened for students in September 2003. When the new building opened, the school's address changed to 8147 S. Vincennes Avenue. In 2003, Simeon name changed to its present name.
The school is well known for Ben Wilson, a star basketball player (then recognized as the top high school basketball player in the nation) who led the Wolverines to their first state basketball championship and was killed on the eve of his senior season opener (November 20, 1984). After the tragic incident, then Mayor Harold Washington spoke to grieving students, denouncing gun violence in the city and promising a new gymnasium for the school, to be named in Wilson's honor. The gymnasium was completed in 1987. Afterwards, Ben Wilson's number 25 jersey was traditionally worn by Simeon's best player, until it was retired. The last to wear it was Derrick Rose. Rose moved on to become one of the nation's top point guards in 2007 and eventually an NBA All-Star for the Chicago Bulls. Nick Anderson, Deon Thomas and Calvin Brock are among the Simeon alumni who wore that number at the University of Illinois in honor of Wilson.
Simeon competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Simeon is well known in the Chicago area as a high school sports powerhouse, winning IHSA Class AA State Boys' Basketball Championships in 1984, 2006, and 2007. They also won the Class 4A Championship in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (which tied Peoria Manual for the longest Illinois state championship title run).
Simeon's boys' basketball team was ranked first in the United States in ESPNHS's 2011 preseason rankings. Led by Jabari Parker, they won the 2012 Illinois Class 4A championship by defeating Proviso East High School. In 2013, Parker led them to another state championship when they defeated Stevenson High School.
- Nick Anderson '86, former NBA player, notably with the Orlando Magic; was also part of 1989 Fighting Illini Final Four team
- Wes Chamberlain '84, former MLB player with the Philadelphia Phillies organization
- Mary E. Flowers '68, Illinois State Representative
- GLC (rapper) '96, rapper on G.O.O.D. Music
- Johnny Mitchell '89, former NFL player with the New York Jets
- Jabari Parker '13, high school basketball All American; considered the #2 college recruit in the nation
- Prolyfic '99, producer on So So Def
- Derrick Rose '07, Chicago Bulls basketball player and 2011 NBA MVP
- Bobby Simmons '98, former NBA player with the San Antonio Spurs and other teams
- Deon Thomas '89, American-Israeli basketball player for the University of Illinois and later, the Dallas Mavericks and Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C.
- Ben Wilson '85, high school basketball All American who was shot to death on the eve of the start of his senior season
- Martez Wilson '07, linebacker for the Fighting Illini, drafted by New Orleans Saints in '11
- "High School Code Search". College Board. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Chicago Public Schools: Simeon". Cps.edu. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Institution Summary for Simeon Vocational High School". AdvacedED profile. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. Retrieved September 3, 2012.
- "Simeon Career Academy: Neal F. Simeon Bio". Simeonca.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Simeon Career Academy: Our School History". Simeonca.org. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Simeon Career Academy retires No. 25 worn by Ben Wilson and Derrick Rose". Nba.com. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- "Simeon tops ESPN national ranking". Espn.go.com. October 19, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- SIMEON'S DYNASTY CONTINUES WITH THIRD STRAIGHT 4A TITLE
- Boys hoops 4A final: Four certain: Simeon wins 4th straight state title
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