St. Charles East High School

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Saint Charles East High School
Motto To Create Caring, Responsible, Life-long Learners
Established yes
Type Public secondary
Principal yes
Students 2,190
Grades 9–12
Location 1020 Dunham Road
St. Charles, Illinois, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Orange and Black
Mascot Sir Charles the Great
Yearbook Halo
Newspaper XRay

St. Charles East High School is a public four-year high school located in St. Charles, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Community Unit School District 303. The school was known as "St. Charles High School" from its opening in 1977 until fall of 2000 when a second school in the city, Saint Charles North High School, was opened. At that time the school name changed to "St. Charles East High School."


In 2011, Saint Charles East had an average composite ACT score of 23.0 and a graduation rate of 89.8%. The average class size is 23.3. Saint Charles East has made Adequate Yearly Progress on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, a state test part of the No Child Left Behind Act.[1]


Saint Charles East offers dozens of after-school activities. Students can choose from groups like Key Club, Auto Club, Debate, Science Olympiad, Math Team (Coached by the Calculus AB and Advanced Math Topics teacher, Lynn Trevarthen), Speech, Peer Leadership, athletics, club sports or apply into honor societies.

In 2012, the Saint Charles East team finished first at the state Science Olympiad held at the University of Illinois.

Within the Arts there are opportunities for students to participate in Theater, Choir, Orchestra, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and Marching Band. The Theater Department produces three shows per year, including one musical.[2] Students who are active in the theater department are often members of the Drama Club as well. Music classes are taken for credit. Choir, jazz band, band and orchestra are offered as elective courses within the school day.

The school's music program offers talented directors and students. Students of every level of musical ability are welcome into the program, sorted by freshman band then by ability level. At this time St. Charles East High School has six performing bands.[3]

The top performing groups are the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Workshop, which have performed at the Midwest Music Clinic in 2008, Carnegie Hall, Hawaii in 2010, where students had the opportunity to perform at Pearl Harbor, and across China in 2007, with a performance on the Great Wall of China. Music students have gone on to study music performance and composition at universities all over the country including the University of Illinois, St. Olaf University and the Juilliard School of Music.


Saint Charles East has 29 athletic teams, of 14 boys and 15 girls teams, which compete in the Upstate Eight Conference and Illinois High School Association. Saint Charles East's mascot is Sir Charles the Great. In the 1998-1999 school year St. Charles East set an IHSA State Record for most State Championships won by a school with a total of 7 (not including Color Guard or Drill Team). Jason Potter also won an individual state wrestling title that year, which is not included.[4] St. Charles East Girl's Soccer was a prevailing and dominant legacy during the 90's, winning eight IHSA soccer state championships in '90,'92,'94,'96,'97,'98,'99,'00.[5] In 1978/79, the fledgling St. Charles High School Boy's Swim Team, under coach Bob Teichart, won its first state championship in only its fourth year of existence as a high school team, breaking a streak of 12 in a row by Hinsdale Central.[6] Throughout the '80s, St. Charles boys dominated IHSA Swimming, winning in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986. They were runners up in 1987, 1988, and 1990.[7]

At one time, signs hung at the city limits next to the population sign that stated, "Welcome to St. Charles, State Capital of Illinois High School Swimming for the 80s." There were also championship wins in swimming in 1993, 1997, and 1999.[7] Currently, the St. Charles East High School Swim Team is coached by Joe Cabel.

The St. Charles Girls Swim Team had a similar dominant streak in the late 1990's, claiming consecutive state championships from 1994/5 through 1999/2000.[8] Swimming World Magazine named St. Charles the public high school girls "Team of the Year" in both 1999 and 2000.[9] The streak was broken in the 2000/2001 school year when the new St. Charles North High School (Illinois) was opened and the pool of athletic talent in the school district was divided. The renamed St. Charles East finished third that year while St Charles North finished 9th.

School Fight Song[11]

Here's to St. Charles East High School
Bring victory back
Here's to our colors---
the orange and the Black

Here's to all the saints
Who bear our name
Fighting to defeat the foe
And win this game

St. Charles EAST


St. Charles East High School is located at 1020 Dunham Road in St. Charles, Illinois. At one time it was the only high school serving the city of St. Charles. Prior to moving to its current location in 1977, the high school was located in the middle of town at the corner of Main Street and Seventh Street, in the building that now serves as Thompson Middle School. The new St. Charles High School campus was built in the open fields to the east of Dunham Road, adjacent to the existing Norris Recreation Center and Dunham Junior High School (which educated 7th graders for the 1975-76 and 76-77 school years before being annexed into the new High School campus for the 77-78 school year). The campus change was not made without controversy - the old downtown campus was an "open" campus that allowed the student body to depart and return during the school day, while the new campus is "closed". The first month in the new school featured student protests, leaky roofs, and problems with the school's (at the time) state-of-the-art solar heating system. The first class to graduate after attending all four years at the newly built high school was the class of 1981.

In the year 2000, due to increasing population in the area, District 303 was split between two high schools, and St. Charles High School was renamed St. Charles East High School. (A new high school, "St. Charles North High School," was built on the west side of town). The first class to graduate after attending all four years at the renamed school graduated in 2004.

The Saint Charles East High School campus includes the Norris Cultural Arts Center, and the Norris Recreation Center.[2] These facilities were established to serve not only the high school but the community as well. The Delora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center, a 1,000-seat performing arts theater and art gallery, was founded in 1978 with funding from the St. Charles Charities, which was created in 1924 by Lester and Delora Norris and Edward Baker.

During spring break in 2001, a serious black mold problem was discovered at the campus. It was believed to be the source of some student and teacher illnesses. In 2001 the building was shut down and the students remained on an extended spring break while officials struggled with the issue. For the rest of the 2001 school year, St. Charles East students shared a split-schedule with St. Charles North High School. East students attended class at the North campus during the morning, while North students went during the afternoon. During the summer of 2001 through the next school year, the school underwent an enormous renovation. For the entire 2001-2002 school year, the current students had to take classes in the adjacent Wredling Middle School building and mobile classrooms surrounding it (brought in specifically to accommodate the larger student body). Meanwhile, the Wredling Middle School students took classes in mobile classrooms parked in a field between Haines and Thompson Middle Schools. Classes resumed their normal locations and schedules the following school year (2002-2003). This event caught the attention and cameras of local and national news organizations on more than one occasion throughout the year, simply becoming known as "the mold school."[12]

During the fall of 2009, many students came down with Swine Flu (H1N1) and other flus after attending the homecoming dance. The Monday after homecoming weekend, 611 students were sick. By Tuesday, 972 had called in sick. The staff called an emergency meeting after school and promptly decided to close the school for three days, while the school was sanitized. This caused massive attention in local and national news. To many students this was known as "Swine '09" or "Swine Break", and the majority of students have t-shirts to prove it.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°55′46″N 88°16′53″W / 41.929373°N 88.281466°W / 41.929373; -88.281466