Thornton Township High School

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Thornton Township High School
Address
15001 S. Broadway
Harvey, Illinois, 60426
USA
Coordinates 41°37′05″N 87°38′36″W / 41.6181°N 87.6434°W / 41.6181; -87.6434
Information
School type Public high school
Opened 1899
School district Thornton Twp. HS 205
Superintendent J. Kamala Buckner[1]
Principal Tony Ratliff[2]
Grades 9–12
Gender Coed
Enrollment 2,513[3]
Average class size 19.6[4]
Campus Suburban
School colour(s) Purple      and White     [3]
Athletics conference Southwest Suburban Conference
Team name Wildcats
Average ACT scores 16.5[5]
Newspaper Paw Prints
Communities served Harvey, South Holland, Phoenix, Riverdale, Dixmoor, Markham, Blue Island[3]
Website

Thornton Township High School, often simply referred to as Thornton is a public high school founded in 1899. The school is located in Harvey, Illinois one of the south suburbs of the city of Chicago, Illinois. The school is one of three schools administered by Thornton Township High Schools District 205. It is occasionally confused with the two other similarly named schools in the district: Thornridge High School and Thornwood High School.

A predominantly African American high school, Thornton is perhaps best known for its many alumni who have been successful in both the performing arts and athletics.[4]

History[edit]

The site for Thornton Township High School was decided by a special election on May 28, 1898, where Harvey was selected over Dolton by a 1,504 to 1,123 vote; with the estimate of the school's cost being $40,000.[6] Oscar L. Murray was the architect of the building that by October 1898 was now costing $35,000, and had plans that included physical and biological laboratories, a library, gymnasium, a 280 seat assembly room, bicycle, and lunch rooms.[7]

By May, 1899, the plans had firmed up to include a two story structure with basement, with an interior to be finished in red oak. Heat would be provided by steam, with electric fans and an automated clock and signal system. The main floor assembly room was expanded to seat 700. Construction was set to begin in June, with completion in October.[8] The original building, located at 154th Street and Columbia Avenue.[9]

In 1913, Thornton was one of nine schools (and the only south suburban school) invited to found what would become the Suburban League, which mostly consisted of schools like Thornton which had formerly been members of the Cook County High School League.[10]

1928 saw 16 year old Betty Robinson (between her junior and senior years at the school) not only win the very first Olympic gold medal awarded to a woman in the 100 meters (at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam), but set a world record which would stand for four years.[11]

With the advent of World War II, like many high schools, Thornton made changes to accommodate the war effort. Evening classes for adults started in 1942 to begin training people for necessary war jobs.[12] By 1943, the school was open 87 hours each week, and had been converted over almost exclusively to wartime training.[13]

Additions were made to the building in 1912 ($140,000), 1927 ($345,000), and 1937 ($300,000).[14][15] A third floor was added in 1948.[16] 1949 saw the addition of a new physical education facility, including a natatorium, wrestling rooms, locker facilities, and class rooms for health classes, in addition to two gyms, one of which could seat 3,500 for basketball games.[17][18] The new gymnasium was ultimately dedicated in April, 1950.[19]

Athletics[edit]

Thornton's sports teams, which are referred to as the Wildcats, compete in the Southwest Suburban Conference, though for many years competed in the now defunct South Inter-Conference Association (SICA). The teams also compete in state championship series sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The school colors are purple and white.

The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for men and women in basketball, soccer, track and field and, cross country. Men may also compete in baseball, football, swimming & diving, and wrestling. Women may compete in cheerleading, softball, and volleyball.

The following athletic teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state tournament:[20]

  • Basketball (boys) – 1932–33, 65–66
  • Football – 1990–91
  • Wrestling – 1953–54, 54–55, 58–59

Activities[edit]

  • Band- In 2009 the marching band won 1st place at Rich Central Battle of the Bands,the concert band won a Division I in organizations with a perfect score in sight reading
  • Big Brother/ Big Sister
  • Cheerleaders- In 2009 traveled to Orlando, Fl and won 2nd place, and also placed their first time and a sate levell competition
  • Chess Club- In 2009 had several students to make the state level
  • Choral
  • Mathletes-2 time Back to Back SICA champions
  • National Honor Society
  • Peer Mediation
  • Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE)
  • Prom
  • Senior Class
  • Science Club
  • Speech
  • Student Council (KIP)
  • Thornton Singers

The following groups placed in the top four of their respective state competitions sponsored by the IHSA:[20]

  • Debate – 1971-72, 74–75
  • Drama – 1984–85, 88–89, 90–91, 93–94, 96–97
  • Group Interpretation – 1980–81, 82–83, 96–97
  • Individual Events – 1987–88, 92–93

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thornton Township H.S. District 205 District Administration; accessed November 23, 2008[dead link]
  2. ^ Administration, Thornton H.S. homepage; accessed October 18, 2010[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Thornton High School profile, ihsa.org; accessed November 24, 2008". Ihsa.org. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Class of 2007 school report card, p. 1; accessed November 24, 2008[dead link]
  5. ^ Class of 2007 school report card, p. 3; accessed November 24, 2008[dead link]
  6. ^ Harvey Wins School Site, May 29, 1898, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 3; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  7. ^ Trustees Oblige Supt. Andrews, October 22, 1898, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 5; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  8. ^ Thornton Township High School, Harvey, Ill., May 28, 1899, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 10; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  9. ^ Harvey School Bonds Sold, July 9, 1899, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 8; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  10. ^ Preps To Form New League, May 24, 1913, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 14; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  11. ^ Shirer, William, Chicago Girl Breaks World's 100 Meter Record, August 1, 1928, Chicago Daily Tribune; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  12. ^ Thornton Night Classes Enroll 452 in War Study, September 6, 1942, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW3; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  13. ^ Thornton High School Adapts Studies To War, February 28, 1943, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  14. ^ Thornton High Asks $300,000 To Build Annex, September 27, 1936, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  15. ^ Thornton Board To Rush School Addition Plans, February 7, 1937, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  16. ^ Start Building Thornton Twp. High Addition, April 11, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW7; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  17. ^ Tell details of Harvey's School Gym, December 5, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 1; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  18. ^ Thornton Twp High Gymnasium contract Let To Contractor, January 9, 1949, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 11; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  19. ^ Thornton High To Dedicate $350,000 Gym, April 30, 1950, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 11; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  20. ^ a b "Season summaries for Thornton Township HS, ihsa.org; accessed November 26, 2008". Ihsa.org. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "''Thornton Pride Stays With You'', April 11, 2007, ''Chicago Sun-Times''; accessed November 23, 2008". Suntimes.com. Retrieved January 31, 2011. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Lloyd Batts stats and bio, Basketball-reference.com; accessed November 23, 2008". Basketball-reference.com. May 9, 1951. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bell, Taylor (August 25, 2010). "Visiting the Boudreau Room". online article (Chicago Sun-Times). Retrieved November 19, 2010. "The curious thing about Thornton is that, despite the decades of tradition and legacy of great coaches and athletes ... any other athletic facility is named in honor of any of them...Lou Boudreau, Jack Lipe, Tiny Huddlestun, Betty Robinson ... There is a copy of Boudreau's plaque that hangs in baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and Betty Robinson's gold medal from the 1924 Olympics ... In May 2010, the school added a Thornton Wall of Fame in the main building that honors some of the great athletes and student leaders of the past—Boudreau, Robinson, comedian Tom Dreesen, actors Bill Hayes, Michael Boatman and Melvin Van Peebles, industrialist Dan Ustian and athletes Tai Streets, Melvin Ely, Napoleon Harris and Antwaan Randle El." 
  24. ^ "Hayes, Neil, ''Lou Boudreau: Let's play two'', November 23, 2008, ''Chicago Sun-Times''; accessed November 23, 2008". Suntimes.com. Retrieved January 31, 2011. [dead link]
  25. ^ http://www.spotrac.com/nba/dallas-mavericks/melvin-ely/
  26. ^ "Fruchter, Alexander, ''Hip To Be Square'', interview, SoundSlam.com; accessed November 23, 2008". Soundslam.com. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Barry Gardner bio & stats, databasefootball.com; accessed November 23, 2008". Databasefootball.com. December 13, 1976. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Jack Golden stats and bio, databasefootball.com; accessed November 24, 2008". Databasefootball.com. January 28, 1977. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Tamm, Kirii, ''Babe is Pleased Thornton Hasn't Forgotten Her Feats'', March 28, 1957, ''The Thorntonite'; accessed November 23, 2008". Riverdale.lib.il.us. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Zabell, Martin, ''Racing Back Through Time: First Female Gold Medalist Comes Home'', September 27, 1992, ''Chicago Tribune''; accessed November 23, 2008". Riverdale.lib.il.us. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  31. ^ New York Times News Service (August 23, 1994), "Obie-winning Actress Danitra Vance, 35", Chicago Tribune, retrieved November 19, 2010, "Once described as a cross between Laurie Anderson and Little Richard, Ms. Vance appeared in feature films and in 1985 became the first black woman to join the regular cast of "Saturday Night Live," where she stayed for a year ... At Thornton High School, she auditioned for a play but failed to win a part. Nonetheless, she got up during the performance and acted anyway and became the star of the show ..." 
  32. ^ "About the Author". Editorial Review for Words From an Unchained Mind. Amazon.com. Retrieved November 19, 2010. "Steven Whitehurst was born into a single-parent family in Chicago on March 3, 1967. After spending his early years living in housing projects on the city's southside, his family moved to Harvey, Illinois. In Harvey, Steven graduated from Thornton Township High School in 1984." 

External links[edit]