University High School (Normal)
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|University High School|
University High School Seal
|Motto||"An exemplary high school...A model teacher education center"|
|Location||Normal, Illinois, USA|
|Colors||Kelly Green, Gold|
University High School (commonly referred to as "U-High"), located in Normal, Illinois, is one of two "laboratory schools" of the College of Education at Illinois State University designed for research and teacher-training; the other is Thomas Metcalf School, an elementary school. University High School offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities and has a strong history of sports and academics. Founded in 1857, it is the oldest laboratory school and among the oldest high schools in the United States.
Dr. Hill, the former principal of University High School, was promoted to Dean of Laboratory Schools in 2012. The principal is currently Andrea Markert, and the vice principal is Mr. Evans. The mascot is the Pioneer. The school colors are (kelly) green and gold.
The state of Illinois caps the Illinois State University laboratory school enrollment at 1,000. U-High enrolls approximately 600 students while Metcalf enrolls about 400. The IHSA institutes an enrollment multiplier for schools such as U-High that can choose their students, thus classifying it as a larger school in athletic competitions. This multiplier counts each student as 1.65 students, thus moving the athletic division to AA as opposed to A as previous years.
As one of the oldest high schools in Illinois, U-High has many established traditions and rituals.
One of the most important of these is Class Night, an event which takes place in late May, usually the evening of the awards ceremony and the Senior Brunch. Class Night features a mix of student skits (which in recent years have been replaced by student-produced films), student bands, and the all-important Moving Up of Classes. In this ceremony, the seniors vacate their seats as a symbol of their departure from U-High and each class moves up to take the seats that they will occupy in the next year. The entire student body turns to the incoming freshmen and cheer and clap to welcome them into the U-High family. The Lamp of Knowledge is passed from the departing seniors to the rising seniors. Class Night is always followed by a dance for all U-High students.
Other traditions include the senior chorus concert (where all the music is selected by seniors and each graduating choir member gets a solo), the welcoming of freshmen on the first day, and the "open campus", being able to leave school whenever, that students value so dearly. Individual activities have their own long-standing traditions, and each new class of students adds to them.
U-High is known nationally as being one of the best golfing schools in the country. The boy's team has won the IHSA state championship 7 years running, and the girl's team has won it 4 years in a row. U-High is also known for its basketball program which was home to coach Cal Hubbard. The swimming, boy's tennis, cross country, cheerleading, wrestling, football, and soccer teams as well as many more are also highly competitive in the IHSA. The U-High girls basketball team has had at least 20 wins in the past 4 seasons and since 1992 have 13 Regional Titles, 7 Sectional Titles with a 3rd and a 4th place finish. The U-High girls soccer team won 5 straight Regional Titles from 2007- 2011 and in 2010 won their first Sectional Championship in the past 7 years. In the 2010 season, the men's swim team took third place. In 2014 the men's swim won the IHSA state title. Since there is only one class in high school swimming in Illinois this is an incredible accomplishment for a "downstate" team who faced schools with more than three times U-High's enrollment. The men's cross country team has brought home trophies for three consecutive years (2009-2011) placing 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd respectively at the IHSA State Meet. In 2012, the men's basketball team went to state and placed second, the boys baseball team earned a class 2A state championship, and the girls soccer team earned a 4th place finish at state.
U-High’s speech and debate, math, Scholastic Bowl, WYSE and chess teams are highly competitive. The Speech Team from 2009-2012 has captured both the Regional and Sectional Championships and had 3rd and 4th place finishers at Nationals in 2008 and 2011 respectively. The math team received 7th place in 2007 and 9th place in 2008 for class 2A. In 2008 Chess scored 5-2 to win first in their class with an impressive win fourth round against number 1 seed Niles North. In 2009 the chess team went 6-1 to earn 6th place in the Illinois High School Association chess tournament. U-High’s WYSE team garnered 2nd place in their division.
- Adlai Stevenson II, Democratic Party presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, Governor of Illinois (1949-1953)
- Ogonna Nnamani, Two-time U.S. indoor volleyball Olympian and winner of the Silver Medal
- Jim Crews, U-High basketball player, Indiana University
- Arnold Orville Beckman, Inventor of the pH meter
- Ellen Crawford, Actress Most commonly known for her part on the TV show ER