Waubonsie Valley High School

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Waubonsie Valley High School
2590 Ogden Avenue
Aurora, Illinois, 60504
United States
Coordinates 41°44′18″N 88°15′06″W / 41.73839°N 88.25164°W / 41.73839; -88.25164
School type Public Secondary
Motto Excellence in Every Endeavor
Opened 1975
School district Indian Prairie S.D. 204
Superintendent Kathy Birkett[1]
Principal Jason Stipp[2]
Grades 9–12
Gender coed
Enrollment 2,571[3]
Average class size 22.9[4]
Campus suburban
School colour(s)      Green
Fight song "We are the Warriors"[3]
Athletics conference Upstate Eight
Mascot Chief Waubonsie [8]
Nickname Warriors
Average ACT scores 23.2[4]
Publication Premier
Newspaper 'The Voice'
Yearbook 'Arrowhead'
Waubonsie Valley High School

Waubonsie Valley High School, or WVHS, is a public four-year high school located at the corner of Ogden Avenue and Eola Road in Aurora, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Other High Schools also in Indian Prairie School District 204 are Neuqua Valley High School, and Metea Valley High School.


Indian Prairie Community Unit School District #204 (a unit district K-12) was formed in the fall of 1972.[5] In December 1972 a referendum was passed to build and equip a high school at a projected cost of $8.2 million. A separate issue also passed to add a swimming pool. Construction on Waubonsie Valley High School began in the spring of 1973. Tom Gibbs was hired as the first Principal. Since his tenure, Gary Elmen, Marilyn Weaver, Jim Schmid, Kristine Marchiando, and Jason Stipp have served as Principal.[5]

In September 1975, Waubonsie Valley opened its doors for its first school year. 293 Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors attended the new high school.[5] In addition, 7th and 8th graders were housed in the building (using the name Granger Junior High) until Hill Junior High (now Hill Middle School) opened in the Fall of 1981. Construction delays prevented students from using the gym until May 1976 and the pool until October 1976.[5]

The school was designed as an "open" campus, with very few walls to separate classes. This quickly gave way to temporary room dividers and eventually, more permanent walls. Major construction projects over the years added three classroom wings, a field house and an auditorium, leaving just a few clues as to the original design of the building. The school was considered futuristic with a swimming pool, greenhouse, and planetarium.[6]

During the summer of 2006, the school was renovated and various improvements were made. The atrium received a "face lift" in the form of a new style around the pillars and floor tile. In the hallways, the school was repainted with different shades of green and a wooden oak trim. The school also repaved the 12 tennis courts and rebuilt the rubber track. This renovation cost approximately $7.5 million.

The campus consisted of two buildings: a "Gold Campus" building (currently Gregory Fischer Middle School) for Freshman (Grade 9). It has been converted from Francis Granger Middle School in 1993 to Waubonsie's Gold Campus in 2003 to Gregory Fischer Middle School since 2009. A "Green Campus" building (the original WVHS main building) was for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors (Grades 10-12), but now houses all four grades. During the 2000s, the Indian Prairie School District converted middle schools for both Waubonsie Valley and its sister school, Neuqua Valley High School into "Gold Campus buildings", due to high enrollment numbers and classroom overcrowding. However, Waubonsie's "Gold Campus" returned to being a middle school after the opening of Metea Valley High School in 2009. As of 2012, there were 3,689 students enrolled at Waubonsie.

Waubonsie Valley's inaugural principal was Tom Gibbs who worked from 1974-1987.


Waubonsie Valley has provided exemplary academic performance since its opening. Currently it is one of the few Illinois schools to be given a ranking of 9/10 by GreatSchools.[7] In addition, in 2009, Waubonsie Valley was included in Newsweek magazine's 1,500 Top U.S. High Schools in the Nation.[8] Newsweek's list is a national ranking based on a formula that divides the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests taken by students into the number of graduating seniors from approximately 27,000 of the nation's public high schools. According to Newsweek, this measurement places Waubonsie Valley in the top 6 percent of schools in the country.[8] This is the third year in a row for Waubonsie Valley. It is rated as the top ranked high school in Aurora, IL. In 2012, Waubonsie Valley had an average composite ACT score of 23.2, and graduated 98.9% of its senior class.[9][10]

Students at Waubonsie Valley have the opportunity to participate in the High School Human Genome Project run for several years by Elaine Modine. Waubonsie Valley is currently the only school in the state of Illinois contributing to this historic project.[11] Elaine Modine also has received the Ron Mardigian Biotechnology Teaching Award through Bio-Rad Laboratories in 2010.[12] The award honors a secondary school teacher or undergraduate college biology instructor who effectively integrates biotechnology into his or her curriculum. Mrs. Modine was the only 7-12 Science teacher in Illinois to receive the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science Teaching in 2001.[13]

The average class size is 22.9. It has 1,886 teachers with an average teaching experience of 12.4 years.[9]


Waubonie Valley's athletic teams compete in the Upstate Eight Conference. Waubonsie Valley's mascot is the Warrior.

In the spring of 2007, the Girls Soccer team took home the Illinois State Championship. They were ranked #1 in the country. The Girls Soccer team took home the championship trophy again in 2008 and 2010. Also, the Boys Rugby team won the 2009 Tier II Illinois State Championship and the 2014 Tier I Illinois State Championship which they finished ranked #19 in the country.[14] [15] In 2009, the Girls Golf Team won the Illinois State Championship. In 2011 the Boys Lacrosse team won the Illinois State Lacrosse B Championship. Hockey, a club sport at Waubonsie, also celebrated its first state championship in 2014. Combined with Matea Valley, Oswego East, and Oswego the team also won the ISHSL West Cup and finished 1st in the west division.

Also at WVHS, Special Olympics is another highly valued and appreciated athletic program. It allows students with special needs to participate in sports such as basketball, swimming, track & field, as well as bowling. Special Olympics is an important aspect of the athletics department.

Waubonsie Valley has won numerous other State Championships. The entire list can be found here.


The school sponsors numerous extracurricular clubs and organizations ranging from arts and academic to cultural and special interest. While an entire list can be found here, the following are the most notable in terms of being chapters of a larger national movement:

Waubonsie also offers 30+ other in-school clubs and activities. These activities are designed to accommodate the wide interests of the diverse student body. Waubonsie prides itself in its vast variety of activities and the success they have achieved. Some of the most prestigious are listed below:

  • Mosaic Ensemble
  • Cloud Nine
  • Pink Notes
  • Percussion Ensemble

Music Program[edit]

The Waubonsie Valley Music Program has received a Grammy Award six times in total. WVHS was named a Grammy Association's Signature School in 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2011 through the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. In 2007, WVHS was one of two schools in the nation to receive the honor of the Grammy Association's Signature GOLD School. The department was again honored as a Grammy Signature GOLD School in 2011.[16]

The choir program offers seven choirs and several extracurricular ensembles, most notably two show choirs. The top level mixed show choir "Sound Check" is award-winning, and for the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2014 seasons, it finished the year ranked 1st in the nation by the Show Choir Ranking System.[17] There are 2 long-standing student-lead a cappella groups, one male and one female. They are called Cloud 9 and Pink Notes. In addition, there is a highly selective, faculty-lead, co-ed ensemble that performs largely a cappella music—Mosaic Ensemble. In 2006, the Waubonsie Valley choirs traveled to Branson, MO and in 2008, to Italy, performing around the country including at a Mass at the Vatican.[16] In 2012, Waubonsie Valley choirs traveled to Sydney, Australia and performed in the Sydney Opera House.

Waubonsie bands also make regular trips. In recent years, the band has traveled to Walt Disney World, London, Hawaii, New York, Italy, and Paris. In addition, the Orchestra frequently makes international trips, including visits in Germany, Austria, Mexico, Prague, Spain, and Portugal.[16] The band program consists of 4 different bands, one of which is for freshman only, one non-audition group, and two that require auditions. The band program also offers extracurricular ensembles such as marching band, a percussion ensemble, World Beat, and a jazz ensemble.

The WVHS marching band participated in a New Year's Day Parade in London on 1 January 1997 and 1 January 2006.[18] The WVHS Marching Warriors took fifth place overall at the Illinois State University High School Marching Band Championships in 2006 and placed third in their class. In 2012, the Marching Warriors attended the University of Illinois Marching Band Championships: Large Bands with their show "Reflections on the Nature of Water", placed 3rd in the overall competition, and won 1st in their division. In 2013, The Marching Warriors attended the same competition with their show, "Celestial Visions", and won 1st overall out of 30 Bands for the first time in school history. The following year, in 2014, with their show "Dreamland" ,based upon "Dreamland" by Michael Markowski and "Lullabye" by Billy Joel, The Marching Warriors once again competed here, and won 1st place in class 6A, and 5th overall.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable staff[edit]


External links[edit]