Willowbrook High School
|Willowbrook High School|
|1250 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, Illinois, 60181
|School type||public secondary|
|School district||DuPage H.S. District 88|
|Superintendent||Dr. Scott Helton|
|Average class size||24.5|
|School colour(s)||columbia blue
|Fight song||Fight Roman Warriors|
|Athletics conference||West Suburban Conference|
|Average ACT scores||21.6|
Willowbrook High School (WBHS) is a public four-year high school located approximately half a mile north of Illinois Route 38 on Ardmore Ave in Villa Park, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of School District 88, which also includes Addison Trail High School. Willowbrook draws its students from Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, and portions of Elmhurst, Oak Brook and Lombard.
Planning for the school began as early as 1950 when projected growth for the area suggested that a new high school would soon be needed. In January, 1958, the school board not only decided that the new school was to be called Willowbrook (referring to a nearby creek running thru a stand of weeping willow trees), but that the school would be prepared to admit students in all four grades once the school opened in 1959.
When the school opened, the principal drafted a group of upperclassmen to help shape the schools traditions (colors, team nickname, student council constitution, etc.). Until the middle of the 1969-1970 school year, students were required to follow a dress code which prohibited (among other things) jeans for both genders and long hair for young men.
In 1961, a bust of Thomas Jefferson was added to the southeast wall of the school. The bust had been recovered from the demolition of the Louis Sullivan designed Garrick Theater in Chicago by relatives of a (then) current student who were contractors in the theater's demolition.
In 1963, a north wing was added, including district offices located on the first floor portion of the wing.
In 2007, a referendum was passed to make infrastructure improvements and help improve the students' learning environment. Groundbreaking began the week of June 9, 2008 and continued year-round. Some holidays were ignored in order to allow construction to be continue longer during summer recesses. Such improvements included the expansion of music facilities, addition of a fieldhouse and other athletic areas, enhancements to existing science labs, mass improvement to electrical/plumbing, technological enhancements, a more student-centered foyer/commons and guidance areas, renovation to the library/media center, expansion of learning spaces and classrooms, installation of air-conditioning, enhancement to traffic flow and parking, the updating of handicap accessibility, and funds put toward the improvement of the auditorium/drama facilities.
In 2008, the district offices were relocated from the first floor of the north wing to the building previously used by the Addison Public Library.
In 2010, referendum totals came out to be $115.3 million among Willowbrook and sister school Addison Trail High School. After completion of "Building the Future" in the Fall of 2010, dedication ceremonies were held at Willowbrook and Addison Trail on October 17, 2010.
In 2008, Willowbrook had an average composite ACT score of 21.6 and graduated 94.2% of its senior class. Willowbrook made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, which with the ACT, are used as the assessment tools to fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In June 2009, Newsweek, using the Challenge Index, ranked Willowbrook #1464 on their annual list of top American high schools. The school had been on the list once before; ranked #1343 in 2008.
Willowbrook competes in the West Suburban Conference. The school is also a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most interscholastic sports and competitive activities. Teams from the school are stylized as the "Warriors" (in the tradition of a mj≠Roman soldier).
The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for young men and women in: basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Young men may also compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while young women may compete in badminton, bowling, cheerleading, and softball. While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors a poms team, as well as a basketball team which competeBs in the Special Olympics.
The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state tournaments or meets:
- Badminton: 4th place (1999—2000, 05—06); 3rd place (1994—95, 2002—03); 2nd place (1985—86, 95—96, 96—97); State Champions (1997—98, 98—99)
- Cross Country (boys): 2nd place (1978—79)
- Football: semifinals (1974—75, 75—76)
- Gymnastics (boys): 4th place (1959—60, 64—65); 2nd place (1961—62, 65—66); State Champions (1963—64)
- Baseball: Semifinals (1973)
The Rock is a tradition in Willowbrook High School. It was dug up when the new auditorium was built in the 1960s. It was then positioned outside the main entrance doors of the high school. Students usually paint it in the night with various slogans or colors of their discretion. People use it to express how they feel and to show what's going on. According to the school's website. Neither the school nor the police have issued an official statement. So if you get caught you are on your own. In February 2012, a record was broken for the longest time the rock has ever stayed one color, red. The rock was painted red because of freshman Darnell Holt Junior, who was murdered along with his mom, brother and cousin. The rock, painted red because it was Darnells favorite color, had Darnell's name, hundreds on student signatures, and "once a warrior, always a warrior" on the back facing the school. On February 24, 2012, the rock was painted blue (Darnell's second favorite color) to preserve the red paint against the will of some of the students. Until March 7, 2012, the rock hasn't been painted over remaining blue, expanding the amount of time the rock has not been painted by students for any sports events or plays. On October 5, 2013, the class of 1993 painted the rock after their 20th reunion.
- Robert Falls (class of 1972) is the Artistic Director for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago (1986—present). He won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play, for his direction of Death of a Salesman.
- Jody Gerut is a Major League Baseball outfielder (2003—present). He currently plays for the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Tom Hicks was an NFL linebacker (1976—80), playing his entire career for the Chicago Bears.
- Tom Higgenson (class of 1997) is the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band, Plain White T's.
- Thomas Dannenberg (class of 1993) is the president of Hutchinson Shockey Erley & Co., a firm that underwrites and makes markets for municipal bonds, and is one of the individuals who inspired the "Most Interesting Man in the World" advertisement campaign of Dos Equis.
- Matt Roth (class of 2001) is an NFL defensive end (2005—present), having played for the Miami Dolphins after college until 2009 when he was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Before the 2011-2012 season, he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Rick Santelli, (Class of 1974) is an American on-air editor/Reporter for the CNBC Business News network. He joined CNBC as an on-air editor on June 14, 1999, reporting primarily from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. He was formerly the vice president for an institutional trading and hedge fund account for futures-related products. He is also credited with being a catalyst in the early formation of the Tea Party movement via a statement he made on February 19, 2009.
- Mike Rowland, major league baseball pitcher, San Francisco Giants, 1981-1982
- Dan Schatzeder (class of 1972), major league baseball pitcher, and World Series Game winner with the Minnesota Twins.
- Mike Sheldon (class of 1991) was an NFL offensive lineman (1997—99), playing his entire career for the Miami Dolphins.
- Dave Tirio (class of 1997) is the guitarist for the Grammy-nominated band, Plain White T's.
- Sylvio (Tino) Insana (1966) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, and film producer.
- David J. "Hawk" Wolinski (1966) is an American keyboardist, songwriter and record producer probably best known for his work with the funk band Rufus and their lead singer Chaka Khan.
- Rob Scahill, MLB pitcher for Colorado Rockies (2012- )
- District 88 Administration; accessed 18 July 2009
- WHS administration; accessed 18 July 2009
- Staff directory for WHS; accessed 18 July 2009
- Class of 2008 school report card; accessed 18 July 2009
- School information for WHS; ihsa.org; accessed 18 July 2009
- Lyrics to Fight Roman Warriors; accessed 18 July 2009
- Directory of WHS clubs and activities; accessed 18 July 2009
- School history; excerpted from DuPage H.S. District 88 History Lessons 1918-2001; Mahoney, Greg; WHS website; accessed 18 July 2009
- Building the Future; excerpted from DuPage High School District 88: Building the Future; DuPage High School District 88; accessed 11 December 2010
- The Top of the Class - the complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools; newsweek.com; accessed 18 July 2009
- WHS Athletic Department; accessed 18 July 2009
- Season summaries for WHS; ihsa.org; accessed 18 July 2009
- The Legend. The Myths. The Rock Willowbrook HS website; accessed 18 July 2009
- Tapp, Maria; Dramatic Effect; September 2006; Chicago Magazine; "He just asked questions like mad," recalls Ralph Amelio, Falls 's cinema studies teacher at Willowbrook High School.; accessed 17 July 2009
- Mitchell, Fred; Former White Sox fan changes his allegiance'; 20 July 2005; Chicago Tribune; acquired Gerut in a trade with Cleveland for outfielder Jason Dubois after Monday night's game. He starred at Willowbrook High School; accessed 17 July 2009
- Tom Hicks stats & bio; databasefootball.com; accessed 17 July 2009
- Swade, Alison; Plain White T’s come home to play DuPage County Fair; 24 July 2007; My Suburban Life - Clarendon Hills; Higgenson, the lead singer from Villa Park, attended Willowbrook High School with the band’s guitarist, Dave Tirio.; accessed 18 July 2009
- Hey Punk!; 30 November 2006; Illinois Entertainer; p. 2; “I don’t think we’re that punk,” says Plain White T’s founder Tom Higgenson... The first day at Willowbrook [High School], I was wearing a silk shirt... ; accessed 18 July 2009
- Reaven, Steve (for ChicagoSports.com); Keeping up with ... Willowbrook's Matt Roth; 7 January 2008; Chicagotribune.com; "I can't remember losing more than two or three weeks in a row," said Roth of his previous football stops at Willowbrook High School ...; accessed 17 July 2009
- Matt Roth stats & bio; nfl.com; accessed 17 July 2009
- "Rick Santelli". CNBC. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- "Rick Santelli Gets Credit for Tea Party Movement". U.S. News. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- Bell, Taylor (October 26, 1997). "Schatzeder has great memories". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 22.
- Mike Sheldon stats & bio; databasefootball.com; accessed 17 July 2009