Barrington High School (Illinois)

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Barrington High School
616 West Main Street


United States
Coordinates42°09′25″N 88°08′53″W / 42.15704°N 88.14812°W / 42.15704; -88.14812Coordinates: 42°09′25″N 88°08′53″W / 42.15704°N 88.14812°W / 42.15704; -88.14812
Opened1949; 74 years ago (1949)
School districtBarrington Community Unit School District 220
SuperintendentRobert Hunt[1]
PrincipalSteve McWilliams[2]
Teaching staff179.92 (FTE)[3]
Enrollment2,921 (2018-19)[3]
Average class size22.0[4]
Student to teacher ratio16.23[3]
Color(s)  scarlet
Athletics conferenceMid-Suburban Conference
MascotBronco Billy
Barrington High School Illinois.jpg

Barrington High School is a public four-year high school located in Barrington, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Barrington Community Unit School District 220.


Original structure[edit]

Although the village of Barrington incorporated in 1865,[6] the area did not have a dedicated permanent high school until 1949.[7] Before that, Barrington had a K-12 school on Hough Street. On February 8, 1947, the village held an election to choose a site for a new high school.[7] Of approximately 1,414 ballots cast, 1,013 were cast in favor of selecting the current location on West Main Street.[7] Voters also granted the village authority to purchase the 70-acre site, issue bonds for the high school's construction, and build the high school.[7] The original purchase price for the site was $37,000.00.[7] At the time, some residents complained that the tract bought had been too large; the opposition countered that unless the tract stretched far to the north, other residents and/or businesses might purchase that land, and the board would not be able to buy the land as cheaply later.[7] The Consolidated High School Board of Education, now Community Unit School District 220, consulted authorities on location, educational needs and the most fitting type of building allowing for future planning.[7] The board engaged the architectural firm of Perkins and Will to design the original structure.[7] The village issued $940,000.00 in bonds for the site and building; however, due to rising construction prices at the time, the high school as planned could not be completed for that amount.[7] On June 12, 1948, an election increased the authorization for such bonds by an additional $328,000.00 by a decision of 388 to 71.[7] Groundbreaking on the high school took place on July 10, 1948, and engineer George Gilfeather supervised the ensuing construction almost daily.[7] Classes began in the new building on September 12, 1949 under Superintendent F.C. Thomas.[7]

Additions and expansions[edit]

In February 1955, an election to expand the high school granted a bond issue of $850,000.00 by a vote of 880 to 117.[7] These funds were used to add a wing to the west end of the building that connected the school to the gymnasium and add a second story to the original building at the north end; these additions were completed in September 1956.[7] On November 8, 1958, voters permitted bonds in the amount of $1,600,000.00 to be used for a further addition on the east side of the building, including twenty-three classrooms, an auxiliary gymnasium, and an auditorium.[7] These improvements began in 1959 and were completed in the fall of 1960.[7] In 1999, Barrington voters approved an additional bond issuance for substantial remodeling and expansion of the high school.[citation needed] This expansion included updating the building's classroom and athletic facilities as well as adding additional accommodations for the school's approximately 2,400 students.[citation needed]


Barrington High School reported that, in 2011, its students scored a composite average of 25 on the ACT college entrance exam, which is reportedly the highest average in the school's history and roughly four points higher than the state and national averages.[8] The school is ranked #553 on Newsweek's 2008 list of the 1,300 best public high schools in America.[9] Ninety-eight percent of Barrington's graduates enroll in college or post-graduate training programs.[10] However, as of 2008, the State of Illinois found that Barrington had not made Adequate Yearly Progress as a part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, as multiple student sub-groups failed to make minimum progress.[11]

According to the College Board, Barrington High School ranks in the top 1% of more than 14,350 high schools both nationally and internationally for the number of AP exams taken by students.[citation needed] District 220 has received the 2004 Bright A+ award for academic excellence from SchoolSearch.[citation needed] Barrington schools rank in the top 5% of Illinois districts, and SchoolMatch has selected District 220 as being among the top 16% of the nation's public school districts being recognized through their Educational Effectiveness Audits.[citation needed] The Physics Program, developed over 25 years, was featured in a PBS documentary produced by Kurtgwbusdeagts Productions and in "Beyond 2000", an Australian television production.[citation needed] The Fine Arts Department is also one of the most comprehensive in Illinois.[citation needed] The studio-based art program received a state award for excellence, and an in-house gallery features regional and professional artists.[citation needed] The music department has received two consecutive Grammy Awards for outstanding programs.[citation needed].

Fine Arts[edit]

In 2013, Barrington High School's Chamber Choir, formerly under the direction of Nancie Kozel-Tobison, was among 5 high school choral programs in the United States to perform in a choir festival in Carnegie Hall run by Choirs of America. Vocal ensembles, including madrigal groups, have performed at the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Chicago's Orchestra Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Capitol Hill Club, the Supreme Court, and the Goodman Theater, among other venues, festivals, and competitions.


Barrington High School marching band at homecoming football game

The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for young men and women in basketball, cross-country, cheerleading, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. Men may also compete in baseball, football, and wrestling. Women may compete in badminton, bowling, and softball.

While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors teams for men and women in ice hockey and lacrosse, in addition to pom poms.[12]

Some teams have won their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournament, including Baseball 1985–86, Cross Country (girls) 2003–04, Golf (boys) 1992–93, Gymnastics (girls) 1999–2000, Soccer (boys) 2007–08, Soccer (girls) 2016-17 and 2017–18, and Track & Field (girls) 2006–07. [13]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ District 220 Administration; accessed 13 November 2014
  2. ^ Barrington HS Administrative directory; accessed 7 May 2009 Archived 30 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c "Barrington High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Class of 2008 school report card; accessed 7 May 2009 Archived June 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c BHS Club list; accessed 7 May 2009 Archived 8 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Barrington, IL". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p
  8. ^ Kohl, Stephanie. "Students post highest ACT scores in Barrington High School history". Barrington Courier-Review. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  9. ^ America's Top Public High Schools
  10. ^ "Barrington High School (2022 Ranking) | Barrington, IL".
  11. ^ 2008 Illinois School Report Card; accessed 5 May 2009 Archived 23 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ BHS Athletic Department; accessed 7 May 2009
  13. ^ BHS Season Summaries;; accessed 7 May 2009
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Bell, Taylor; Barrington - A legacy of top athletes, champions; 4 June 2008; Chicago Sun-Times; accessed 5 May 2009". Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  15. ^ a b Questions and Answers with William and Sisky biz video Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Gary Fencik stats and bio;; accessed 5 May 2009 Archived 12 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Tony winner's success 'not a shock' back home in Barrington". Daily Herald. 11 June 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Behind the Playbook: U.S. Soccer A-Youth License Coach Ryan Miller". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  19. ^ Brady Smith stats and bio;; accessed 5 May 2009 Archived 3 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Schoenburg, Bernard (May 14, 2016). "Rapid change helps explain wild presidential campaign". USA Today.
  21. ^ Sweet, Lynn (2 November 2021). "Boston mayoral winner Michelle Wu: Raised in Barrington, ran tea house on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 5 November 2021.

External links[edit]