Carmel High School (Mundelein, Illinois)

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For other schools of the same name, see Carmel School.
Carmel Catholic High School
1 Carmel Parkway
Mundelein, Illinois 60060
United States
Coordinates 42°16′19″N 87°59′11″W / 42.2719°N 87.9864°W / 42.2719; -87.9864
School type private, coed
Motto Honestas Pro Vita
(Latin: Values for Life)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1962
Authority Carmelites
Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Oversight Archdiocese of Chicago
President Bradley Bonham, Ph.D.
Faculty 135
Teaching staff 78
Grades 912
Enrollment 1,400 (2010)
Average class size 24-25 Students[citation needed]
Student to teacher ratio 16:1[citation needed]
Campus suburban
Campus size 50 acres[citation needed]
Color(s)      brown
Fight song "We Are from Carmel"
Athletics conference East Suburban Catholic Conference
Team name Corsairs
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Average ACT scores 27.8[citation needed]
Publication Harbinger (literary magazine), Colloquium (President's newsletter), Currents (alumni magazine)
Newspaper Crossroads
Yearbook Spirit
Tuition $11,100.00[2]

Carmel Catholic High School is a co-educational, college preparatory, Catholic high school run jointly by the priests and brothers of the Order of Carmelites and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Located in Mundelein, Illinois, Carmel serves all of Lake County, as well as some of the surrounding counties, and southern Wisconsin. An institution of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, Carmel Catholic is one of three Carmelite-run high schools in the Chicago area, the others being Joliet Catholic High School and Mount Carmel High School.


In the early 1960s, the Carmelites and the Sisters of Charity were asked to build separate but similar Catholic high schools for the northern part of the Archdiocese of Chicago; an area corresponding roughly to Lake County. The boys school opened in 1962, with the girls school opening the next year. Following a lengthy planning process, the decision was made by the Carmelites and the BVM Sisters to combine the two schools and establish a Board of Directors. This was done beginning in the 1988–89 school year.[3]

School crest[edit]

In 2007, the school adopted a new crest as a symbol of the school. While the design was arrived upon by a committee from within the school community, an alum was responsible for the final physical depiction.

Beneath the school's name is a shield per cross. The cross itself is used to symbolize Christ and faith. The shield is outlined in gold, while the cross is depicted in brown; the school colors.

At dexter chief (upper left quadrant) is a lamp of knowledge, which represents the life and spirituality of the school community, and the desire to lead the best possible life. The top of the lamp (below the flame) has four steps, decreasing in size, to represent the four years a student spends at the school.

At dexter base (lower left quadrant) is the year of the school's opening (1962), as well as abbreviations O. Carm and BVM which represent the founding religious orders of the school (the Carmelites, and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary). This was given a lower quadrant to visually represent the anchoring of the teaching of the two orders to the school. This quadrant represents the tradition upon which the school is based.

At sinister base (lower right quadrant) is a chained heart, topped with a crown. The heart is used to symbolize the school as being more like a family than institution. The three–linked chain represents a community bond, and also harkens to a heraldic symbol of accepting difficult service and sacrifice, which is a central tenet of Christianity. The three tipped crown is suggestive of both the trinity as well as the Kingdom of Heaven.

At sinister chief (upper right quadrant) is a laurel of ivy which is used to symbolize friendship. It further metaphorically suggests that friendships formed at the school branch out beyond the community.[4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1985, 1996, 2002, and 2007, Carmel Catholic High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.[5]

As of 2007, the school was one of only five schools nationwide to be honored as a Blue Ribbon School on four separate occasions.[6]

Community service[edit]

The school emphasizes an awareness of community as its most important aspect, and as such encourages students to become involved in extracurricular activities and requires students to perform 40 hours per year of external community service.[7]


The school offers 20 Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (C: Mechanics), U.S. Government and Politics, U.S. History, European History, World History, English Language, English Literature, Spanish Language, French Language, Latin, Studio Art, Music Theory, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Psychology, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics.


Carmel's athletic teams are named Corsairs, and the school's colors are brown, gold, and white. Carmel competes in the East Suburban Catholic Conference in its interscholastic athletics program.

The school sponsors both men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country, golf, hockey, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The school sponsors men's teams in baseball, football, and wrestling, while sponsoring women's teams in cheerleading, gymnastics, pom poms, and softball. While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors an ice hockey team.[8]

The following teams have won their respective IHSA sponsored state tournament:[9]

  • football: 2003
  • girls gymnastics: 1992, 1993, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • girls soccer: 2015

Fine arts[edit]

Carmel Catholic's fine arts program includes chorus, band, drama, and visual arts.

The drama program produces one play and one musical per year. The school's current long-range strategic plan includes the construction of a new fine arts wing by 2012. The Fine Arts wing was opened in 2013. The drama program is a troupe of the International Thespian Society and has had students participate in the Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

The choral program has a number of different choirs for students to join: Concert Choir, Treble Choir, Advanced Choir, as well as two show choirs, Co-Choir and Treble Choir, and one jazz/ a cappella group, Parkway Singers.

In the band program there are many different groups: The Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. During the football season, the Marching Band plays at all home games and at as many playoff games they can get to.

Street Scenes is a fundraising event that takes place once a year in February. Street Scenes is the major fundraising event for the school and lasts for three days. One of the nights is a Student Night, the other two allowing access to adults 21 or older. The students perform a musical and the entire school is turned into a themed hub of entertainment. The classrooms are transformed to include live performance stages or restaurants. On adult nights, the gymnasium is turned into a casino.[10]

Street Scenes Student Show was originally organized by Mary K. "Sissy" Deprima, mother of alumna Marietta DePrima, and she directed it from February 1982 until her death in June 2009.[11]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ History of Carmel Catholic HS
  4. ^ Currents Fall, 2007; Community Helps Shape New Carmel Catholic Crest, pp. 6–7
  5. ^ U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2007 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed November 1, 2007.
  6. ^ Berger, Susan. "School gets 4th Blue Ribbon: Carmel Catholic is only one in state honored this year", Chicago Tribune, October 10, 2007. Accessed November 1, 2007. "Carmel also received the Blue Ribbon Award in 1985, 1996 and 2002. Only four other high schools nationwide have won the award four times."
  7. ^ community service requirement
  8. ^ Carmel HS Athletics
  9. ^ "Page Not Found". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Street Scenes". Street Scenes. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Lissau, Russell (24 June 2009), "Director of Carmel's Street Scenes show dies", Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL, USA), retrieved 9 January 2010, Music and theater helped define Mary K. "Sissy" DePrima's life. The director of Carmel Catholic High School's popular Street Scenes student show since 1982 ... DePrima's survivors include: a sister, Margaret Skrypkun of Chicago; two daughters, actress Marietta DePrima Newbern of Los Angeles ... 
  12. ^ a b Marshall, Jon (1996-10-26). "Politics comes home to Carmel as two well-known alumni visit". Daily Herald. 
  13. ^ Scifo, Tony (1996-11-05). "Carmel's political alumni return for chat with students Carmel High School". Daily Herald. 
  14. ^ McGraw, Patricia Babcock (November 9, 2007). "For Salvi clan, it's all about family". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  15. ^ "MLB Draft History". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "MLB Draft History". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Joe Tyler". Olympics at Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Scalf, Abby (2002-10-13). "Lake County sports stars to be inducted into hall of fame". Daily Herald. 
  19. ^ "Jeff Zgonina". Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Sean McGrath". Retrieved 26 January 2016. 

External links[edit]