Glenbard West High School

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Glenbard West High School
670 Crescent Blvd.


Coordinates41°52′46″N 88°03′37″W / 41.87944°N 88.06028°W / 41.87944; -88.06028Coordinates: 41°52′46″N 88°03′37″W / 41.87944°N 88.06028°W / 41.87944; -88.06028
TypePublic secondary
School districtGlenbard Twp. H.S. 87
SuperintendentDavid Larson[1]
PrincipalPeter Monaghan[2]
Enrollment2,321 (2016-17)[4]
Average class size26.1[5]
School colour(s)     Forest green
Athletics conferenceWest Suburban Conference
NewspaperThe Glen Bard[7]

Glenbard West High School (GWHS, GBW, or West) is a public four-year high school located at the corner of Ellyn Avenue and Crescent Boulevard in Glen Ellyn, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Glenbard Township High School District 87. The West campus draws students from Glen Ellyn (primarily north of Illinois Route 38), a small portion of Lombard, and portions of Wheaton, Glendale Heights and Carol Stream. Glenbard West is known for its historically strong academic performance. The town of Glen Ellyn is passionate about athletics and West sporting events are often packed with supportive fans.


The first high school that area students attended was Glen Ellyn High School, which served students from 1916 to 1922.[8] These classes were held at the DuPage Bank Building.[8] By 1920, classes were spread between the bank building and local church basements. The administrators decided to build a dedicated high school building.[8]

The district purchased a site on Honeysuckle Hill for the price of US$1 ($14.97, accounting for inflation).[8] The current building opened in 1922 as Glenbard Township High School, the first of the district's high schools.[8] It was built in the style of a castle, complete with roof turrets.


Glenbard, as it was originally named, was constructed in 1922 atop Honeysuckle Hill, overlooking Lake Ellyn. Built with dark red brick, the building was built with castle-like design, complete with a turret and other minor castle details. Glenbard West also has a tower known as the sixth floor. From the window of the sixth floor tower, the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in downtown Chicago can be seen on a clear day.

Athletics were initially played in a gymnasium, built in 1936, in the school building itself, but with the construction of a $12 million state of-the-art field house across the street, the former gym was turned into the Robert D. Elliott Library, named after one of the most influential principals in the school's history. Biester Gym was built in 1958.

Across the road from Glenbard West is Bill Duchon Field, where football, boys' and girls' soccer, and track are played. Originally built in 1923, it was renamed in 1980 in honor of a head football coach who led West to several conference championships.[9] The stadium seats up to 5,000 spectators, with the home side overlooking Lake Ellyn. In 2001, Duchon field was named by USA Today as one of the top 10 places to watch high school football.[9]

Additions to the school were added beginning in 1926. The auditorium was built in 1931, and the East Wing in 1953. Glenbard East was built in 1959 in Lombard, and the original school became Glenbard West. There was a complete renovation of the school during the 1964-1965 school year, adding new choral, band, and physical science facilities. The George Zahrobsky Botanical Garden, Shakespeare Garden and Poet’s Corner were added in later years. A new library and field house were completed in 2001, and the most recent additions, the science wings, were added in 2016.

In media[edit]

Bill Duchon Field was used to stage the football field scenes in the 1986 film Lucas,[9][10] which featured rising stars such as Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Winona Ryder, and Jeremy Piven. The school building was also used for shooting scenes. Glenbard West cheerleaders appeared as extras in the film, though the school colors and school name were changed.

The 1991 television documentary Yearbook was also filmed here.[11][12]

It was also featured in the post-apocalyptic book The Girl Who Owned a City by O. T. Nelson.[citation needed]


Glenbard West has made Adequate Yearly Progress[when?] on the Prairie State Achievement Examination, which with the ACT, comprise the assessments used in Illinois to fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[5]

In 2015, U.S. News and World Report ranked Glenbard West #520 in the nation and 20th overall in Illinois.[13]

Glenbard West has been ranked among the top 1500 public schools in the United States six times, according to Newsweek's challenge Index. In 2010, the school ranked #900.[14] The school was previously ranked #1022 (2009), #954 (2008), #673 (2007), #626 (2006), #684 (2005), and #711 (2003).[14]


Glenbard West is home to a number of competitive activities that have represented the school well.

The Glenbard West Forensics team (Speech, Individual Events) won the team IHSA state championship trophy in 1991. Since then, the team has won numerous individual awards in State Finals. In 2010, the team tied for second overall.[15]

The Glenbard West Theatre program performs in the Larry Shue Auditorium. In 2008, the school's production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was performed at the Illinois Theatrefest.[16]

The Glenbard West Model United Nations team regularly annually competes at the Brown University, Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Model UN Conferences.[17] The team has received numerous awards at each of those conferences.


Glenbard West competes in the West Suburban Conference. The school is also a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in Illinois. Teams are stylized as the Hilltoppers.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for young men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, boys' lacrosse, and volleyball.[18] Young men may compete in baseball, football, lacrosse, basketball, wrestling, track & field, and cross country, while young women may compete in badminton, basketball, track & field, cross country, and softball.[18]


  • Cross country (boys): State Champions (1960–61)[19]
  • Cross country (girls): State Champions (2013–14)[20]
  • Football: State Champions (1983–84, 2012–13, 2015–16)[21]
  • Gymnastics (boys): State Champions (1995–96, 2016-17)[22]
  • Gymnastics (girls): State Champions (2017-18)
  • Volleyball (girls): State Champions (1983–84, 2015–16)[23]
  • Volleyball (boys): State Champions (2014–15, 2015–16, 2016-17)[citation needed]
  • Track and field (girls): State Champions (2016-2017)[24]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Glenbard High School District #87". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Requirements". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Requirements". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Glenbard West High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Class of 2008 Illinois School Report Card; accessed 29 July 2009
  6. ^ a b "Page Not Found". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b c "Students". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Glenbard West High School". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "Glen Ellyn, Ill. Glenbard West High School". USA Today. 25 October 2001.
  10. ^ Fuentes, Gabe; HOLLYWOOD ON LOCATION AT GLENBARD WEST STUDENTS GET CLOSE-UP LOOK AT FILMMAKING; 25 June 1985; Chicago Tribune; accessed 30 July 2009[dead link]
  11. ^ L.L; ""Yearbook": The Real Thing"; 3 March 1991; Los Angeles Times; "Au contraire, say seniors at suburban Illinois' Glenbard West High School, who willingly bared their souls for Fox's new reality series "Yearbook.""; accessed 29 July 2009 Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Rowland, Debran; "A teen drama in Glen Ellyn? Stay tuned..."; 9 October 1990; Chicago Tribune; accessed 30 July 2009[dead link]
  13. ^ "Glenbard West High School in GLEN ELLYN, IL - Best High Schools - US News". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  14. ^ a b The top of the Class - The complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools; 8 June 2009;; accessed 29 July 2009 Archived 14 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "SpeechWire Tournament Services - Forensics Tournament Software - Speech, Debate, Congress". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  16. ^ [1] Archived May 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ activities
  18. ^ a b Athletic Department for GWHS; accessed 29 July 2009
  19. ^ "Records & History". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  20. ^ "State Series Information & Results". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Records & History". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  22. ^ "Records & History". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  23. ^ "Records & History". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  24. ^ "Girls Track & Field Records Menu".
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wilcox, George M; Glenbard West Hilltoppers; 24 March 2009; Chicago Sun-Times; accessed 29 July 2009[dead link]
  26. ^ Glenbard Twp. HS district 87 Famous Alumni; accessed 30 July 2009 Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Matt Bowen". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Mystery Writers of America (Midwest Chapter), 8 February 2009 meeting report; 19 February 2009; As a boy, Deaver ... developed his own subgenre about pudgy, clumsy, socially inept boys—wish fulfillment stories in which the nerds got the pom-pom girls. He became editor of the Bard, Glenbard West’s literary magazine; accessed 29 July 2009 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "Alex Green". Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  30. ^ Biography: Sean Hayes; New York Times; accessed 29 July 2009 Archived November 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Gire, Dann (22 February 2009). "Why you can't buy a ticket to the Oscars - and more". Arlington Heights, IL: Daily Herald. Retrieved 15 August 2009. To answer this one, I asked a real, live Academy voter: Michael Herbick. He grew up in Glen Ellyn, graduated from Glenbard West High School in 1967 ...
  32. ^ "List of Awards for Michael Herbick". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  33. ^ Production notes for "The Nerd" by Larry Shue; The Theater of Western Springs; September 2000; About The Author: ... Larry attended Glenbard West High School, and while there, he played Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.; accessed 29 July 2009 Archived January 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Christiansen, Richard; Obituary: ACTOR LARRY SHUE, COMEDY PLAYWRIGHT; 25 September 1985; Chicago Tribune; When his family moved to the western Chicago suburbs, Mr. Shue attended Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn.; accessed 30 July 2009[dead link]
  35. ^ "John Shurna". Northweern Wildcats. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.

External links[edit]