Hillcrest High School (Country Club Hills, Illinois)

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Hillcrest High School
17401 S. Pulaski Road
Country Club Hills, Illinois 60478
United States
Coordinates 41°34′27″N 87°42′43″W / 41.5742°N 87.712°W / 41.5742; -87.712
School type public secondary
Motto Soaring with unity, pride, and excellence
Opened 1967
School district Bremen Com. HS 228
Superintendent Bill Kendall[1]
Principal Renee A. Simms
Staff 107[2]
Teaching staff 98
Grades 912
Gender coed
Enrollment 1,126[3]
Average class size 20[3]
Area South Suburbs
Campus type suburban
Color(s)      Columbia blue
     navy blue
Athletics conference South Suburban Conference[4]
Mascot Henry the Hawk
Nickname "The Hawks"
Team name Hawks[4]
Average ACT scores 17 [3]
Publication Flight[5]
Newspaper Pinion[5]

Hillcrest High School is a public four year high school located in Country Club Hills, Illinois. It is part of Bremen High School District 228 which also includes Tinley Park High School, Oak Forest High School, and Bremen High School.

The name "Hillcrest" aside from the obvious connotation of being "the highest point of a hill", is a portmanteau of the two towns which the school primarily serves: Country Club Hills and Hazel Crest.


The first principal of Hillcrest, William Henry Reeves, was appointed in May 1965, leaving his job as principal of Bremen High School to start the new school.[6] Groundbreaking took place in November of that year, with a needed bond referendum passing in December 1966 to cover construction of an addition, even before the school was opened.[7][8][9] The school opened in February 1967.[10]

The early 1970s at Hillcrest saw a number of racially motivated incidents as the demographics of the school's attendance area began to shift. A late April 1970 incident, coupled with similar incidents in other local schools led to the spread of attacks beyond the school to the local community of Markham.[11][12] In 1971, the school was temporarily closed after a racially motivated fight that resulted in 48 students being suspended.[13] 1973 saw a 14 May riot that resulted in 34 suspensions and the recommendation for 20 expulsions. When the school board, under pressure from parents, decided to rescind some of the punishments without consulting the building staff or administration, the school's principal, Lee Cox, requested reassignment.[14][15]

In 1990, the FBI investigated an incident involving several students from the school who claimed they had been harassed by a Forest Preserve officer while taking a day off from school illegally. Among those counseling parents at the time was R. Eugene Pincham.[16][17]

In February 1994, the school cancelled planned parent-teacher conferences and a day off of school to accommodate a visit by President Bill Clinton. Students were banned from parking at the school that day to accommodate the president's helicopter, Marine One, landing in the parking lot. The visit coincided with the Brady Bill becoming law.[18][19]

As of 2012, 97.8% of the student population is African-American.[20]


Hillcrest students had an average ACT composite score of 17 and a graduation rate of 81% in 2015.[3] According to the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Hillcrest has not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)in over 10 years.[3]

Student life[edit]


Hillcrest sponsors over 35 extracurricular activities ranging from academic competition and performing arts to cultural and special interests.[5] Activities which are chapters or affiliates of nationally notable organizations include Business Professionals of America, DECA, FCCLA, Key club, and National Honor Society.[5]

In the performing arts, the school supports a band, chorus, and drama club.[5]


Hillcrest competes in the South Suburban Conference (SSC) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in the state. Teams are stylized as the Hawks.

The school sponsors interscholastic sports teams for both men and women in basketball, bowling, cross country, and track & field.[21] Men may also compete in baseball, football, golf, and wrestling while women may compete in cheerleading, softball, tennis, and volleyball.[21]

The following teams finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state tournament or meet:[22]

  • Basketball (Girls): 3rd Place (2011–12)
  • Basketball (Girls): 2nd Place (2010–11)
  • Track & field (Boys): State Champions (2009–10)
  • Basketball (Boys): State Champions (2009–10)
  • Basketball (Girls): 2nd Place (2009–10)
  • Track & field (Boys): State Champions (2008–09)
  • Bowling (Girls): 3rd Place (1989–90)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Superintendent". Bremen Community High School District 228. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Staff Directory". Hillcrest High School. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Illinois School Report Card". Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "Country Club Hills (Hillcrest)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 26 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Activities". directory. Hillcrest HS. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Reeves to head Hillcrest High, 27 May 1965, Chicago Tribune, p. S11; accessed 31 August 2008
  7. ^ Begin work on school, 21 November 1965, Chicago Tribune, p. S1; accessed 31 August 2008
  8. ^ Elliott, Michael, Bremen Schools Seek a Tax Levy Increase, 20 November 1966, Chicago Tribune, p. R1; accessed 31 August 2008
  9. ^ Bremen voters OK 1.9 million school bonds, 5 December 1966, Chicago Tribune, p. 2; accessed 31 August 2008
  10. ^ Bremen District Hires 11 Teachers, 7 July 1968, Chicago Tribune, p. S2; accessed 31 August 2008
  11. ^ 12 Suspended at Hillcrest High School, 24 April 1970, Chicago Tribune, p. 7; accessed 31 August 2008
  12. ^ Markham hit by 2nd night of race turmoil, 1 May 1970, Chicago Tribune p. 18; accessed 31 August 2008
  13. ^ 3 Hurt in Hillcrest High Fight: Hyde Park Boycott Continues, 22 May 1971, Chicago Tribune, p. 2; accessed 2008
  14. ^ Lannon, Linnea, Integrated schools; Racial tensions: a ritual of spring No.2 -- Integrated schools Suburbs find trouble in classrooms, 31 May 1973, Chicago Tribune, p. W_A1; accessed 31 August 2008
  15. ^ Hillcrest unrest leaves question, 21 June 1973, Chicago Tribunelie, p. W_A6; accessed 31 August 2008
  16. ^ Copeland, Monica, FBI to probe police brutality charges, 14 June 1990, Chicago Tribune, p. 1; accessed 31 August 2008
  17. ^ Koziol, Ronald, Students found innocent in 'ditch day' disturbance, 26 July 1990, Chicago Tribune, p. 4; accessed 31 August 2008
  18. ^ Rubin, Bonnie Miller, No School, but when the White House called, 25 February 1994, Chicago Tribune, p. 1; accessed 31 August 2008
  19. ^ Elsner, David, Anti-crime theme echoes at Hillcrest, 1 March 1994, Chicago Tribune, p. 1; accessed 31 August 2008
  20. ^ 2007 Illinois School Report Card for Hillcrest High School; accessed 19 September 2008
  21. ^ a b "Athletics". Hillcrest HS. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  22. ^ "IHSA Season Summaries". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  23. ^ Maurice Acker profile at Marquette University; accessed 9 March 2009
  24. ^ a b c d e f Bell, Taylor (24 November 2009). "Hillcrest". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  25. ^ Bagnato, Andrew (April 25, 1995). "49ers Find A Big Package At Tiny Trinity". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  26. ^ Danny Clark bio & stats (under personal section); accessed 30 August 2008
  27. ^ Reinmuth, Gary, Future in theater is not an act for Illinois linebacker, 15 October 1999, Chicago Tribune, p. 9; accessed 31 August 2008
  28. ^ Lipinski, Ann Marie, Rape case is exhumed, re-examined, 31 March 1985, Chicago Tribune, p. 1; accessed 31 August 2008
  29. ^ Ann Marie Lipinski; John Kass; Lynn Emmerman; R. Bruce Dold; Andy Knott; Marianne Taylor (31 March 1985). "Rape Case Is Exhumed, Re-Examined". Chicago Tribune. 
  30. ^ Lipinski, Ann Marie, Mystery deepens in Webb rape case; Dotson balks at lie test, attorney, 5 May 1985, Chicago Tribune, p. 1; accessed 31 August 2008
  31. ^ Ann Marie Lipinski (5 May 1985). "Mystery deepens in Webb rape case; Dotson balks at lie test, attorney". Chicago Tribune. 
  32. ^ District 228 Board of Education minutes 1 April 2008, p. 2; accessed 2 September 2008
  33. ^ Corey McPherrin bio at myfoxchicago.com; accessed 2 September 2008