Hinsdale Central High School
|Hinsdale Central High School|
|5500 South Grant Street
Hinsdale, Illinois, 60521
|School type||public secondary|
|School district||Hinsdale Township High School District 86|
|Teaching staff||276.93 (FTE)|
|Student to teacher ratio||10.21|
|Athletics conference||West Suburban Conference|
Hinsdale Central High School, or HCHS (locally referred to as simply "Central") is a public four-year high school located at the corner of W. 55th St. and S. Grant St. in Hinsdale, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. Founded in 1879, the school is well known for its large spending per student, academic excellence, and athletic programs. It is part of Hinsdale Township High School District No. 86, which also includes Hinsdale South High School. The school is 17 miles west of Chicago and serves a suburban residential area of approximately 35,000 people. The Central campus draws its students from all of the village of Hinsdale, majority of Clarendon Hills and Oak Brook, and small parts of Burr Ridge, Darien, Willowbrook and Westmont.
The official name of the school is Hinsdale Township High School Central, often abbreviated Hinsdale TWP HS Central. This name is derived from the school's original name: Hinsdale Township High School (HTHS). "Central" was added to the original name when Hinsdale South High School opened in 1965.
Hinsdale High School was established in 1879 when community members began to see the need for education beyond eighth grade for their children. The first students, Alice Warren, Minnie Hinds, Grace Redfield, and Florence Webster graduated in 1883. In this period, there were five teachers, including the principal, teaching about 120 students in grades 1 - 12. All twelve grades shared the ca. 1866 schoolhouse at Garfield and Third Streets, built by William Robbins to serve the community he was developing.
In 1894 the school building burned, and was replaced by a new building on the same site. In 1911 the school district was reorganized, and the school became officially known as Hinsdale Township High School. In 1916 a new school building was completed nearby.
By the 1930s, a site for a new school to serve the growing community was purchased south of town at the corner of 55th & Grant Streets. Though a new football field was dedicated on this property in 1932, Depression and World War II constraints postponed construction until 1948. The current high school building was dedicated in 1950.
By the 1960s, two additional school sites were purchased. Hinsdale South High School opened in 1965 at the corner of Clarendon Hills Road and 75th Street in Darien. It was then that the word "Central" was added to the name of the school. The other property at the corner of Midwest Road and 31st Street in Oak Brook, for a potential Hinsdale North High School, was later determined to be not needed, and was sold. This property now forms part of the Trinity Lakes Subdivision.
In 2004, the school underwent additional construction to alleviate crowded hallways and rebuild deteriorating parts of the building. The reconstruction included a new 5 million dollar library, extended cafeteria, and connected hallways greatly opening up the campus and improving the flow of traffic.
In 2007, it was the only high school in the country to be nominated as a Character Counts school and was named Character Counts School of the Year 
In 2009, Hinsdale Central was named the National School Of Character by the Character Counts! organization.
In 2011, Hinsdale Central High School was rated the 69th best high school in the U.S. and ranked #3 in Illinois-based high schools by Newsweek Magazine's annual “America’s Best High Schools” feature. Only Northside College Prep in Chicago (No. 24 nationwide) and Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora (No. 37 nationwide) placed ahead of Hinsdale Central in Illinois, although both of these schools have very selective admissions criteria.
The Class of 2011 average SAT score was 1853. With a 98% graduation rate and 97% college-bound-student rate, Hinsdale Central students are well-prepared for success, and flourishing in a challenging environment with a 20:1 student-to-teacher ratio.
In 2013, The Chicago Sun Times ranked Hinsdale Central as the #1 suburban high school in the state of Illinois.
The May 2012 Newsweek rankings document that the average ACT score was 27.2 and the average AP Score was 3.9.
Clubs and Activities
The school offers more than one hundred clubs, including community service organizations, academic competition teams, foreign language groups, and special interest clubs. Many clubs have won local and state awards and competitions.
The following IHSA sponsored competitive activities have finished in the top 4 of their respective state tournament:
- Chess: State Champions (1972–73); 3rd place (2009-2010); 3rd place (2010-2011); 7th place (2011-2012), 4th place (2012-2013)
- Individual Events: 3rd place (2007–08)
- Scholastic Bowl: 2nd place (1997–98, 2001–02); State Champions (1991–92)
In November 2013 the school newsmagazine, Devils' Advocate, was awarded the prestigious National Scholastic Press Association Newspaper Pacemaker Award for the 2012-2013 school year's publication.
In recent years the administration has moved towards integrating technology into the daily life of the school. A so-called "Tablet Initiative" attempted to have every freshman from the class of 2009 purchase a tablet PC for use in classes. However, this initiative was met with poor enthusiasm, fewer than 10 notebooks were sold.
Grade notification, attendance, discipline records, schedules,and registration information are available online. Hinsdale Central has integrated their server with Microsoft's SharePoint Services solution as opposed to their original use of Blackboard in the 2003-2004 school year. Students and faculty members are also given a school email, running Microsoft Exchange Servers.
The school currently provides teachers with Tablet PCs, and the school is equipped with wireless internet access points. Tablet PC carts and desktop PC workstations are also available to students. Also, students at Hinsdale Central are allowed the option of bringing a laptop computer, tablet PC, or personal digital assistant for note taking and word processing in class. The school offers several wifi networks, each with varying degrees of access control and freedom.
Hinsdale Central has a fully equipped and operating radio room which powers its own radio station, WHSD 88.5 FM. This station is also operated by Hinsdale Central's sister school, Hinsdale South High School.
Hinsdale Central competes in the West Suburban Conference and is a member school in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in the state. Hinsdale Central's teams are known as the Red Devils.
In the 2014 fall season the Red Devils took home an incredible 5 state titles including boys cross country, soccer, and golf and also girls golf and tennis.
Hinsdale Central has finished in the top four of the following IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:
|IHSA Top 4 Finishes for Hinsdale Central HS|
|Badminton:||4th place (1992–93, 97–98); 3rd place (2000–01); 2nd place (2003–04); State Champions (2007–08)|
|Basketball (boys):||4th place (1907–08); 3rd place (1909–10); State Champions (1908–1909)|
|Basketball (girls):||State Champions (2001–02)|
|Cross Country (boys):||State Champions (2013–14, 14-15)|
|Cross Country (girls):||4th place (2005–06); 2nd place (2008–09); State Champions (2006–07)|
|Football:||2nd place (2008–09); Semi-finalists (2002–03, 2005–06)|
|Golf (boys):||3rd place (1952–53, 62–63, 63–64, 72–73, 78–79, 2007–08); 2nd place (1961–62, 2008–09); State Champions (1945–46, 53–54, 60–61, 2012-13, 13-14, 14-15)|
|Golf (girls):||4th place (1987–88, 2003–04); 3rd place (2013-14); 2nd place (2006–07); State Champions (2014-15)|
|Gymnastics (boys):||4th place (1978–79, 92–93, 2003–04); 3rd place (1987–88, 89–90, 95–96, 96–97, 1999–2000); 2nd place (1968–69, 73–74, 91–92, 98–99, 2005–06); State Champions (1969–70, 70–71, 71–72, 72–73, 74–75, 75–76, 90–91, 93–94, 94–95)|
|Gymnastics (girls):||4th place (1977–78); 2nd place (1995–96)|
|Soccer (boys):||4th place (2007–08); State Champions (1975–76, 14-15)|
|Soccer (girls):||3rd place (1988–89); State Champions (2008–09)|
|Swimming & Diving (boys):||4th place (1960–61, 91–92, 2011–12); 3rd place (1961–62, 64–65, 83–84, 84–85, 85–86, 2001–02, 02–03, 03–04, 13–14); 2nd place (1963–64, 65–66, 78–79, 79–80, 90–91, 93–94, 94–95, 95–96, 2012–13); State Champions (1962–63, 66–67, 67–68, 68–69, 69–70, 70–71, 71–72, 72–73, 73–74, 74–75, 75–76, 76–77, 77–78, 80–81, 86–87, 87–88, 88–89, 14-15)|
|Swimming & Diving (girls):||4th place (1999–2000); 3rd (1977–78, 85–86); 2nd place (1978–79, 81–82, 82–83, 89–90, 2008–09); State Champions (1976–77, 79–80, 80–81, 90–91, 91–92, 92–93, 93–94)|
|Tennis (boys):||4th place (1964–65, 81–82, 87–88, 91–92, 95–96, 97–98, 1999–2000); 3rd place (1950–51, 62–63, 84–85, 88–89, 98–99, 2004–05); 2nd place (1948–49, 54–55, 59–60, 60–61, 63–64, 66-67, 68-69, 70-71, 82-83, 92-93, 93-94, 94-95, 96-97, 2000–2001, 01-02, 09-10); State Champions (1955–56, 56–57, 57–58, 58–59, 65–66, 67–68, 71–72, 72–73, 73–74, 74–75, 75–76, 76–77, 77–78, 78–79, 79–80, 89–90, 90–91, 2006–07, 07–08, 08-09, 11-12)|
|Tennis (girls):||4th place (1975–76, 84–85, 2004–05, 05–06); 3rd place (1973–74, 82–83, 86–87, 87–88, 93–94, 2002–03); 2nd place (1974–75, 80–81, 81–82, 85–86, 94–95, 97–98, 98–99, 2012–13); State Champions (1976–77, 77–78, 78–79, 79–80, 83–84, 1999–2000, 00–01, 03–04, 06–07, 07–08, 08–09, 09-10, 11-12, 13-14, 14-15)|
|Track & Field (boys):||4th place (1947–48); 3rd place (1922–23, 42–43, 48–49); 2nd place (1919–20); State Champions (1924–25)|
|Track & Field (girls):||4th place (1996–97); State Champions (2009–10)|
|Volleyball (girls):||3rd place (1977–78)
In the 2004-2005 school year, two students broke into the school's server and obtained the Social Security numbers of the student body and faculty. The incident was reported to authorities on May 12, 2005. The school's administration was not aware of this network security breach for several months, but upon finding out the principal sent a letter home, stating "Our investigation is on-going, but the students seemed to be more focused on entering files to demonstrate that they could gather the data than on actually using the Social Security numbers."  Hinsdale Central High School administrators gave the Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission as a precaution. There was no indication that the students used the Social Security numbers they obtained, and both students later claimed to have destroyed the information obtained. However, some incident reports indicate that the information was retained by the students. There is no way to verify if the Social Security numbers were actually destroyed. As a result of this incident, Hinsdale Central no longer keeps electronic records of Social Security numbers of its students and faculty. The IT department restructured the system to prevent future security breaches, but it is unclear if the changes have helped. The two students were indefinitely suspended from the school network.
- Bob Dudley (1973), current CEO of BP.
- Kirk Dillard (1973), Illinois State Senator (1994–present).
- Bill Evans (1976), jazz saxophonist.
- John Kinsella (1970), Olympic swimmer, winning a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics and a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics. He is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
- John Murphy (1971), swimmer at the 1972 Olympics.
- Joseph Nechvatal (1969), visual artist.
- Robert Nieman (1966), three–time Olympic Modern pentathlon athlete.
- Cathy Richardson (1968), actress, singer, songwriter.
- Marty Riessen (1960), professional tennis player. He was a five–time member of the United States Davis Cup team.
- Bill Veeck (attended Hinsdale Central, but transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy), Major League Baseball team executive and owner. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Meredith Monroe (1994), actress.
- Danielle Campbell (2013), actress.
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