Hinsdale Central High School

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Hinsdale Central High School
Hinsdale Central logo.png
5500 South Grant Street


United States
Coordinates17°45′00″N 142°30′00″E / 17.7500°N 142.5000°E / 17.7500; 142.5000Coordinates: 17°45′00″N 142°30′00″E / 17.7500°N 142.5000°E / 17.7500; 142.5000
School typepublic secondary
School districtHinsdale Township High School District 86
SuperintendentBruce Law
PrincipalWilliam Walsh
Teaching staff204.65 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment2,728 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.33[1]
Color(s)  Red
Athletics conferenceWest Suburban Conference
NicknameRed Devils
NewspaperDevils' Advocate
YearbookEl Diablo

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.[4]

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.


The high school began as a single classroom added in 1879 to the elementary school, then known as South Side School.[5] The classroom was added when community members saw the need for education beyond eighth grade. All twelve grades shared the ca. 1866 schoolhouse, built at Garfield and Third Streets by William Robbins. At this time, there were five teachers, including the principal, teaching about 120 students grades 1 through 12. The first high school class graduated in 1883 and had four students: Alice Warren, Minnie Hinds, Grace Redfield, and Florence Webster.[5]

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 [6]

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.[7] 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.[7]

The Class of 2011 average SAT score was 1853.[7] 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.[7]

In 2013, The Chicago Sun Times ranked Hinsdale Central as the #1 suburban high school in the state of Illinois.[8]

The May 2012 Newsweek rankings document that the average ACT score was 27.2 and the average AP Score was 3.9.[9]

Student life[edit]

Clubs and activities[edit]

The school offers more than one hundred clubs,[citation needed] 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:[10]

  • Chess: 3rd place (2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14)
  • Speech Individual Events: 3rd place (2007–08, 2013–14); State Champions (2014–15)
  • Scholastic Bowl: 2nd place (1997–98, 2001–02, 2014–15); State Champions (1991–92, 2015–16)

In November 2013, the school newsmagazine, Devils' Advocate, was awarded the National Scholastic Press Association Newspaper Pacemaker Award for the 2012-2013 school year's publication.

Technology initiative[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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. Starting in the 2018-19 school year, all students at HCHS were given Chromebooks to use for taking notes and accessing the internet. The school offers several wifi networks, each with varying degrees of access control and freedom. However, student access to the wifi was removed beginning in the 2018-19 school year, and devices have to be manually added to the new system by the school technology team.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


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 five state titles: boys cross country, soccer, and golf and girls golf and tennis.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for men and women in: Lacrosse, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, and Water Polo. [11]

In addition, the school has men's Baseball, football, and wrestling teams and women's Badminton and Softball teams.[11]

Furthermore, while not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors women's Lacrosse, and a men's Hockey team (known as the "Ice Devils").[11]

Hinsdale Central has finished in the top four of the following IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:[10]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Hinsdale Central High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  2. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Hinsdale Central High School". ed.gov. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^ "2008-09 list of student activities at Hinsdale Central HS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  4. ^ "School Profile 2007-2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16.
  5. ^ a b Williams, Sandra Bennett (25 February 2013). Hinsdale (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 978-0738594323.
  6. ^ "Character Counts! Chronicle". Charactercounts.org. Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  7. ^ a b c d "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC (“NDB”). Archived from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  8. ^ "Top 100 High Schools in Illinois". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  9. ^ "America's Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek. May 2012. Archived from the original on May 21, 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Hinsdale Central Season Summaries; IHSA.org; accessed 24 February 2017". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  11. ^ a b c "HCHS Athletic Department; accessed 23 May 2014". 8to18. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
  12. ^ Bosch, Sandy (2010-07-27). "Bosch, ; 'New BP chief has Hinsdale connection''; 27 July 2010; ''Pioneer Local''; accessed 27 July 2010". Pioneerlocal.com. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Bell, Taylor (2007-08-22). "Bell, Taylor; ''Hinsdale Central - High School of the Week''; 22 August 2007; ''Chicago Sun-Times''; accessed 3 May 2009". Suntimes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  14. ^ Erickson, Matt (2011-06-25). "Erickson, Matt; ''Lamas drops weight for UFC''; 25 June 2011; ''Chicago Tribune''; accessed 9 July 2016". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  15. ^ "Chicago's newest billionaire, 31-year-old Rishi Shah, is self-made". suntimes.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  16. ^ Valentin, Rob. "Brian Wardle hopes to carry success to Bradley from UW-Green Bay". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Andrew Gutman - Men's Soccer". Indiana University Athletics. Retrieved 2020-08-27.

Further reading[edit]

  • Baaken, Timothy. HINSDALE. Hinsdale, Ill.: Hinsdale Doings, 1976.
  • Dugan, Hugh. VILLAGE ON THE COUNTY LINE. Privately Printed, 1949.
  • Sterling, Tom, and Mary Sterling. HINSDALE AND THE WORLD. Hinsdale, Ill.: Sterling Books, 19

External links[edit]