Hinsdale Central High School

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For Hinsdale Central School in New York, see Hinsdale Central School.
Hinsdale Central High School
Hinsdale Central logo.png
5500 South Grant Street
Hinsdale, Illinois, 60521
United States
Coordinates 41°47′14″N 87°56′00″W / 41.7872°N 87.9332°W / 41.7872; -87.9332Coordinates: 41°47′14″N 87°56′00″W / 41.7872°N 87.9332°W / 41.7872; -87.9332
School type public secondary
Opened 1879
School district Hinsdale Township High School District 86
Superintendent Bruce Law
Principal Mark Kolkman
Teaching staff 276.93 (FTE)
Grades 912
Gender coed
Enrollment 2828 (2012-2013)
Student to teacher ratio 10.21
Campus suburban
School color(s) ‹See Tfm›     Red]]
‹See Tfm›     White
Athletics conference West Suburban Conference
Nickname Red Devils
Publication Solstice
Newspaper Devils' Advocate
Yearbook El 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.[3]

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 [4]

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.[5] 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.[5]

The Class of 2011 average SAT score was 1853.[5] 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.[5]

In 2013, The Chicago Sun Times ranked Hinsdale Central as the #1 suburban high school in the state of Illinois.[6]

The May 2012 Newsweek rankings document that the average ACT score was 27.2 and the average AP Score was 3.9.[7]

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:[8]

  • 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.

Technology Initiative[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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.[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.


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.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for men and women in: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, and Water Polo. [9]

In addition, the school has men's Baseball, football, and wrestling teams and women's Badminton and Softball teams.[9]

Furthermore, while not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors both men and women's Lacrosse, and a men's Hockey team (known as the "Ice Devils").[9]

Hinsdale Central has finished in the top four of the following IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:[8]


The Early Years[edit]

The history of Hinsdale Football dates back to 1896 when the town team played on a football field located at the south end of Washington Street and the Hinsdale town teams played teams from Downers Grove, Wheaton, Naperville, LaGrange, Lake Forest, Morgan Park and the Chalmers Athletic Club.

The 1920's and Coach Jaggard[edit]

The Red Devils first played (as Hinsdale Township) in 1922 under Coach R.K. Jaggard. Four years later, Hinsdale won its first West Suburban Conference Championship, and Coach Jaggard's Devils nabbed the WSC title again in 1928.[10]

Coach Kreis and the "Old Oaken Bucket"[edit]

Hinsdale Central Red Devils hoisting the "Old Oaken Bucket"

Under Coach Don Kreis, the tradition of the Old Oaken Bucket was born. The Bucket itself is awarded each year to the winner of the Downers Grove North-Hinsdale Central football game. As written in the Downers Grove Reporter, October 10, 1935: “Hinsdale started a 'Little Brown Jug' rivalry with the game last Saturday. Boys in their manual training room made an “Old Oaken Bucket” bound with copper strips, which is to be contended for by the heavyweight football teams each year. Downers Grove will have its name and the score engraved on the Bucket this fall. It will be in the possession of the local team until the next game”.

Downers Grove dominated the Devils in the series' first match, winning 18-0. Downers Grove continued to control the series for the next sixteen years, winning ten of the sixteen games and tying two. However, a reversal occurred in 1951 under Coach Dickinson when Red Devils controlled the Bucket for twenty consecutive years (1951 to 1970). In over a half century of competition, the series stands at Hinsdale 47 wins, Downer's 31 wins and 3 games have ended in ties. Twenty-eight games have been decided by a touchdown or less.

This rivalry has maintained its intensity given the closeness of the communities and the fact that both schools were charter members of the West Suburban Conference.[11]

1940: The Dickinson Era[edit]

1940 witnessed the arrival of Harvey Dickinson as the head varsity football coach. Coach Dickinson led the Hinsdale team for 25 years, winning the WSC title ten times. Coach Dickinson's teams had a 148-49-8 record. He was honored in 1976 as an initial inductee into the Illinois Football Coaches Hall of Fame.[12]

Gene Strode, Hinsdale Central, and the Doing's Cup[edit]

Now officially playing as Hinsdale Central, Coach Gene Strode took over the program in 1968. A new rivalry emerged when the class of 1968 was split to create the foundation for the new Hinsdale South High School. The two school's finally met for the first time on the football field in 1983, when former head coaches Gene Strode (Central) and Dave Smith (South) concluded that the time was right for the start of a new tradition. Hinsdale Central won the first game in the series 14-6.

Since then, the annual non-conference game is always a measure of pride for both schools. The friendly rivalry brings together players and fans who have grown up together in the communities surrounding Hinsdale. The Hinsdale Doings, the local newspaper, saw the opportunity to be instrumental in memorializing each year’s game by donating a traveling trophy.[13] As of 2013, the series stands at: Central 19 wins, South 12 wins.

In Coach Strode's 21 years of coaching, Hinsdale won the WSC title five times and had with an overall 113-74-2 record. Along with Coach Dickinson, Coach Strode was also inducted into the Illinois Football Coaches Hall of Fame.


Ken Schreiner assumed the head coaching duties in 1992. In Coach Schreiner's 11 years, the Red Devils won five WSC Championships and made five playoff appearances, with the 2002 team reaching the IHSA semi-finals. Ken was inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2003.

Tony Lombardi was the head coach from 2003-2005, with a record of 30-7, reaching the playoffs all three seasons including a semi-final appearance in the 2005 IHSA tournament.

The DiMatteo Era and 2008[edit]

Mike DiMatteo was the head coach from 2006-2010 and compiled a record of 35-20. The 2008 team had a magical season with an overall record of 11-3, culminating in a 2nd place finish in the 8A state playoffs where they ultimately lost to Maine South 41-21 in the finals.[14]


On August 17, 2009, the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 Board of Education voted to install turf fields at both schools in the district. The new field is said to be of better quality than ordinary fields and may be safer as well.[15] The turf field was completed over summer 2010, the last class to graduate on "Old" Dickinson Field being the class of 2010.

The Devil's are currently coached by Dan Hartman, who took over in 2014.


Boy's Tennis[edit]

The boys tennis team's 57 top ten finishes and 19 state championships is a state record.[16]

Girl's Tennis[edit]

The girls tennis team's 34 top ten finishes is the second highest total in state history, though their 11 state titles is the state record. The girls tennis team won the State Championship this past two seasons (2013, 2014) [17]

Cross Country[edit]

The Boy's Cross Country team won the State meet in 2013 for the first time ever under the leadership of coaches Jim Westphal, Noah Lawrence, and Jim Kupres. In 2014, the team repeated with another State championship win. In the 2014 season the team also won the Hornet-Red Devil Invitational and the First to the Finish Invitational. They were also West Suburban Silver conference champions and Regional Champions.[18]


In the 2006-07 season, the girls lacrosse team won the state championship.[19] In 2007-08 and 2009-2010 the girl's lacrosse team finished 3rd in state.[20] In 2010-11 the girls lacrosse team finished 2nd in state.[21] In 2011-12 the girls lacrosse team finished 3rd in state.[21]

In 2009 and 2013, the boys' team captured the West Suburban Conference Title.


The boys gymnastics team's 33 top ten finishes and nine state titles is the state record.[22]


Boy's Swimming[edit]

The boys swimming & diving team's 45 top ten finishes and 18 state titles is the second highest totals in state history.[23]

Girl's Swimming[edit]

The girls swimming & diving team, similarly, is second in state history with 27 top ten finishes and 7 state championships.[24]

Identity theft[edit]

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.[25] The incident was reported to authorities on May 12, 2005.[26] 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." [27] 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.[25] 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.[27][28]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Hinsdale Central High School". ed.gov. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  2. ^ "2008-09 list of student activities at Hinsdale Central HS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  3. ^ "School Profile 2007-2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. 
  4. ^ "Character Counts! Chronicle". Charactercounts.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  5. ^ a b c d "America's Best High Schools 2011". Newsweek. The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC (“NDB”). Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  6. ^ ; "Top 100 High Schools in Illinois". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  7. ^ "America’s Best High Schools 2012". Newsweek Magazine. The Daily Beast, Newsweek. May 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Hinsdale Central Season Summaries; IHSA.org; accessed 2 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  9. ^ a b c "HCHS Athletic Department; accessed 23 May 2014". Athletics2000.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  10. ^ http://www.hcfootball.com/Stats.htm#R.K._Jaggard
  11. ^ http://www.hcfootball.com/The_Old_Oaken_Bucket.htm
  12. ^ http://www.hcfootball.com/Stats.htm#Harvey_Dickinson
  13. ^ http://www.hcfootball.com/The_Doings_Cup.htm
  14. ^ "Records & History". ihsa.org. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "AstroTurf." Hinsdale Township High School District 86. Web. 08 June 2010. <http://www.hinsdale86.org/archived_news/Pages/AstroTurf.aspx>
  16. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Tennis; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  17. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Girls Tennis; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  18. ^ "HC track and XC". google.com. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  19. ^ "2007 State Tournament results; Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association; accessed 2 August 2009". Ihswla.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  20. ^ "2008 State Tournament results; Illinois High School Women's Lacrosse Association; accessed 2 August 2009". Ihswla.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  21. ^ a b primary source Brad Anlauf
  22. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Gymnastics; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  23. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Boys Swimming & Diving; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  24. ^ "Table of Titles for IHSA Girls Swimming & Diving; ihsa.org; accessed 3 May 2009". Ihsa.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  25. ^ a b "Application Security Database Hacks and Security Breaches". Appsecinc.com. 2002-04-04. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  26. ^ "High school students access Social Security numbers". Datalossdb.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  27. ^ a b Two students investigated for identity theft at high school
  28. ^ "A Chronology of Data Breaches". Privacyrights.org. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  29. ^ 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. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  • 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]