Homewood-Flossmoor High School

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High School
999 Kedzie Avenue
Flossmoor, Illinois 60422
United States
School type public secondary
Motto Dedicated to Excellence
Opened 1959
School district Homewood-Flossmoor Community HS 233
Superintendent Dr. Von Mansfield[1]
Staff 301[2]
Grades 912
Gender coed
Enrollment 2,894[3]
Average class size 19.5[3]
Area South Suburbs
Campus type suburban
Color(s)      red
Fight song Fight On, You Vikings, Fight!
Athletics conference South Suburban Conference[4]
Team name Vikings[4] (males) / Lady Vikings (females)
Average ACT scores 21.5[3]
Newspaper The Voyager[5]
Radio WHFH (88.5 FM)[5]

Homewood-Flossmoor High School (H-F) is a comprehensive public high school in Flossmoor, Illinois, in the Chicago metropolitan area. The district encompasses nearly 11.5 square miles, drawing students from the communities of Homewood, Flossmoor, Chicago Heights, Glenwood, Hazel Crest, and Olympia Fields, serving school districts 153, 161 and 167. A three-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence winner (1983, 1996, 2002), Homewood-Flossmoor continues to be ranked nationally, including as one of America’s Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post. Fiscally sound and responsible, H-F earned a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s in 2013. H-F is well known for its innovative programming, excellent teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities and its wide variety of enrichment opportunities, fine arts and athletics. In 2012-13, Homewood-Flossmoor became the first public high school in Chicago’s suburbs to earn the International Baccalaureate World School status. Homewood-Flossmoor also offers a robust Advanced Placement program (25 AP courses in 2017-18); an innovative, five-course Project Lead the Way STEM program; and the one-of-a-kind Media, Visual & Performing Arts Academy (MVP).

The campus consists of a North* and South Building. The South Building contains a number of sub-buildings each assigned a letter, and includes the school's radio station (WHFH) 88.5 FM Flossmoor, television station VTV, science labs, a swimming pool, a music building, gymnasium and an auditorium. An ice rink is also located on the campus, owned by the local park district.

In 2014, H-F took part in a multimillion-dollar renovation of the North Building on campus. The renovations included a new 200-meter track containing four full-sized basketball, volleyball, and badminton courts in the center of the track. The 9,000-sq. ft. facility also contains a state-of-the-art cardio and training equipment. Additionally, a 50-yard indoor turf has expanded the playing and practice season for a variety of field sports and activities, including football, soccer, field hockey, baseball and marching band. The project was finished in late spring 2014. In 2015, H-F was awarded a Gold LEED Award for outstanding environmental practices in the construction of this addition.


Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School site opened in 1959[6] with enrollment at 1,170 students. There were 51 classrooms, which included 10 English classes, 10 Social Science, eight Science, six Mathematics, five Foreign Language, three Physical Education, one Homemaking, three Industrial Arts, two Art, and three Music classes. A cafeteria, library and administrative area were also included.

By 1965, the school’s population had nearly doubled and additional buildings were added: Auditorium (1965), G Building (1966) and E Building (1966). As growth continued, it became apparent that a major new facility was needed, and in 1971, the North Building and fieldhouse opened when the student population topped 4,000.

Following a decade of preparation and fiscal planning, in 1995 a $25 million renovation and addition program was completed: all classrooms and offices were wired for internet access; a music wing was added, providing student practice and performance; a Technology Center and numerous labs to offer computer assisted instruction were completed; the Mall Building, located mid-campus near the football field and field house, was expanded, modernized and staffed, providing athletic training and rehabilitation of student athletes; a new Olympic sized aqua-center was opened; 14 tennis courts were added; and the student-run WHFH radio and TV stations were modernized.

In 1989, football coach John Wrenn proposed District 233 adopt a mandatory drug-testing policy similar to one at two Lafayette, Indiana high schools, where a recent landmark court case decision allowed the creation of such programs.[7] H-F became the first high school in Illinois to require mandatory random drug testing for its student athletes.

In 1996, the school gained publicity when up to 20,000 people gathered on the school lawn to hear President Bill Clinton deliver a speech on education during his 1996 reelection campaign.[8][9]

In addition to being named a Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education three times, the school has received Department of Education Technology Award twice.[10] In 1995, the school's technology plan was named one of the five best in the nation.[10] In spring 2013, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization granted IB World School status to Homewood-Flossmoor. H-F now joins the exclusive company of approximately 3,000 IB World Schools that dot the globe across 138 countries.

Beginning with the Class of 2020, the school now offers the unique Media, Visual & Performing Arts Academy (MVP), allowing students the opportunity to develop their talent in an art-focused field and making their passion the focal point of their education.


A comprehensive school that offers four levels of academic courses, Homewood-Flossmoor serves all of its students at every level through programs such as Project Lead the Way, Advanced Placement, IB Prep Academy, IB Diploma Programme and the Media, Visual & Performing Arts Academy. See HF High School Fine Arts Department. The school’s academic resources and support initiatives help it challenge and meet the needs of all students every day. In 2016, nearly 90% of the graduating class continued on to a two- or four-year college or university. Placement in courses and levels is largely by student choice, yet the school encourages students to aspire to the highest course levels, resulting in an increase in the number of students in AP courses. In 2016, 1,025 AP exams were taken at Homewood-Flossmomor, and — on those tests — students scored a 3 or higher and beat the national average in 10 subject areas.

H-F has been named one of Newsweek's top 1,000 schools on several occasions in recent years: 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009 (#1142), 2008 (#746), 2007 (#682), 2006 (#849), 2005 (#744), and 2003 (#518).[11] H-F has also been ranked for several years as one of America's Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post.

H-F's Visual Arts Department was named the Best School Art Program in the state in 2013 by the Illinois Art Education Association.

Student life[edit]

USGS satellite photo of H-F HS


H-F competes in the Southwest Suburban Conference (SWSC) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), the organization which governs most sports and competitive activities in Illinois. Teams are stylized as the Vikings.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for young men and women in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo.[12] Young men may compete in baseball, football, lacrosse, and wrestling, while young women may compete in badminton, cheerleading and softball.[12] While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors an ice hockey team for young men as well as field hockey and poms teams for young women.[12]

The school also offers a fencing team at a club level, which participates in the Great Lakes High School Conference every winter.

The following teams have won their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournament or meet:[13]

  • Football: State Champions (1994–95)
  • Golf (boys): State Champions (1969–70)
  • Golf (girls): State Champions (1979–80, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1997–98, 2009–10)
  • Gymnastics (boys): State Champions (1996–97)
  • Tennis (girls): State Champions (1989–90)

As of 2009, the girls golf team has finished in the top ten at the IHSA State Finals more than any team in state history; their six state titles is the second highest total in state history.[14]


The following activities placed in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state championship competition:[13]

  • Chess: 4th place (1980–81); 3rd place (1978–79)
  • Debate: 4th place (1965–66, 1970–71); 2nd place (1974–75); State Champions (1973–74)

·DECA: Multiple state and national championships in various events including Quiz Bowl

  • Drama: 4th place (1977–78, 2006–07, 2009–10); 3rd place (1989–90, 1994–95, 2005–06); 2nd place (1968–69, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1995–96, 1996–97); State Champions (1966–67, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2001–02)
  • Group Interpretation: 4th place (1975–76, 1978–79, 1981–82, 1993–94, 2003–04, 2005–06); 3rd place (1976–77); 2nd place (1998–99, 2007–08, 2010–11); State Champions (1995–96, 1999–2000, 2006–07)
  • Individual Events: 4th place (1966–67, 1978–79, 1985–86, 1996–97); 3rd place (1973–74, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1986–87), 2nd place (1970–71, 1972–73); State Champions (1967–68, 1974–75, 1980–81, 1983–84, 2012–13)
  • Speech: 2nd place (1966–67); State Champions (1967–68, 1968–69, 1970–71, 2013)

Journalism: State Champions (2010, 2016)

The H-F Theatre Department has holds the record for top three finishes in Drama and Group Interpretation in Illinois, with having won 17 State Championships in Drama, alone. .[15]

International Thespian Troupe #2062[edit]

H-F’s drama programs involve both curricular offerings and co-curricular productions. The quality of an H-F production is matched by few in the southern suburbs, by producing 7 Mainstage shows in a school year. Naturally, due to this reputation, H-F holds the Illinois record for State Championships in Drama, with 17 State Championships. H-F also holds the record for top three finishes in Drama and Group Interpretation.[15] HF also has 3 State Championships in Group Interpretation. Due to these unmatched accomplishments, H-F is known for having one of the most reputable theatre programs in the state, and in the nation, as HF's production of "Once on this Island" was adjudicated and selected to perform at the International Theatre Fest in Dublin, Ireland. International Theatre Festival Thespians of H-F have pursued careers from major universities such as Rutgers, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, CCM, Juilliard, Vanderbilt along with Illinois State, and U of I

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Dr. Von Mansfield is the current superintendent. He is a former NFL defensive back.[16]
  • Charles J. Shields was a counselor, English teacher, and Chair of the English department (1979–97). He is the author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, the first biography written about author Harper Lee, which reached #15 on the New York Times Non-fiction Bestseller List. He has written 20 other books, primarily biographies and histories.[17]
  • H-F has been home to three teachers who were given the National Golden Apple for excellence in teaching: Lawrence Baran (1995), Karen Nyberg (1998) and Dean Auriemma (2001).
  • In 2011, Greg Petecki, Art teacher, was named the Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association. The school has had two other teachers who were named Illinois Teacher of the Year in their disciplines and one who was named national Teacher of the Year.
  • Jon Elfner, Social Science teacher, received the 2009 Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
  • In 2011, retired Student Services Coordinator John Schwaller was given the Illinois Education Association's Human and Civil Rights Award.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Contact Information". directory. Homewood-Flossmoor HS District 233. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Staff Directory". Homewood-Flossmoor HS District 233. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Illinois School Report Card" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Index of Member Schools". IHSA. September 10, 2011. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Viking Media". Homewood-Flossmoor HS District 233. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ Fleischer, Benjamin (April 15, 1995). ""The Dream Becomes Reality": The Creation of Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved January 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Southwell, David (July 30, 1989). "Coach seeks prep drug tests". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Alex (September 18, 1996). "Clinton touts school plans – Repeats promises on college aid, literacy tutors". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  9. ^ Sweet, Lynn (September 17, 1996). "Clinton won't land at Meigs for today's visit". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b O'Brien, Ken (July 16, 2003). "High school is plugged into latest technology: Homewood-Flossmoor earns accolades for incorporating devices into class instruction". Chicago Tribune. p. 28. In 1995 the school's technology plan was voted one of the five best in the country in a competition sponsored by Electronics Learning, Scholastic Network and the National Center for Technology Planning ... Twice, the high school has received the U.S. Department of Education's Technology Award. It was one of three schools recognized last year ... The school received the Technology Award in 2002 in conjunction with the Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award, which recognizes excellence in schools, for the third time. 
  11. ^ "The Top of the Class: The complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools". Newsweek. June 8, 2009. Archived from the original on September 13, 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c "Homewood-Flossmoor HS Athletics". Homewood-Flossmoor Community HS District 233. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b "IHSA Season Summaries". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). November 16, 2009. Retrieved November 30, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Table of Titles: Girls Golf". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). November 16, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "Table of Titles: Drama". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). November 16, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  16. ^ Sutherland, M.B. (November 18, 2009). "Former Bear helps repair high-schooler's broken leg: Prep football player says he appreciated doctor's frank assessment of prospects". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 1, 2009. Vonzell was playing in a junior varsity football game that night, and his parents, Tina and Von Mansfield – superintendent of Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School District 233 and ex-NFL player – were in the stands to cheer him on. 
  17. ^ Mannion, Annemarie (August 8, 2006). "Ex-teacher learns lesson about Lee: Former Homewood-Flossmoor official details author's life in 'Mockingbird' biography". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. Charles J. Shields, former chairman of the English Department at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, once asked teachers to consider dropping "To Kill A Mockingbird" from their curricula. 
  18. ^ Mullady, Carly A. (February 3, 2008). "Never underestimate yourself, and never let others underestimate you". SouthtownStar. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Clark, Mike (November 12, 2008). "Homewood-Floosmoor Vikings". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Larry Rothschild Pitching Coach". MLB. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  21. ^ Shpigel, Ben (November 19, 2010). "Yankees Pick Larry Rothschild as Pitching Coach". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ "Chad Smith". Homewood Flossmoor High School. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chad Smith Biography". TheChiliSource.com. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]