New Trier High School
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|New Trier High School|
385 Winnetka Avenue
|School type||Public secondary|
|Motto||"To commit minds to inquiry, hearts to compassion, and lives to the service of humanity."|
|School district||New Trier Township High School District 203|
|Superintendent||Dr. Paul Sally|
|Principal||Denise Dubravec (Winnetka)|
Paul Waechtler (Northfield)
|Average class size||22.1|
|School color(s)|| Blue|
|Athletics conference||Central Suburban League|
|Rival||Evanston Township High School; Loyola Academy|
|Publication||Logos and Calliope|
|Newspaper||New Trier News|
Examiner Near True News
|Nobel laureates||Jack Steinberger|
New Trier High School (//, also known as New Trier Township High School or NTHS) is a public four-year high school, with its main campus for sophomores through seniors located in Winnetka, Illinois, United States, and a freshman campus in Northfield, Illinois, with freshman classes and district administration. Founded in 1901, the school serves the Chicago suburbs of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe, and Northfield as well as portions of Northbrook, Glenview, and unincorporated Cook County. New Trier's logo depicts the Porta Nigra, a symbol of Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The athletic teams are known as the Trevians, an archaic demonym for the people of Trier.
New Trier was featured in the December 9, 1996, issue of Time in an article entitled "High Times at New Trier High." Among other claims, the article stated that "New Trier kids who smoke pot" were "by all accounts more than three-fifths of the student body," compared with national averages at the time closer to 33%. However, on the school's WNTH's radio program, the writer acknowledged that the "three-fifths" claim had been inadvertently rewritten during the editing process in such a way that seemed to imply that more than 60% of New Trier students may be regular users of marijuana, whereas that figure should have been clearly labeled as the portion of students who had ever used marijuana, including many who had used it only once or twice 
In 2017, the school neared completion of a $104.9 million renovation and addition project at its East Campus, which replaced three aging buildings on the west side of the campus with the addition of a new student cafeteria, a new library, more than two dozen classrooms for core English, math, social studies, language and business program classes, new art labs, applied arts classroom spaces in the basement for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming, space for the school's radio and broadcasting programming, two green roofs, and two new theaters.
Jonathan Kozol wrote a book called Savage Inequalities in 1991 that discussed the harsh conditions in the poorest school districts in the United States, making a correlation between inequality and racial separation and segregation. In the book, Kozol contrasted New Trier High School's spending per student to impoverished schools within Chicago.
Profile and recognition
New Trier spends more than $15,000 yearly per student, well above the state average of $8,786. It has been included in the "Top Hundred" and "Most Successful" lists of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Parade magazine. The school was identified as "quite possibly the best public school in America" by Town & Country, in a six-page article on New Trier that cited the "rich" and "demanding" curriculum, extensive arts and activities, strong participation in athletics, and faculty of the caliber typically found teaching at good colleges. Life also recognized New Trier as one of the best high schools in America with cover stories in 1950 and 1998.
In the class of 2017, 23 students were National Merit finalists, 27 were National Merit semifinalists, 71 received letters of commendation and 442 were Illinois State Scholars. For this same class, the average composite ACT score was 27.8, the highest in Illinois for an open enrollment public school and among the top school scores in the United States. The class of 2018 scored an average 28.0 composite on the ACT, the highest ever for New Trier, and the highest in Illinois for open enrollment schools. According to an article by the University of Michigan Department of Psychology, "New Trier students outperform their Illinois classmates on every conceivable measure." The article also points out that 92% of the school's funding comes from the high property taxes of its affluent surroundings. Approximately 98% of the class of 2014 went on to enroll in college.
New Trier ensembles or individuals have received 39 awards in the Downbeat Student Music Awards program. A record-setting seven of these were achieved in 2007 alone. More than 1,100 students participate in the music department. The student-run Soundtraks Club produces all 24 concerts a year, webcast live on the internet at ntjazz.com, on local cable television, and in stereo on WNTH radio.
New Trier was named a Grammy Signature School Gold recipient by the Grammy Foundation in 2000 for its commitment to music education, and was named the National Signature School in 2007 as the nation's top high school music program. In April 2006, the school's Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall. In the summer of 2000, the school's Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra and Bluegrass Band enjoyed a successful two-week concert tour of China.
New Trier has practiced subject-level grouping for over fifty years. In this system, up to four different levels of difficulty are offered for each academic subject. Level 2E is considered a general level. Levels 2, 3 and 4 are college preparatory, honors, and high honors levels, respectively. Level 5 was reserved for Advanced Placement classes and other college-level classes, such as multivariable calculus and linear algebra, but the level was phased out beginning with the class of 2011. (All 5-level courses are currently counted as 4-level.) Students may work at different levels in different subjects. Other levels include 8 and 9. Level 8 classes are counted for elective credit and level 9 classes, a combination of level 2, 3, and 4 students (i.e. 2+3+4=9) are graded as level 3 classes.
New Trier offers both unweighted and weighted grade point averages (GPA), and plus and minus grades are reported on transcripts. In calculating a weighted GPA, grades in a student's coursework are given different values depending on the level in which the grade is earned. For example, an "A" in a 2-level course is weighted at 4.00, while in levels 3 and 4 the values are 4.67 and 5.33, respectively (an "A" in a 5-level AP class is worth 5.67). In 2009, New Trier announced that for the 2010–2011 school year the level 5 will be eliminated. A.P. classes will be weighted to level 4.
With more than 120 state championships, New Trier High School currently has more than any other high school in Illinois. New Trier also leads the state in both boys' and girls' state titles. The sports in which New Trier has the most IHSA-sponsored state titles are boys' swimming and diving (24), boys' tennis (19), girls' swimming and diving (13), boys' golf (9), girls' tennis (9), and girls' badminton (8). New Trier has been strong in the sport of baseball, twice as state champions, winning in 2000 and 2009. New Trier has also historically been strong at non-IHSA sponsored sports, including 18 Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference (formerly Midwest High School Fencing) championships in men's fencing and 10 in women's fencing, fifteen state titles (Blackhawk Cup) in boys' ice hockey, twelve state championships in boys' lacrosse, 1995, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019 six state titles in girls' ice hockey, six state titles in girls' golf (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2010, 2012, 2017) and six runners up in girls' golf, 2 national championships in boys' rowing, 7 national championships in girls' rowing, nine state championships in girls' field hockey, six state championships in girls' lacrosse, and one state championship in girls' cross country. The top varsity ice hockey team for boys, New Trier Green, won the first ever USA Hockey High School National Championship title in 2010, and repeated as champions in 2011.
New Trier's Lagniappe-Potpourri is an annual student-written, student-choreographed, student-composed, student-directed, student-managed, student-built and student-performed variety show. The comedy sketches and songs all include New Trier-related humor. This is one of three annual musicals and is an extracurricular opportunity open to all students. Performers in the show (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) must audition at the end of the previous school year for the performance in the fall, and board members also apply for positions months prior to auditions. There are also song and music writing, management, stage crew, and pit band opportunities. The show began as two separate productions, Lagniappe and Potpourri, at the east and west campuses respectively. In 1981, the two campuses combined, causing the two shows to merge into Lagniappe-Potpourri.
New Trier's debate program has flourished in recent years, with two students receiving the top speaker award at the Tournament of Champions, which only allows the top 72 teams in the nation to compete through a system of qualification. The school has also placed teams in the top 16 in recent years. New Trier has also had students either go to the final or win in the Illinois High School Association's state debate tournament in all four divisions, winning the 2011 and 2013 championship in Public Forum. In 2017 they won the championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Each of the four official class governments (Sophomore and Junior Steering Committees and the Freshman and Senior Senates) makes significant annual donations to various philanthropic causes throughout the community, state, country, and world. Every year since 2001, the Senior Senate has fully funded the construction of a house in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity of Lake County, Illinois, a non-profit organization that fights homelessness and substandard housing. A recent goal of the campaign was 10 houses in 10 years, and the class of 2010 fulfilled that goal. New Trier is the only school so far to build 10 houses with Habitat. Many fundraisers contribute to this and various other causes over the course of the academic year. The New Trier Tsunami Relief Committee donated more than $18,000 to relief organizations to save people who were affected by the tsunami, and also helped victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.
Frank Mantooth Jazz Festival
The jazz festival began in 1983 and takes place on the first Saturday of February. Each year, the event brings in around fifty high school and junior high jazz ensembles from all over the Great Lakes region and Canada to perform during the day. The high school groups attend clinics with respected jazz educators and composers from around the country. Seminars are also held throughout the day on improvisation, transcription, and music business, as well as instrument masterclasses. A featured jazz combo and college big band perform in the afternoon, while the evening concert features New Trier's top jazz ensemble and a renowned professional big band. Past groups have included the Buddy Rich Big Band (led by Dave Weckl), the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Jazz Orchestra, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (led by Jon Faddis), the Bob Mintzer Big Band, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, the Mingus Big Band, Maynard Ferguson, and Dizzy Gillespie. The festival was renamed in 2005 after Frank Mantooth when the legendary jazz musician, educator, and composer died just days before the 2004 festival.
In the movies
Scenes from Home Alone, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Uncle Buck were shot at the high school's west campus in Northfield, and scenes from Sixteen Candles were shot outside the high school's east campus in Winnetka. The Breakfast Club's title comes from the nickname invented by students and staff for morning detention at New Trier High School, the school attended by the son of one of John Hughes' friends.
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