Thornton Township High School

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Thornton Township High School
Address
15001 S. Broadway
Harvey, Illinois 60426
United States
Coordinates 41°37′05″N 87°38′36″W / 41.6181°N 87.6434°W / 41.6181; -87.6434
Information
School type Public high school
Opened 1899
School district Thornton Twp. HS 205
Superintendent J. Kamala Buckner[1]
Principal Tony Ratliff[2]
Grades 9–12
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 2,513[3]
Average class size 19.6[4]
Campus Suburban
School colour(s) Purple      and white     [3]
Athletics conference South Suburban Conference
Team name Wildcats
Average ACT scores 16.5[5]
Newspaper Paw Prints
Communities served Harvey, South Holland, Phoenix, Riverdale, Dixmoor, Markham, Blue Island[3]
Website

Thornton Township High School, often simply referred to as Thornton is a public high school founded in 1899, located in Harvey, one of the south suburbs of the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA. The school is one of three administered by Thornton Township High Schools District 205. It is occasionally confused with the two other similarly named schools in the district, Thornridge High School and Thornwood High School.

A predominantly African American high school, Thornton is perhaps best known for its many alumni who have been successful in both the performing arts and athletics.[4]

History[edit]

The site for Thornton Township High School was decided by a special election on May 28, 1898, where Harvey was selected over Dolton by a 1,504 to 1,123 vote, with the estimate of the school's cost being $40,000.[6] Oscar L. Murray was the architect of the building whose cost by October 1898 was $35,000, and was planned that included physical and biological laboratories, a library, gymnasium, a 280-seat assembly room, bicycle and lunch rooms.[7]

By May 1899, the plans had been firmed up to include a two-story structure with basement, with an interior to be finished in red oak. Heat would be provided by steam, with electric fans and an automated clock and signal system. The main floor assembly room was expanded to seat 700. Construction was set to begin in June, with completion in October.[8] The original building was located at 154th Street and Columbia Avenue.[9]

In 1913, Thornton was one of nine schools, and the only south suburban school, invited to found what became the Suburban League, which mostly consisted of schools like Thornton which had formerly been members of the Cook County High School League.[10]

In 1928, 16-year-old Betty Robinson (between her junior and senior years at the school) not only won the very first Olympic gold medal awarded to a woman in the 100 meters (at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam), but set a world record which stood for four years.[11]

During World War II, like many high schools, Thornton made changes to accommodate the war effort. Evening classes for adults started in 1942 to begin training people for necessary war jobs.[12] By 1943, the school was open for 87 hours each week, and had been converted almost exclusively to wartime training.[13]

Additions were made to the building in 1912 (costing $140,000), 1927 ($345,000) and 1937 ($300,000).[14][15] A third floor was added in 1948.[16] In 1949, a new physical education facility was added, including a natatorium, wrestling rooms, locker facilities and class rooms for health classes, in addition to two gymnasia, one of which could seat 3,500 for basketball games.[17][18] The new gymnasium was dedicated in April 1950.[19]

Athletics[edit]

Thornton's sports teams, which are referred to as the Wildcats, compete in the Southwest Suburban Conference, though for many years competed in the now defunct South Inter-Conference Association (SICA). The teams also compete in state championship series sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The school colors are purple and white.

The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for boys and girls in basketball, soccer, track and field and cross country. Boys may also compete in baseball, American football, swimming and diving and wrestling. Girls may compete in cheerleading, softball and volleyball.

The following athletic teams have won their respective IHSA sponsored state tournament:[20]

  • Basketball (boys') – 1932–33, 1965–66
  • Football – 1990–91
  • Wrestling – 1953–54, 1954–55, 1958–59

Activities[edit]

The following groups won their respective state competitions sponsored by the IHSA:[20]

  • Debate: 1974-75
  • Drama: 1984–85, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1996–97
  • Group Interpretation: 1980–81, 1982–83, 1996–97
  • Individual Events: 1987–88, 1992–93

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thornton Township H.S. District 205 District Administration; accessed November 23, 2008 Archived July 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Administration, Thornton H.S. homepage; accessed October 18, 2010 Archived July 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c "Thornton High School profile, ihsa.org; accessed November 24, 2008". Ihsa.org. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Class of 2007 school report card, p. 1; accessed November 24, 2008[dead link]
  5. ^ Class of 2007 school report card, p. 3; accessed November 24, 2008[dead link]
  6. ^ Harvey Wins School Site, May 29, 1898, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 3; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  7. ^ Trustees Oblige Supt. Andrews, October 22, 1898, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 5; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  8. ^ Thornton Township High School, Harvey, Ill., May 28, 1899, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 10; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  9. ^ Harvey School Bonds Sold, July 9, 1899, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 8; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  10. ^ Preps To Form New League, May 24, 1913, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 14; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  11. ^ Shirer, William, Chicago Girl Breaks World's 100 Meter Record, August 1, 1928, Chicago Daily Tribune; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  12. ^ Thornton Night Classes Enroll 452 in War Study, September 6, 1942, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW3; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  13. ^ Thornton High School Adapts Studies To War, February 28, 1943, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  14. ^ Thornton High Asks $300,000 To Build Annex, September 27, 1936, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  15. ^ Thornton Board To Rush School Addition Plans, February 7, 1937, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW2; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  16. ^ Start Building Thornton Twp. High Addition, April 11, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW7; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  17. ^ Tell details of Harvey's School Gym, December 5, 1948, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 1; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  18. ^ Thornton Twp High Gymnasium contract Let To Contractor, January 9, 1949, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 11; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  19. ^ Thornton High To Dedicate $350,000 Gym, April 30, 1950, Chicago Daily Tribune, p. SW 11; accessed ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849–1986); November 26, 2008
  20. ^ a b "Season summaries for Thornton Township HS, ihsa.org; accessed November 26, 2008". Ihsa.org. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Thornton Pride Stays With You". Suntimes.com. April 11, 2007. Archived from the original on August 14, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Lloyd Batts stats and bio". Basketball-reference.com. May 9, 1951. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bell, Taylor (August 25, 2010). "Visiting the Boudreau Room". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 19, 2010. The curious thing about Thornton is that, despite the decades of tradition and legacy of great coaches and athletes ... any other athletic facility is named in honor of any of them...Lou Boudreau, Jack Lipe, Tiny Huddlestun, Betty Robinson ... There is a copy of Boudreau's plaque that hangs in baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and Betty Robinson's gold medal from the 1924 Olympics ... In May 2010, the school added a Thornton Wall of Fame in the main building that honors some of the great athletes and student leaders of the past—Boudreau, Robinson, comedian Tom Dreesen, actors Bill Hayes, Michael Boatman and Melvin Van Peebles, industrialist Dan Ustian and athletes Tai Streets, Melvin Ely, Napoleon Harris and Antwaan Randle El. [permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Hayes, Neil, 'Lou Boudreau: Let's play two'". Suntimes.com. November 23, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2011. [dead link]
  25. ^ http://www.spotrac.com/nba/dallas-mavericks/melvin-ely/
  26. ^ "Fruchter, Alexander, 'Hip To Be Square'". Soundslam.com. Archived from the original on January 8, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Barry Gardner bio & stats". Databasefootball.com. December 13, 1976. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Jack Golden stats and bio". Databasefootball.com. January 28, 1977. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  29. ^ Tamm, Kirii (March 28, 1957). "Babe is Pleased Thornton Hasn't Forgotten Her Feats". The Thorntonite. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
    - Zabell, Martin (September 27, 1992). "Racing Back Through Time: First Female Gold Medalist Comes Home". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 31, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Obie-winning Actress Danitra Vance, 35", Chicago Tribune, August 23, 1994, retrieved November 19, 2010, Once described as a cross between Laurie Anderson and Little Richard, Ms. Vance appeared in feature films and in 1985 became the first black woman to join the regular cast of "Saturday Night Live," where she stayed for a year ... At Thornton High School, she auditioned for a play but failed to win a part. Nonetheless, she got up during the performance and acted anyway and became the star of the show ... 
  31. ^ About the Author. Editorial Review for Words From an Unchained Mind. ASIN 1564110141. Steven Whitehurst was born into a single-parent family in Chicago on March 3, 1967. After spending his early years living in housing projects on the city's southside, his family moved to Harvey, Illinois. In Harvey, Steven graduated from Thornton Township High School in 1984. 

External links[edit]