Wendell Phillips Academy High School
|Wendell Phillips Academy High School|
"The premiere south side school of choice."
|244 E. Pershing Road.
Chicago, Illinois, 60653
|School type||Public Secondary|
|School district||Chicago Public Schools|
|Principal||Matthew G. Sullivan|
|Athletics conference||Chicago Public League|
|Accreditation||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools|
Wendell Phillips Academy High School is a public 4–year high school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Phillips is part of the Chicago Public Schools district and is managed by the Academy for Urban School Leadership. It is named for the noted American abolitionist Wendell Phillips. It was the first predominantly African-American high school in Chicago. The school opened in 1904. In 2010, Phillips became a turnaround school in an effort to lower the school's one–year dropout rate of 66.8 percent. The school received the Spotlight on Technology award from the Chicago Public Schools leadership technology summit in 2013.
Phillips is a High School Transformation and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) school and offers Advanced Placement (AP) courses as well as honors courses as part of its academic curriculum. It provides a positive learning environment through an academic curriculum promoting literacy and inquiry-based learning. AP courses are offered in U.S. history, environmental science and English. Honors courses are offered in 15 subjects. Education To Careers (ETC) programs are offered in fashion design, graphic communications, and drafting. Phillips also features a Junior Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (JAFROTC) program and a health clinic to serve the needs of its students. Enrollment is open to students living in its attendance area; if space is available, students outside the area may apply.
Phillips opened September 5, 1904 and was named for Wendell Phillips (1811–1884), the staunch abolitionist and advocate for Native Americans. He was one of the leading members of the American Anti-Slavery Society. The high school traces its history to 1875, when South Division High School was opened as the South Side's first public high school. When its new Phillips campus opened in 1904, the school was still predominantly attended by the wealthy children of Chicago's South Side mansions, but this soon changed. Changing demographics resulted from the Great Migration, by which millions of African Americans left the rural South for northern and midwestern industrial cities, including Chicago. By 1907, 90 black students had enrolled at Phillips. Early yearbooks portray a racial mix in the student body, but by 1920 the school had become Chicago's first predominantly African-American high school. During this period, the school's winning basketball team was drafted by Abe Saperstein, a Chicago Parks and Recreation employee, to form the nucleus of a group that later became the Harlem Globetrotters. They were initially called "the Savoy Big Five," taking their new name from Bronzeville's Savoy Ballroom. Those players included Tommy Brookings, Hillary Brown, George Easter, William "Razor" Frazier, Roosevelt Hudson, Inman "Big Jack" Jackson, Lester Johnson, Byron "Fat" Long, William "Kid" Oliver, Al "Runt" Pullins, Randolph Ramsey, Ted Strong and Walter "Toots" Wright, all of whom were formerly students at Phillips High.
In 1929, the Board of Education voted to build a new Wendell Phillips High School (which later became DuSable High School) at 49th and Wabash Avenue. Economic conditions during the Great Depression slowed the work on the building; it was finally completed February 4, 1935. The old school "mysteriously" caught fire January 28, 1935, making it necessary for the students to move to the new school in February 1935. Now located at 244 E. Pershing Road in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago, the school has produced a number of notable African-American alumni, including Nat "King" Cole, singing legend and charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the singer Sam Cooke; and George E. Johnson, Sr., founder of Johnson Products (he was a cosmetics manufacturer and his was the first African-American owned firm to be listed on the American Stock Exchange). Constructed in 1904 in the Classical Revival style, the school building was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 7, 2003 in time for its 100th anniversary. Phillips was used as the setting and shooting location for the movie Save the Last Dance, released in 2001.
Phillips competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The schools sports teams are nicknamed Wildcats. Phillips athletic teams have had a history of success. The boys' basketball team won the state Class AA title in 1974–75. The boys' track and field team placed first in 1901–02, 1905–06, 1942–43, 1949–50, 1950–51 and 1961–62. The girls' basketball team were regional champions in 2012–13.
- Spencer R. Smith (1904–17)
- Charles H. Perrine (1917–21)
- Albert W. Evans (1921–26)
- Chauncey C. Willard (1926–35)
- William H. Page (1935–37)
- William Abrams (1937–39)
- Maudelle B. Bousfield (1939–50)
- Virginia F. Lewis (1950–61)
- Robert E. Lewis (1961–65)
- Alonzo A. Crim (1965–68)
- William Finch (1968–71)
- Daniel W. Caldwell (1971–75)
- Ernestine D. Curry (1975–90)
- Juanita T. Tucker (1990–97)
- Beverly LaCoste (1997–01)
- Bertha Buchanan (2002–04)
- Euel Bunton (2004–10)
- Terrence A. Little (2010)
- Devon Q. Horton (2010–14)
- Matthew G. Sullivan (2014–present)
Extra curricular activities
In addition to its longstanding sports progran, Phillips offers students the opportunity to participate in Student Council, Air Force (AFJROTC), a school Newspaper Club, the Book Club, the Culture Club, a Music Production Project, an Entrepreneurial Project, Junior Achievement, yearbook, and a debate Team.
Phillips community and university partners include the University of Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, Ada S. McKinley Educational Talent Search, Dawson Skills Center, Carnegie Learning, Field Museum, Kaplan, Center for New Horizons, and Project Strive.
- Gwendolyn Brooks – author. First African American to win the Pulitzer Prize
- Archibald Carey, Jr – lawyer, judge, politician, diplomat and clergyman
- Darius Clemons – basketball player. 
- Nat "King" Cole – singer, musician and recording star
- Sam Cooke – pop and gospel recording star
- Osiris Eldridge – professional basketball player
- Marla Gibbs – actress, singer
- Lucius Perry Gregg, Jr. – the fourth African-American to graduate from the United States Naval Academy, the first with honors; first African-American to receive a graduate degree in Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; first African-American Dean of Science (Associate) from a major university, Northwestern University
- Chris Hinton – NFL player, (Baltimore Colts)
- Paul Des Jardien – member of College Football Hall of Fame
- George E. Johnson, Sr. – founder, Johnson Products, the first African-American owned company listed on American Stock Exchange
- Ira Murchison - sprinter, gold medalist at 1956 Olympic Games
- Lee Roy Murphy – professional boxer
- Alonzo S. Parham – the second African-American to attend West Point
- Al Pullins – original member of Harlem Globetrotters
- Ted ‘‘Double Duty’’ Radcliffe – member of Baseball Hall of Fame
- William Clintard "Bill" Robinzine–NBA player (1975–82)
- Dinah Washington – singer, recording artist
- Frances Cress Welsing – psychiatrist, author of The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
- Claude "Buddy" Young - Pro Football Hall of Famer, the first African-American executive hired by a major sports league (NFL).
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- Chicago Public Schools: Phillips
- Hard work starts at Chicago high school turnarounds - Catalyst Chicago (September 7, 2010)
- Chicago Public Schools: Spotlight on Technology Award
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- "Wendell Phillips High School". Chicago Department of Planning and Development. 2003-05-07. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Sanders, Carla (2004-01-09). "Globetrotters Commemoration Day". Wendell Phillips High School Centennial Committee. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
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- "George E. Johnson was a natural businessman". African American Registry. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Wendell Phillips High School". City of Chicago. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- Save The Last Dance
- IHSA Chicago (Phillips)
- Rhoades, Mark (2006-10-24). "Illinois Hall of Fame: Gwendolyn Brooks". the Illinois State Society. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
- Smith, Sam (February 17, 1985). "Former Loyola Star Home Among Farrakhan`s Flock". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Bell, Taylor (2008-04-09). "Phillips Wildcats". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Gregg, Lucius (2007-04-17). "Lucius Perry Gregg". The History Makers. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- "Chronology of African American Military Service: World War I to World War II". Redstone. Archived from the original on 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
Alonzo Parham entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the first black cadet to be accepted since the graduation of Charles R. Young in 1889.
- "Gene Ammons: The Jug". biographic sketch. National Public Radio. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
Some of Ammons' stylistic versatility can undoubtedly be traced to his Chicago home ... He also learned from the renowned "Captain" Walter Dyett, the musical director of Chicago's DuSable High School. Dyett was instrumental in launching the careers of many other DuSable alumni, including the legendary crooner and pianist Nat "King" Cole and fellow saxophonist Johnny Griffin.
- Saluting Capt. Walter Dyett, who made stars at DuSable: Chicago Tribune (August 21, 2013)