Willowbrook High School

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Willowbrook High School
1250 South Ardmore Avenue


United States
Coordinates41°51′53″N 87°58′57″W / 41.8647°N 87.9825°W / 41.8647; -87.9825
School typepublic secondary
School districtDuPage HSD 88
SuperintendentDr. Scott Helton[1]
NCES School ID171394001738[2]
PrincipalDan Krause[3]
Enrollment1,931 (2015-16)[5]
Average class size24.5[6]
School colour(s)     columbia blue
Fight songFight Roman Warriors[8]
Athletics conferenceWest Suburban Conference

Willowbrook High School (WBHS) is a public four-year high school located approximately half a mile north of Illinois Route 38 on Ardmore Ave in Villa Park, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of DuPage High School District 88,[10] which also includes Addison Trail High School. Willowbrook draws its students from Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, and portions of Elmhurst, Oak Brook and Lombard.


Planning for the school began as early as 1950 when projected growth for the area suggested that a new high school would soon be needed.[11] In January, 1958, the school board not only decided that the new school was to be called Willowbrook (referring to a nearby creek running through a stand of weeping willow trees), but that the school would be prepared to admit students in all four grades once the school opened in 1959.[11]

When the school opened, the principal drafted a group of upperclassmen to help shape the schools traditions (colors, team nickname, student council constitution, etc.).[11] Until the middle of the 1969-1970 school year, students were required to follow a dress code which prohibited (among other things) jeans for both genders and long hair for young men.[11]

In 1961, a bust of Thomas Jefferson was added to the southeast wall of the school. The bust had been recovered from the demolition of the Louis Sullivan designed Garrick Theater in Chicago by relatives of a (then) current student who were contractors in the theater's demolition.[11]

In 1963, a north wing was added, including district offices located on the first floor portion of the wing.

In the 1980s, improved vocational education areas were added, as was a greenhouse, and expansion of the library.[11]

In 2007, a referendum was passed to make infrastructure improvements and help improve the students' learning environment. Groundbreaking began the week of June 9, 2008 and continued year-round. Some holidays were ignored in order to allow construction to be continue longer during summer recesses. Such improvements included the expansion of music facilities, addition of a fieldhouse and other athletic areas, enhancements to existing science labs, mass improvement to electrical/plumbing, technological enhancements, a more student-centered foyer/commons and guidance areas, renovation to the library/media center, expansion of learning spaces and classrooms, installation of air-conditioning, enhancement to traffic flow and parking, the updating of handicap accessibility, and funds put toward the improvement of the auditorium/drama facilities.[12]

In 2008, the district offices were relocated from the first floor of the north wing to the building previously used by the Addison Public Library.

In 2010, referendum totals came out to be $115.3 million among Willowbrook and sister school Addison Trail High School. After completion of "Building the Future" in the Fall of 2010, dedication ceremonies were held at Willowbrook and Addison Trail on October 17, 2010.[12]


In 2008, Willowbrook had an average composite ACT score of 21.6 and graduated 94.2% of its senior class.[6] Willowbrook made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, which with the ACT, are used as the assessment tools to fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[6]

In June 2009, Newsweek, using the Challenge Index, ranked Willowbrook #1464 on their annual list of top American high schools.[13] The school had been on the list once before; ranked #1343 in 2008.[13]

Student life[edit]


Willowbrook competes in the West Suburban Conference. The school is also a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most interscholastic sports and competitive activities. Teams from the school are stylized as the "Warriors" (in the tradition of a mj≠Roman soldier).

The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for young men and women in: basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Young men may also compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while young women may compete in badminton, bowling, cheerleading, and softball.[14] While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school also sponsors a poms team, as well as a basketball, volleyball, and track and field team which competes in the Special Olympics.[14]

The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state tournaments or meets:[15]

  • Badminton: 4th place (1999—2000, 2005—06); 3rd place (1994—95, 2002—03); 2nd place (1985—86, 1995—96, 1996—97); State Champions (1997—98, 1998—99)
  • Baseball: Regional (1962—63, 1972—73, 2011—12, 2016—17); Sectional (1972—73); State Final Qualifier, Semifinals (1973)
  • Basketball (boys): Regional (1962—63, 1969—70, 2003—04, 2017—18)
  • Cross Country (boys): 2nd place (1978—79)
  • Football: quarterfinals (2016—17, 2017—18, 2018—19); semifinals (1974—75, 1975—76)
  • Gymnastics (boys): 4th place (1959—60, 1964—65, 2014—15); 2nd place (1961—62, 1965—66); State Champions (1963—64)[16]

The Rock[edit]

The Rock is a tradition in Willowbrook High School. It was dug up when the new auditorium was built in the 1960s. It was then positioned outside the main entrance doors of the high school. Students usually paint it in the night with various slogans or colors.[17]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ District 88 Administration; accessed 18 July 2009 Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Search for Public Schools - School Detail for Willowbrook High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  3. ^ "DuPage High School District 88". www.dupage88.net.
  4. ^ "DuPage High School District 88". www.dupage88.net.
  5. ^ "Willowbrook High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "DuPage High School District 88" (PDF). www.dupage88.net.
  7. ^ a b "Page Not Found". www.ihsa.org.
  8. ^ Lyrics to Fight Roman Warriors; accessed 18 July 2009
  9. ^ a b c "DuPage High School District 88". www.dupage88.net.
  10. ^ Staff (8 December 1960). "Crowd Hears Defense of School's Design". Addison Register (clipping). p. 1. Retrieved 2015-07-26 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ a b c d e f School history; excerpted from DuPage H.S. District 88 History Lessons 1918-2001; Mahoney, Greg; WHS website; accessed 18 July 2009
  12. ^ a b Building the Future; excerpted from DuPage High School District 88: Building the Future; DuPage High School District 88; accessed 11 December 2010
  13. ^ a b "The Top of the Class - the complete list of the 1,500 top U.S. high schools; newsweek.com; accessed 18 July 2009".
  14. ^ a b "Willowbrook High School - Home". www.athletics2000.com.
  15. ^ "Page Not Found". www.ihsa.org.
  16. ^ IHSA. "Records & History". ihsa.org. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  17. ^ "DuPage High School District 88". www.dupage88.net.
  18. ^ Tapp, Maria; Dramatic Effect; September 2006; Chicago Magazine; "He just asked questions like mad," recalls Ralph Amelio, Falls 's cinema studies teacher at Willowbrook High School.; accessed 17 July 2009
  19. ^ Mitchell, Fred; Former White Sox fan changes his allegiance'; 20 July 2005; Chicago Tribune; acquired Gerut in a trade with Cleveland for outfielder Jason Dubois after Monday night's game. He starred at Willowbrook High School; accessed 17 July 2009
  20. ^ Tom Hicks stats & bio; databasefootball.com; accessed 17 July 2009 Archived 12 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ a b Swade, Alison; Plain White T’s come home to play DuPage County Fair; 24 July 2007; My Suburban Life - Clarendon Hills; Higgenson, the lead singer from Villa Park, attended Willowbrook High School with the band’s guitarist, Dave Tirio.; accessed 18 July 2009
  22. ^ "Cover Story: Hey Punk! : Illinois Entertainer". illinoisentertainer.com.
  23. ^ Reaven, Steve (for ChicagoSports.com); Keeping up with ... Willowbrook's Matt Roth; 7 January 2008; Chicagotribune.com; "I can't remember losing more than two or three weeks in a row," said Roth of his previous football stops at Willowbrook High School ...; accessed 17 July 2009
  24. ^ "Matt Roth". NFL.com.
  25. ^ "Rick Santelli". CNBC. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  26. ^ "Rick Santelli Gets Credit for Tea Party Movement". U.S. News. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  27. ^ Bell, Taylor (October 26, 1997). "Schatzeder has great memories". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 22.
  28. ^ Mike Sheldon stats & bio; databasefootball.com; accessed 17 July 2009 Archived 23 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]