Cary-Grove High School

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Cary Grove High School
Cary-Grove HS Logo.png
2208 Three Oaks Road

TypePublic High School
OversightCommunity High School District 155
SuperintendentSteve Olson
PrincipalNeil Lesinski
Teaching staff111 teachers
Gender53% male 47% female
Enrollment1,747 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s)     navy blue
RivalPrairie Ridge High School
National ranking884
ACT average23.8
NewspaperCG Trojan Times

Cary-Grove High School is a high school in Cary, Illinois, USA; it is part of Community High School District 155. In 1995, it was the subject of much media attention after the Fox River Grove level crossing accident that killed seven students.[2] In 2006, just days after the anniversary of the accident, another Cary-Grove student, Justin Glassmyer, was killed at the same crossing.[3]

Located approximately 45 miles northwest of Chicago, the school serves students from Cary, Fox River Grove, the far east side of Crystal Lake, and areas of Barrington, Trout Valley and Oakwood Hills.[4]

Student life[edit]


The school's team mascot is the "Trojan."

The football team won the 2009 state title against Providence Catholic High School, and the 2018 state title against Crete-Monee High School, they finished second in 2004, 2012, and 2014.

The 2009 Women's Volleyball team won the state title, it was the first state title in the school's history.[5][6] In 2010, the Volleyball team was ranked Number 1 in the nation by various sources, but lost the state final game to Lyons Township High School snapping their 57 match win streak and ended their season at 41-1 overall.[7]

In 2011 the Volleyball team was runner up in the state, marking the third year in a row that the team made it to the state finals.[8]

In 2011 Carly Loeffel became the second individual and first female athlete to win a Track and Field championship in the high jump by jumping 5'8"; the other individual champion was Brad Thornton in the 300m hurdles back in 2003. In 2012, also in track and field, Josh Freeman became the first person in school history, and in the history of the Fox Valley Conference, to win two individual state championships in the same year when he won the shot put and discus state titles, his shot put throw of 66'0" ranks 3rd all-time in Illinois state history.


As of 2012, 16 different groups and ensembles perform at the school, including the A Cappella Singers, Swing Choir, Jazz Choir, Bel Canto Choir, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Drumline, Pep Band and Jazz Ensemble; the band is headed by Marty Magnini. A new Fine Arts Center opened in September 2015 to replace the school's original auditorium, which was built in 1965; the new facility cost $8.5 million and features updated technology, more dressing rooms, rehearsal space, a scenery shop and an enlarged stage. The private-public partnership with the Cary-Grove Fine Arts Foundation was the first for the school district.[9]

Every November, all chorus students participate in ¨Fall Follies¨, a concert that includes singing, dancing, and skits. Swing Choir, Beginners Chorus, Advanced Mixed Chorus, Bel Canto Choir, A Cappella Singers, and Jazz Choir all participate.


Cary Grove was opened in 1961. Originally, the school colors (purple and white) and the tune for the school song were borrowed from Northwestern University.[citation needed] In 1978, while the school colors remained purple and white, the sports, cheerleader and band uniforms became navy and white; the school song remained the Northwestern University school song. During the 1980s, the change to navy blue and white became official.

Notable events[edit]

In 1995, Cary-Grove High school received national media attention due to a tragic bus accident involving a train and school bus in Fox-River-Grove.


Every year before school ends, all students who have not missed more than 12 days of school and have not received any discipline referrals are invited outside to a grill-out style party for two class periods; the event is accompanied by music performed by the school's jazz combo. All eligible students are given hot dogs grilled by the deans and parents as a form of reward for maintaining a good disciplinary and attendance record throughout the school year.

On every Friday when the varsity football team is scheduled to play, the school's fight song is played after school while the students are leaving the building; the school also plays the national anthem every morning on school days. The anthem first started playing daily during the Vietnam War.


Cary-Grove's mission statement is "For each student, we will inspire a love for learning, empower the pursuit of personal aspirations, and nurture the desire to contribute to the world."

Cary-Grove currently offers over 200 courses for students to choose from. Of those classes, 20 are Advanced Placement.

The graduation rate is 97%, and 92.7% intend to continue their education in some form after graduation[4] The Advanced Placement (AP) exam rate is 22%, with 88% of test taken earning an honor score of 3-5[4]

Faculty and class size[edit]

Of the 111 teachers, all of whom teach in their respective majors, 86% of them have a master's degree or higher.[4]

The school also employs five counselors, two social workers, and one psychologist on its student services team.The average classroom size is 18 students per class.


As of 2019, Cary-Grove High School was determined to belong among the country's top schools according to The U.S. News & World Report; the rankings placed Cary-Grove at number 884 nationally and 41st in Illinois. The national ranking puts CG at least in the top 3.8% of the nation’s public high schools.[10]

Cary-Grove High School has also earned national recognition, ranking 323 out of 500 in an article by Newsweek listing "America's Top High Schools in 2015"[11]

District 155[edit]

Cary-Grove High School is a part of District 155. High School District 155 comprises Crystal Lake Central High School, Crystal Lake South High School, Prairie Ridge High School, Cary-Grove High School, and one alternate education campus. There are more than 7,000 students in grades 9 -12 from Bull Valley, Burton's Bridge, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood, Oakwood Hills, Prairie Grove, and Ridgefield; the district covers more than 67 square miles located northwest of Chicago.[12]

The students entering the district come from several public school feeder districts including Crystal Lake District 47, Cary Community Consolidated School District 26, Fox River Grove School District 3, and Prairie Grove School District 46; the graduating class of 2011 had a composite ACT score of 22.9 compared to the national composite of 21.1. The Chicago Sun-Times does an annual report ranking 638 high schools from across Illinois. For 2012, all four District 155 schools are in the top 21% of public high schools; this includes Cary-Grove (40th, 93.7%), Prairie Ridge (53rd, top 91.7%), Crystal Lake Central (108th, 83.1%), and Crystal Lake South (133rd, 79.2%).[12]

Notable alumni and former students (in order by graduation)[edit]


  1. ^ "Cary-Grove Community High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Driver says light did not turn green - Oct. 27, 1995". CNN. 1995-10-27. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  3. ^ "Friends mourn teen killed by train". Chicago Tribune. 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  4. ^ a b c d "Cary-Grove High School About". Retrieved 2015-11-10.
  5. ^ [1] Archived July 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "The Inside Scoop: Tribune's top 20 football teams". 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  7. ^ MAUREEN LYNCH - "C-G loses 3-game title match, fails to repeat". Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  8. ^ "Cary-Grove High School (Cary, IL) Volleyball Home". Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  9. ^ "Cary-Grove Fine Arts Foundation".
  10. ^ "2019 Best High Schools Report". US News & World Report. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  11. ^ "America's Top High Schools in 2015". Newsweek.
  12. ^ a b "District Overview on". District 155.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°13′17″N 88°14′30″W / 42.22139°N 88.24167°W / 42.22139; -88.24167