Hononegah Community High School

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Hononegah Community High School
Hononegah hs.jpg
307 Salem Street


United States
Coordinates42°27′14″N 89°03′48″W / 42.454°N 89.0632°W / 42.454; -89.0632Coordinates: 42°27′14″N 89°03′48″W / 42.454°N 89.0632°W / 42.454; -89.0632
School typePublic Secondary
School districtHononegah Community High School District 207
SuperintendentMichael Dugan[1]
PrincipalChad Dougherty[1]
Enrollment2,074 (2016-17)[3]
Average class size23.3[4]
Campus typeRural
Color(s)     Purple
Athletics conference(NIC-10)[5]
YearbookThe Mack

Hononegah Community High School is a public high school in Rockton, Illinois and is the only high school comprising Hononegah Community High School District 207. Located between Rockford and the southern border of Wisconsin, the school serves students from the towns of Rockton, Roscoe, Shirland, and parts of South Beloit.

The high school opened its doors in 1923; the school is named after Ho–no–ne–gah, the Native American wife of Stephen Mack, Jr., who is generally credited for founding the town of Rockton. The school's namesake is honored with a large mural in the school's main lobby (see gallery below).

One of the unique aspects of Hononegah was its inflatable "bubble" field house, the first of its kind for any Illinois public school,[6] until its collapse in December 2015.[7]


Hononegah (c.1814–1847) was the wife of Stephen Mack, Jr. an employee for The American Fur Company, a pioneer to the Rock River Valley in northern Illinois and founder of the community of Rockton, Illinois. Hononegah had a strong influence on the Roscoe-Rockton area; the high school of the four towns and the main thoroughfare connecting the towns are both named after her.

Hononegah High School was built in 1922, and dedicated in February 1923. Additions to the building have taken place in the 1950s, 1971 (metal gym complex), 1981 classroom addition, 1996 (Performing Arts Center and classrooms) and 2003 (new entrance, locker rooms, guidance and social studies as well as the information system's academy); the cafeteria was originally the theater and gym. The concession area in the metal gym was the location of the Hononegah Theater in the 1970s through 1996.

District 207 purchased land near Interstate I-90 to accommodate a second campus if enrollment continues to rise. Notable additions to the base campus include a Performing Arts Center capable of seating 1,100 and an athletic practice dome(which deflated in a hail storm during the winter of 2015); the school is 86% White, 6% Hispanic, 2% Black, and 2% Asian

Hononegah dome.jpg


In 2011, Hononegah had an average composite ACT score of 21.0,[citation needed] and graduated 88.0% of its senior class.[4] Though from 2006 to 2014 Hononegah students have achieved 9 perfect scores;[8][9] as of 2013, Hononegah had not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Prairie State Achievement Examination, a state test used in Illinois to fulfill the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.[4][needs update] The school overall did not meet minimum expectations in mathematics.[4][needs update]

In 2008, the Chicago Sun-Times listed Hononegah as the 50th best public high school in the state of Illinois based on average scores on the PSAE, and one of the ten best outside of the Chicago area.[10]

In 2010, Newsweek[11] announced that Hononegah qualified for the magazine's 2011 list of the nation's top high schools. Over the past three years Hononegah has increased the amount of advanced placement tests its students are taking.


Hononegah competes in the Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most high school athletics and competitive activities in the state. Teams are stylized as the Indians.

The following teams have finished in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments or meets:[12]

  • Football: semifinals (1996–97); 2nd place (1985–86)
  • Volleyball (girls): 2nd place (2006–07)
  • Wrestling: 4th place (2004–05, 2006–07)

Hononegah is also one of five drafting schools of the Rockford Icemen hockey program. Along with Boylan High School, Guilford High School, Harlem High School, and Christian Life, Hononegah contributes nearly ten student athletes to the Rockford Icemen who recently won their fifteenth consecutive Illinois state championship.[13]

Dome Collapse[edit]

After an ice storm in December 2015, the 13-year-old dome collapsed, it housed several events for indoor track athletes, including practices and meets, practice room for all winter sports teams, physical education classes, and various community events.

The dome was designed by Air Structures American Technologies Inc. and cost $3 million at the time of its construction in 2002. It was meant to last 15-20 years.

Field House Construction[edit]

In 2017, following the collapse of the dome, Hononegah School District officials proposed a $17.8 million referendum in order to construct a brand new 90,000 square-foot field house.

During the November 2016 general election, voters initially rejected a $44 million referendum that would increase taxes to supply funds to replace the dome and implement various other renovations throughout the school. After this rejection, a new $17.8 million referendum was added to the April ballot, which very narrowly passed with only 51% of voters approving the measure by a difference of 127 votes.

On November 7, 2017, a groundbreaking ceremony was held, signifying the beginning of construction; the field house is currently projected to open in Spring of 2019. School officials say they fully intend for this space to be open to the public rather than only Hononegah students.

HHS Dome Interior.jpg

Notable alumni[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Staff Directory - Administration". Hononegah Community HS District 207. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Staff Directory". Hononegah Community HS District 207. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Hononegah High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e "2013 Illinois School Report Card" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "IHSA School Directory". Illinois High School Association. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  6. ^ Voelker, Anna (23 January 2002), "Hononegah inflates dome, school pride: Officials, students look forward to completion of the state-of-the-art field house", Rockford Register Star, retrieved 22 December 2009, ... to catch the hoopla as workers inflated the first bubble field house at an Illinois public high school ... The dome was part of a $15 million expansion project, which includes an additional 26 classrooms ... The district needs the facility because enrollment grew nearly 49 percent from 1,157 students in 1991-92 to 1,719 students during the 2000-01 school year ... Hononegah's dome is 330 feet long, 180 feet wide and 50 feet high. Grids of cable and air blowers outside the dome support the vinyl-coated polyester cover; the blowers create high volume and low pressure to hold up the dome.
  7. ^ Stanley, Ben. "What popped the balloon in Rockton? Deflated ruins of Hononegah High School dome to be inspected". Rockford Register Star. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  8. ^ "ACT Score". Hononegah Community High School. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Eight Hononegah Students Recognized for Perfect ACT Score Over Last Seven Years". WIFR. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Top 50 High Schools in Illinois" (PDF). ranked list. Chicago Sun-Times. 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  11. ^ "Top High Schools in the Nation". Rockford Register Star. Aug 25, 2010.
  12. ^ "IHSA Season Summaries". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 16 November 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  13. ^ "Icemen Bag 13th Championship". WREX TV Website. March 11, 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  14. ^ Gary, Alex (3 October 2007), "Meet local hall of famers", Rockford Register Star, retrieved 22 December 2009, Scott Hamilton, trained at Wagon Wheel, attended Hononegah High School, U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, World Figure Skating Hall of Fame
  15. ^ Auman, Greg; Jim Tomlin (March 26, 2011). "Dabbling in NASCAR just makes Danica Patrick's star burn brighter". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2011-04-06.

External links[edit]