Wheaton North High School
|Wheaton North High School|
701 West Thomas Road|
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
|School type||Public Secondary|
|School district||Comm. Unit S.D. 200|
|NCES District ID||1742180|
|NCES School ID||174218004223|
|Teaching staff||152 Certified staff & 52 Classified (support) staff|
|Average class size||24|
|Fight song||"Falcon Fight Song"|
|Athletics conference||DuPage Valley Conference|
|Average SAT scores||1846 (2016)|
|Average ACT scores||23.3 (2016)|
Wheaton North High School (WNHS), locally referred to as "North," is a public four-year high school in Wheaton, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. It is one of two high schools that are part of Community Unit School District 200, the other being Wheaton Warrenville South High School.
As demand for a second high school increased in the 1950s and 1960s, Wheaton North High School split off from the original Wheaton Community High School in 1963. At this time, Wheaton Community changed its name to Wheaton Central, and in 1974, a third high school Wheaton Warrenville, joined the district. In 1983, Wheaton Warrenville was closed and the district only had the two high schools, Wheaton North and Wheaton Central. In 1992, Wheaton Central moved into the former Wheaton Warrenville high school and changed its name to Wheaton Warrenville South.
The building underwent significant renovations in the mid-1990s and on April 1, 2003, residents of Community Unit School District 200 approved, by a vote of 10,173 to 6,518, a $72 million bond referendum to renovate and add onto both Wheaton North, and its counterpart, Wheaton Warrenville South. Construction began in the summer of 2003 with its first phase of the building of a field house. The second phase included renovations and additions to the building, which were completed in summer 2006.
On August 31, 2007, the school received a surprise visit from former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He made the visit to commend the school for its history of community service, and particularly singled out Kendall Ciesemier for her achievement in raising money and awareness for highly vulnerable children in Africa through her charity, Kids Caring 4 Kids, despite suffering her own medical problems. Kendall was rewarded with a trip to The Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode featuring Kendall aired September 4, 2007.
As of 2015, most of the school has not changed its appearance inside and out physically, until a flood occurred. This flood generated momentum and a problem for the school. The library received help from the community, its own faculty and other people as it was being refinished. This newly refinished library was also the class gift from the class of 2015.
In 2013, Wheaton North had an average composite ACT score of 23.6 and graduated 93.8% of its senior class. Wheaton North has not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, which with the ACT comprise the assessment tools used in Illinois to fulfill the federal No Child Left Behind Act. One of the school's student subgroups failed to meet minimum expectations in reading and mathematics.
The Challenge Index, used annually by The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine to rank U.S. high schools, placed Wheaton North in the top 1300 three years in a row. This index ranks public schools according to a ratio devised by Jay Mathews: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests taken by all students at a school in the past year divided by the number of graduating seniors. In 2009, Wheaton North ranked #1260. In 2006, the school had ranked #1078, in 2007, it had ranked #1039, and in 2008, the school ranked #1276.
Wheaton North competes in the DuPage Valley Conference (DVC), and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most interscholastic sports and competitive activities in the state. As of 2016, the DVC conference has changed to:
- Wheaton North, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Waubonsie Valley, Metea Valley, Lake Park, Glendbard North, Neuqua Valley and Wheaton Warrenville South.
In 2003, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South became the first high schools in the DuPage Valley Conference, and among the first high schools in the nation, to convert their football fields to artificial field turf, at a cost of $550,000 per stadium.
The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for boys and girls in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, parasailing, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Boys may compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while girls may compete in badminton, cheerleading, and softball.
The following teams have won championships in their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournament or meet:
- Cross Country (girls): 2002–03
- Football: 1978–79, 1981–82, 1986–87
- Gymnastics (boys): 2004–05, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013–2014
- Track and Field (girls): 2011–2012
- Varsity Luge (boys): 2014
- Varsity Stepper (girls): Nationals 1st place (2014-2016)
Wheaton North offers language clubs, service activities, and various other activities, typical of an American high school.
- Debate: 1977–78 & 2005–06
- Scholastic Bowl: 2001–02, 2002–03 & 2003–04
In a typical year, Wheaton North presents a fall drama, spring musical, and an evening of one-act plays. The Wheaton North Thespian Troupe, which is the drama honor society, helps to incorporate students in the performing arts decision making process.
Wheaton North has 12 performing arts ensembles, including five choirs (JV Women’s, Men’s, Varsity Women’s, Chamber, and a nationally ranked show choir, Flight) three orchestras (Concert, Chamber, Sinfonia) and three bands (concert band, symphonic band, and wind ensemble). In addition, there is a pep band and a marching band which perform at sporting events and compete at marching band competitions.
The showchoir, Flight, has won 7 grand championships and 10 best vocals awards over the past five years.
- Kent Graham (1987) was an NFL quarterback (1992–94, 1996–2001), playing most of his career with the New York Giants. He was the National High School Quarterback of the Year in 1986.
- Adam Harris (2005) is a sprinter who represented Guyana, and ran in the 200 metres at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
- Pete Ittersagen (2004) Canadian Football League player and National Football League practice player.
- Rick Johnson is an actor, director, and former Canadian Football League quarterback (1984–89), spending most of his career with the Calgary Stampeders.
- Jim Juriga (1982) was a High School All American player as a senior at Wheaton North. He went on to play for University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where he was a two-time All-American in 1983-84 and was a three-time first-team All Big Ten pick. Juriga also helped lead the Illini to the 1984 Rose Bowl Game, the team's first in 20 years, and was a fourth-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 1986. He played six years in the NFL and competed in Super Bowl XXIV with the Broncos.
- Chuck Long (1981) was an NFL quarterback (1986–90), playing most of his career for the Detroit Lions. He later became the head football coach at San Diego State University (2006–08). He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
- Robert James Miller (2002) was a U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in the War in Afghanistan. In October 2010, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor. The school's commons was named after Miller and his bravery.
- Gail O'Grady (1981) is an Emmy Award nominated actress, best known for her work on the television series NYPD Blue, American Dreams, and Boston Legal.
- Randy Pfund (1970) was the head coach of the NBA Los Angeles Lakers (1992–94) and then served as General Manager of the NBA Miami Heat (1995–2008).
- Matt Rahn (2000), Arena Football League player
- Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr. (2005) is a current U.S. Olympic Speed Skater, competing most recently in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
- Steve Thonn (1979) Arena Football League player and coach. Coaches now for the Cleveland Gladiators 
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Army Staff Sergeant Robert Miller was shot during a firefight in a town near the Pakistan border Friday. He graduated from Wheaton North High School in 2002. The teachers remember him as a strong student and also a good athlete. He was a member of the gymnastics team who qualified for state his senior year. And those who knew him say it was a terrible loss.
- Biasco, Paul (September 9, 2010), "Fallen Wheaton soldier to be awarded Medal of Honor", Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL, USA), retrieved September 13, 2010,
A Wheaton North graduate is being posthumously awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2008. The White House announced Thursday that Army Staff Sgt. Robert Miller, who died while in a close-range fire fight on Jan. 25, 2008, would receive the rare award.
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