Maine South High School is a public four-year high school located in Park Ridge, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Maine Township High School District 207, which also includes Maine East High School and Maine West High School.

Maine South High School
1111 South Dee Road


Coordinates42°00′05″N 87°51′11″W / 42.0014°N 87.8531°W / 42.0014; -87.8531Coordinates: 42°00′05″N 87°51′11″W / 42.0014°N 87.8531°W / 42.0014; -87.8531
School typepublic, secondary
School districtMaine Township High School District 207
NCES District ID1724090[1]
SuperintendentKen Wallace[2]
CEEB code143377[3]
NCES School ID172409005031[4]
PrincipalBenjamin Collins[5]
Teaching staff142.72 (FTE)[4]
Enrollment2,401[4] (2016-17)
Average class size21[4]
Student to teacher ratio16.38[4]
Campus typesuburban[4]
Color(s)     red
Fight songHail to the Hawks
Athletics conferenceCentral Suburban League
Team nameHawks[6]

Maine South is well known for its academic, athletic, and fine arts success. Since at least 1992 it has also received mention in national media as the alma mater of Hillary Clinton, a member of the school's first graduating class.


Bids on the construction of Maine South opened on March 18, 1963.[13] Maine South was built in 1964 on the grounds of a former landfill to meet the growing educational needs of the area, mainly the city of Park Ridge, but also some of Niles, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Rosemont and unincorporated Norwood Park Township.

The first principal, Clyde Watson, was appointed in December 1963, in order to give him time to begin forming the first parents and music booster clubs.[14]

Until 1969, students were under a dress code that included a requirement for men to be clean shaven, and that hair had to be cut above the collar.[15] 1969 also saw the first expansion of the school with the addition of the student cafeteria, and some physical education and classroom areas.[16]

In 1973, the North Central Association, an academic accreditation agency, rated Maine South as "one of the top 10 high schools in the nation."[17]

In 1986 and 1987, officials from Maine South were instrumental in pushing the Illinois High School Association to recognize girls soccer.[18]

The 1988-1989 school year saw Maine South recognized by the United States Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School.[19]

In 1996, after several decades of existing in the shadow of nearby O'Hare International Airport, the school received federal funds which allowed for the installation of soundproof windows, air conditioning, and sound dampening ceilings. The project began in 1997 and took three years to complete.[20]

1998 saw the completion of the last major addition to the building: a sixteen classroom, four laboratory extension on the east end of the academic wing.[21]

In 2008, graduation ceremonies, which since the first graduating class had been held on campus (except for the 2004 graduating ceremonies, which were held at Harper Community College due to the construction of the new bleachers), were moved to the nearby Rosemont Theatre.

Over the summer of 2009, the athletic stadium had lights and an artificial turf surface installed.[22][23]

In July 2011, the Guinness World Records certified that the Maine South class of 2014 had set a world record for the most multiple birth sets in the same academic year (16 sets of twins and 3 sets of triplets).[24][25]


In 2014, Maine South had an average composite ACT score of 24.2, and graduated 95% of its senior class. 78.6% of students met PSAE standards in 2014, a state test used in Illinois to fulfill the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Maine South's academic programs range from remedial/academy class, to accelerated honors/AP classes. Based on performances in 2008, Maine South is ranked 11th among public non-magnet high schools in the state of Illinois, ranked according to a standardization of Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) scores.[26][27] Maine South is ranked 9th by the Chicago Tribune among public non-magnet high schools in Illinois, ranked according to average PSAE scores.[28]

The school offers 21 Advanced Placement courses in English Language, English Literature, U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics, Micro/Macro Economics, European History, Comparative Government, Calculus (AB & BC), Computer Science (A), Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics (C), Spanish Language, French Language, Music Theory, Studio Drawing, Chinese Language and Culture, and newly in 2016-'17, World History.

In addition, there are courses in multivariable calculus and differential equations which are offered to students pursuing mathematics beyond the AP program.

The Foreign Language Department offers five-year programs in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, and a four-year program in Mandarin.[29]

The school also offers many electives in the Applied Arts & Technology Department. Within this department there are three departments: Applied Technology, Business, & Family and Consumer Sciences. The Business Department offers Introduction to Business, Computer Applications, Web Design, Marketing, Business Law, Web Technology, Entrepreneurship, Graphic Design, Accounting, College Accounting, Finance and Investing, and Internships. The FCS department offers three levels of foods, five levels of fashion, psychology, preschool, and child development.

Student lifeEdit

Academic competitionEdit

The Maine South Constitution Team has won the Center for Civic Education's "We The People" competition in Illinois for the past sixteen years straight. In 1999 the team won the national competition in Washington D.C..[30]

In 2007, the school's Scholastic Bowl team won the state championship tournament sponsored by the Ancient, Free, & Accepted Masons of Illinois.[31]

The chess team won IHSA State Championships in 2001–02, 2002–03, & 2006-07.:[32]


Maine South sponsors teams for both boys and girls in basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. Boys are also able to compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while girls are able to compete in badminton, cheerleading, and softball.[33]

Maine South competes in the Central Suburban League South Division. In state competition, Maine South competes in the largest potential school classes in each sport sponsored by the Illinois High School Association.

The following teams have won IHSA sponsored State Championship Tournaments:[34]

  • Basketball (boys): 1978–79
  • Football: 1995–96, 2000–01, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2016–17
  • Swimming & Diving (girls): 1975–76
  • Volleyball (boys): 2005–06
  • Dance Team (Hawkettes): 2013

In addition, the girls soccer team won three consecutive unofficial State Championship Tournaments in 1983–84, 1984–85, and 1985–86, prior to the IHSA sanctioning soccer for girls. Over that time, the team went 60-0-4. From 1985–1987, the team scored in 62 consecutive matches, which is an Illinois state record among girls teams, and would be second if boys teams were also included.[35][36]

Maine South football has been one of the most successful programs in Illinois in recent history. Maine South went to the 8A State Championship game 6 out of 8 years between 2003-2011. During that stretch, Maine South was runner up from 2003-2005 and won three consecutive state championships from 2009-2011. The team has qualified for the IHSA playoffs each year since 1992, and has only two losing seasons since 1980. Only six teams in the State of Illinois have longer active streaks qualifying for the playoffs (through 2012–13). Maine South has not lost a conference football game since 2000 participating in the Central Suburban League. Maine South is well known for their football program throughout the nation. They were ranked first in state from 2009-2012[37] during which produced 3 of 4 Illinois Player of the Year in Charlie Goro (2009, QB), Matt Perez (2010, RB), and Matt Alviti (2012, QB). Maine South is also known as QB High. The previous 6 starting QBs have received scholarships to Division I (NCAA) programs, with 5 of 6 accepting the Division I (NCAA) scholarships.

  • Sean Price: Central Michigan (MAC) [38]
  • Tyler Knight: Northern Illinois (MAC) [39]
  • Jimmy Coy: Saint Xavier University (NAIA Player of the Year) [40]
  • Charlie Goro: Vanderbilt (SEC) [41]
  • Tyler Benz: Eastern Michigan (MAC) [42]
  • Matt Alviti: Northwestern (Big 10) [43]


Maine South supports 79 student organizations running the gamut from academic competition and performing arts to public service and special interest clubs.[44]

Among the organizations, from the standpoint of national or international notability, are branches or chapters of the National Forensic Association, Quill and Scroll, SADD, Tri-M, DECA, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, and Amnesty International.

WMTH (WMTH-TV/FM) is a club that is connected with broadcasting classes at Maine South and at the other schools in the district. The radio station broadcasts on 90.5 FM and can be heard within the Park Ridge, Illinois area, as well as through a webcast through the district webpages. The transmitting tower for the station is located at Maine East High School. The club also films the Maine South Hawks home football games.[45]

Fine artsEdit

The school sponsors several musical groups, including: marching band, concert band, two symphony bands, chamber orchestra, two symphony orchestras, a jazz band, and many choirs. In addition, there are four theatrical performances per year including a musical each spring, a play in the fall and winter, and a variety show in the fall.

The marching band has performed at several major events, including the 1981 Cherry Blossom Festival parade in Washington D.C, the 1984 Cotton Bowl Classic. It later performed at the 1996, 1999, and 2001 Orange Bowl Parades.[46][47] The band also performed at the 1993 Presidential Inauguration Parade, as a representative of First Lady Hillary Rodham-Clinton's alma mater.[48][49]

In 2001, the Grammy Foundation named Maine South a Signature School.[50]

In 2009 and 2011, violinist Mark Wood taught a series of workshops to the members of the school orchestra in preparation for a concert he performed with them.[51]

Notable alumniEdit

Politics & lawEdit

Arts & entertainmentEdit




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  34. ^ Maine South Athletic Records at
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  36. ^ IHSA All-Time Boys Soccer Records
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  41. ^ Charlie Goro - Yahoo! Sports
  42. ^ Tyler Benz - Yahoo! Sports
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  45. ^ Broadcasting - WMTH-TV/FM Archived 4 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  50. ^ Grammy in the Schools Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^ "District 207 briefs". Niles, IL: Niles Herald-Spectator. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009. Maine South High School string-instrument students will perform in a Sept. 11 concert with international recording artist Mark Wood ... Wood ... will work with Maine South and middle school students ... as part of his "Electrify Your Strings" music education program ... Wood owns and operates Wood Violins[dead link]
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External linksEdit