Marian Catholic High School

This article is about the school in Chicago Heights. For the school in Woodstock in McHenry County, see Marian Central Catholic High School.
Marian Catholic High School

700 Ashland Avenue
Chicago Heights, Illinois 60411-2073
United States
Coordinates 41°31′11″N 87°39′23″W / 41.51972°N 87.65639°W / 41.51972; -87.65639
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1958
Status open
Oversight Archdiocese of Chicago
President Vince Krydynski
Principal Steven Tortorello
Teaching staff 83
Grades 912
Enrollment 1,161 (2015)
Average class size 24
Student to teacher ratio 18:1
Campus suburban
Campus size 72 acres (290,000 m2)
Color(s) Black, White and Yellow         
Slogan Teaching Scholars with a Soul
Athletics conference East Suburban Catholic Conference
Mascot Spartan
Team name Spartans
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper Marian Megaphone
Yearbook The Mariner
Tuition US$10,400 [2]
Affiliation Dominican Sisters of Springfield

Marian Catholic High School is a co-educational, college preparatory secondary school in Chicago Heights, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.


In 1949, after making a request to Samuel Stritch, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, a priest at St. Agnes parish in Chicago Heights was given permission to purchase land and begin raising funds for the construction of a coed high school. By 1951 enough capital had been raised to hire a local architect to design the building. The Cardinal then mandated that there were to be two cooperative schools, one for women and one for men, each to be run by a religious order. The new plan called for the first school to accept coed classes until the boys school was ready, about four years after the school for women was open.

The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois agreed to oversee and staff the new school in 1955. Ground breaking occurred on January 6, 1957, and opened in September, 1958. The school was dedicated by Cardinal Albert Gregory Meyer on January 11, 1959.

In September, 1961, the first group of seniors preparing to graduate stood at 165, but the incoming freshman class was 450. The initial staff of six nuns was now at 18, and had outgrown the capacity of their convent in nearby Homewood. The Dominican Sisters also added on a new convent to the school to accommodate the growing staff. Without a male religious order to sponsor the male school, plans were eventually dropped to build the second school. Mobile classrooms were brought in to help with the overcrowding.

In 1970, the Sisters and the Archdiocese reached an agreement that would leave the sisters as the sole sponsors of the school, while the Archdiocese committed more money to build an addition. While the Archdiocese did not cover all of the needed additions, over the intervening years the school continued to raise money and make needed additions and renovations.[3]

The address of the school and convent was 666 Ashland Avenue until the city changed the address to 700 in the autumn of 1991 following requests from the administrators.[4]

The school received some criticism over tuition payment issues in March 2009, with an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune and various local media outlets.[5] 100 students who were late on their fees, causing a $450,000 hole in the budget, were temporarily sent home from the school. Most quickly returned to class after working out payment plans with Marian.[6] The Chicago Tribune was charged with bad reporting by many parents, who felt that many vital facts were not accurately represented in the initial article.[7]


Marian Catholic is a member of the East Suburban Catholic Conference and participates in state tournaments sponsored by the Illinois High School Association.

The school sponsors interscholastic sports teams for both men and women in basketball, cross country, lacrosse, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The school sponsors baseball, football, and wrestling for men, while sponsoring cheerleading, softball, water polo, and swimming and diving for women.

While not sponsored by the IHSA, Marian Catholic also sponsors interscholastic teams for men and women in lacrosse and fencing. The men's lacrosse team competes in the West Suburban Conference,[8] while the women compete in the Southwest Suburban Conference.[9] The fencing teams compete as a part of the Great Lakes High School Fencing Conference.[10]

The following teams have placed in the top four of their respective state tournament sponsored by the IHSA:[11]

3rd place (201314)

Band program

The Marian Catholic Band has been awarded both the Sudler Shield (1997),[12] "an international award recognizing high school, youth, and international marching bands of world class excellence", and the Sudler Flag of Honor (1991),[13] another international award given for outstanding concert performance from the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

The Marian Catholic Band has won seven Bands of America Grand National Championships, 18 National Class Championships and five Bands of America Summer National Championships, the most of any band, as well as holding the record for most total and consecutive Finals appearances, at 33 consecutive appearances.[14] The Band has also won their class in the Illinois State Marching Band competition consecutively since 1980, a 36-year feat unmatched by any other Illinois High School Association program - band or otherwise.[15] The band also holds 18 ISU Grand Champion trophies.

The band is directed by Greg Bimm as well as Scott Oliver (Assistant Band Director) and Matthew Black (Percussion Director). It is also well known for being student-run, with many section leaders, squad leaders and drum majors.

Notable alumni and faculty



Mark Donaway (Head Speech Team,Drama,Group Interp,PIR,Musical) Author of the Cucina Bella Cookbook,Speech Team has won 14 IHSA State Championships in last 10 years


  1. NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
  2. History of Marian Catholic HS
  3. Football information sheet with old address
  4.,0,1556983.story. Archived from the original on March 13, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
  7. Men's lacrosse standings
  8. Women's lacrosse standings
  9. Great Lakes HS Fencing Conference members
  10. IHSA records for Marian Catholic HS
  11. "The Sudler Shield - Previous Recipients". The John Philip Sousa Foundation. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  12. "The Sudler Flag of Honor". The John Philip Sousa Foundation. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  13. Compiled from Bands of America score records
  14. Compiled from score records
  15. local ABC news article about Colin Egglesfield
  16. Rodney Harrison stats/bio
  17. Keith Waznonis XFL Bio
  18. John Holocek stats and bio @internet football database
  19. Mike Prior stats and bio @internet football database
  20. Chicago Tribune interview with Shonda Rhimes
  21. Marian Catholic High School English Department; accessed 5 January 2009
  22. "Wisconsin Division Honors James Conroyd Martin, author of Push not the River". Polish American Congress. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
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