After opening in 1959, Maine West High School wasted little time in starting to fill its trophy cases. In 1963, Maine West capped a 23-3 season by winning the IHSA baseball state title.
Throughout its history, Maine West has collected academic and extracurricular honors, awards, and recognition as a natural extension of striving to improve student learning and personal growth and to do so in innovative ways.
In 1982, the Chicago Sun-Times named Maine West “The School That Works.” Sometimes the recognition is national. Over the years, Maine West has appeared on lists of top U.S. high schools:.
The Washington Post annually compiles a list of “America’s Most Challenging High Schools,” which annually consists of about 10 percent of U.S. public high schools. The Post recognizes schools that are most successful in creating opportunities for large numbers of students to take academically rigorous courses. Maine West has earned a spot on the list every year since 2014.
US News’ list of “America’s Best High Schools,” a designation that reflects graduation rates, college readiness, exam performance compared to statistical expectations, and the relative test performance of disadvantaged students. Maine West has appeared on this list, most recently in 2015.
In 1991, Maine West was named a Secondary School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.
Only 54 of the more than 800 high schools in Illinois have been designated by the Robert McCormick Foundation as Democracy Schools, for immersing students in authentic civic engagement experiences preparing them for the responsibilities of citizenship. Three of these schools, including Maine West, are in Maine Township High School District 207.
Similarly, only a relatively few schools have earned Blue Ribbon designation from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Maine West is among them, having earned Blue Ribbon status for its Physical Education programs.
Maine West High School’s Student Services Department, which provides a wide range of counseling and support services for students, is one of only about 30 high school counseling staffs in Illinois to earn recognition from the American School Counselors Association (ASCA) for the breadth of its services in the areas of career planning, socio-emotional matters and academics.
All of Maine 207’s schools are on the leading edge of professional development, with coaching plans in place for every teacher and a premium placed on collaboration among teaching peers. This approach yields not only outstanding learning opportunities for students, but also leads, on occasion, to individual honors for teachers, including, recently, a Golden Apple for Fine Arts teacher Gregory Regalado.
Maine 207 students enjoy a vast variety of extracurricular activities in the form of clubs, fine arts activities and athletics. Guided by top-notch sponsors, directors and coaches, students have earned countless awards and honors over the years, including back-to-back state titles in Science Olympiad.
There have also been athletic championships along the way; as mentioned earlier, the baseball program got things rolling with a 1963 state title. In 1983, the girls badminton team won the state title. In 1988, Maine West’s girls basketball team, coached by the late, legendary Derill Kipp, played a season for the ages, going undefeated and culminating their 35-0 year with a state championship.
Maine West has earned more than its share of accolades and honors over the years. But this is only the beginning. With a knack for innovation and administrators and staff committed to improvement, Maine West’s list of awards and honors will only continue.