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Deerfield High School (Illinois)

Deerfield High School, or DHS, is a public four-year high school in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Township High School District 113, which also includes Highland Park High School.

History and campus

The original building was constructed during the mid 1950s in response to the post-War nuclear threat. Construction was completed in 1959 and its first class graduated in 1963. As of 1999, DHS included of space.

In 2000, DHS and its sister school, Highland Park High School, underwent a two-year, $75 million renovation and expansion project. DHS received new science and arts wings for a total of added and renovated. The additions and renovations were designed by Legat Architects and executed by VACALA Construction, Inc.

Beginning in 2004, the school ceased comparing the academic achievements of students, nor does it distribute students' class rank to colleges. The elimination of class rank aimed at creating a less stressfully competitive academic environment.

The school's hallways are labeled with the letters A through R (skipping "O" to avoid confusion with zero) and X (this hall was added in a later addition to the school). A common prank upperclassmen play on incoming Freshmen is to ask them if they've bought their elevator pass for Z-hall (with the freshmen then attempting to purchase said elevator pass and finding out that Z-hall does not exist). DHS's forty-some classrooms and seven gyms are labeled with their hall letter followed by a three digit number. The building is one story tall excluding X-hall and the athletic complex, both of which are two stories. The building has eight courtyards, one of which is used regularly by students and staff. (Until 1988, one of the courtyards was referred to as "The Pit" and was a designated smoking area for faculty and students 16 and older.) There is one large cafeteria divided into three sections: the North Cafeteria, the South Cafeteria (formerly a separate TV lounge until 1993), and the Senior Cafeteria (which was originally limited to Senior-use only, but this practice ended in the late 1990s and the name was kept as it contains a large wall with previous year's seniors hand-prints on it). The school also has a large student library, seven student computer labs, a Foreign Language Lab, the Writing and English Resource Center Services (the WERCS), a Math Lab, a Bookstore, and three student common spaces: the Bookstore Lobby, the old Bus Lobby, and the Student Union.

The land surrounding the school is used as sports fields including six baseball diamonds, ten tennis courts, two soccer fields, one running track, one football field with large bleacher seating, and two soccer fields. All fields also serve the school's other 30 or so sports teams. Although not officially part of the campus, the Prairie Wolf Slough and forest preserve, just north of the campus has a long trail often used by classes and for extracurricular activities.

The DHS Auditorium is a proscenium style theater that seats 914 persons and is used for assemblies and productions of dance, musical theatre, and concerts by soloists and large ensembles. The Auditorium's stage house measures with a proscenium that is 35 feet wide, 18 feet high and a stage that is 30 feet deep to the cyclorama. The lighting grid is 30 feet high. The Studio Theatre is located immediately adjacent to the Auditorium and is used as a backstage area during Auditorium productions. The orchestra pit is located at house level and can contain up to thirty musicians. The stage house has a 7-line, manual, single purchase counterweight fly system, with 500-pound capacity per line-set. In addition, the Auditorium houses a walk-draw white cyclorama, moveable tormentors, four travelers, dead-hung teasers and a walk draw black scrim. Lighting and Sound operate from the control booth, located at the rear of the house.

The DHS Studio Theater is a reconfigurable black box theater. Its various seating configurations can accommodate up to 200 persons in thrust, proscenium, stadium, or arena arrangements. The lighting pipe grid is eighteen feet above the stage floor. The Studio Theatre has a reconfigurable walk-draw curtain system with a dedicated inventory of black stage draperies and a sky blue cyclorama. During Studio Theater productions the Auditorium stage is used as backstage.


In 2005, Deerfield had an average composite ACT score of 25.6, and graduated 100.0% of its senior class. The average class size is 19.3. Deerfield has made Adequate Yearly Progress on the Prairie State Achievement Examination, a state test part of the No Child Left Behind Act.

National and state testing has consistently placed it as one of the top public schools in Illinois

During the 2004-2005 school year, Deerfield High School launched a new schedule format. This modified form of a block schedule was crafted through a research and development effort involving students, staff, teachers, administrators, and other stake holders. This schedule has nine class attendance periods. Eight of these periods cycle on a weekly rotation of four days with seven periods and one day with all nine periods. The ninth period (known as "Early Bird") meets every day. The primary goal of this new schedule was to align the school schedule and daily practice with the school district's guiding principles by providing each student a dedicated lunch period and a homeroom period, and extended classroom contact time. Under the previous schedule, students were able to attend classes during all potential lunch periods, leaving them with no meal or resource time. These new dedicated lunch periods are divided into five sections (labeled A-E) with slightly overlapping time periods.


The Deerfield Warriors compete in the Central Suburban League, and counts its in-district sister school Highland Park High School as a longtime rival. The school's teams compete in state championship series tournaments sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).

The school sponsors interscholastic sports teams for men and women in basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo. Men may also compete in baseball, football, and wrestling. Women may compete in badminton and softball.

While no longer sponsored by the IHSA, the school still has a women's field hockey team. While never sponsored by the IHSA, the school sponsors lacrosse for men and women.

A co-ed ice hockey team also competes against teams from surrounding schools, however it is not sponsored by the school or the IHSA. The team is supported entirely by private donations and players must purchase their own jerseys and equipment.

The school has placed in the top four in the following IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments

  • badminton •• 4th place (1980–81, 88–89); 3rd place (1977–78); 2nd place (1978–79, 86–87); State Champions (1987–88)
  • cross country (boys) •• 3rd place (1975–76); State Champions (1976–77, 77–78)
  • field hockey •• 2nd place (1975–76)
  • football •• 2nd place (1977–78, 81–82, 84–85); State Champions (1975–76)
  • golf (boys) •• 4th place (1983–84, 85–86, 2005–06)
  • gymnastics (girls) •• 4th place (1985–86); 3rd place (1981–82); 2nd place (1987–88)
  • swimming & diving (boys) •• 4th place (1964–65, 65–66)
  • swimming & diving (girls) •• 4th place (1984–85, 87–88, 92–93); 3rd place (1986–87); 2nd place (1985–86
  • tennis (boys) •• 4th place (1984–85); 3rd place (1973–74, 74–75, 85–86, 2005–06, 06–07); 2nd place (1978–79, 79–80, 82–83); State Champions (1983–84, 94–95, 2004–05)
  • tennis (girls) •• 4th place (1988–89); 2nd place (2006–07); State Champions (2005–06)
  • track & field (boys) •• 2nd place (1977–78)

The football stadium is named for former coach Paul Adams, who coached the football team from 1966 to 1992, an era which included four appearances in the state championship game.

In addition to the team's success, tennis player Mike Morrison was the second of two players in Illinois mens high school history to win four state singles titles (1984–1987). The first and only other player to accomplish this was Marty Riessen. As of 2008, no player since Morrison has even won two titles.

The school also sponsors cheerleading, fencing, pom-pons, and a dance team at the club level.


During the time after Thanksgiving break and before winter break, the student body participates in a fundraising initiative known as School Chest. Organized and run by the Student Council, School Chest has raised more than $120,000 almost every year for worthy charitable organizations including Chicago House, One Step at a Time Camp, Special Gifts Theater, and the Children's Heart Foundation, and most recently, Evans Life Foundation. The charity is selected by members of the Student Council with input from the student body. On the last day of school before winter break, the exact amount collected is announced after much excitement and anticipation.

Every year the school sponsors a weekend trip titled Operation Snowball. The program is a school and community sponsored and facilitated prevention program offering the opportunity for youth to further develop healthy lifestyles. The weekend is filled with small group discussions and activities.

The school newspaper is Deerprints. The newspaper is student–run and prints monthly. In 2006 Deerprints won a Pacemaker award, given by the National Scholastic Press Association.

The school also has a satirical newspaper that comes out approximately every Thursday called The Flipside

The following competitive activities have placed in the top four of their respective state tournament sponsored by the Illinois High School Association:

  • Drama •• State Champions (1970–71)
  • Scholastic Bowl •• 4th place (2004–05)
  • Speech •• 2nd place (1970–71)

Another activity is the Deerfield Hockey Program, considered a club by the school. The Warrior hockey program finished first in the white division of the state championship in 2008. link:

Notable alumni


External links

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