Carl Sandburg High School

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Carl Sandburg High School
CSHS Eagle.jpg
13300 S. LaGrange Road


United States
Coordinates41°38′59″N 87°51′23″W / 41.6496°N 87.8564°W / 41.6496; -87.8564
School typepublic secondary
School districtConsolidated H.S. 230
SuperintendentDr. James Gay[1]
PrincipalJennifer Tyrrell [2]
Teaching staff177.70 (FTE)[3]
Enrollment2,816 (2018-19)[3]
Student to teacher ratio15.85[3]
Campus size40 acres (0.16 km2)[4]
AreaSouth Suburbs
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)  royal blue
Athletics conferenceSouthwest Suburban
Team nameEagles[5]

Carl Sandburg High School, Sandburg, or CSHS, is a public four-year high school located at the intersection of La Grange Road and Southmoor Drive in Orland Park, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States. It is part of Consolidated High School District 230, which also includes Victor J. Andrew High School and Amos Alonzo Stagg High School. The school is named for Illinois-born poet, Carl Sandburg.

It serves sections of Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Forest and Orland Hills.[7][8][9] An area including a portion of Orland Park around Sandburg High and a portion of Palos Park is zoned to Amos Alonzo Stagg High School but has Sandburg as an option.[7][8][10] A section near Victor J. Andrew High School is zoned to go to Victor J. Andrew High School but has Sandburg as an option.


In April 1952, two local school districts, Orland District 221 and Palos District 222 were consolidated into Consolidated High School District 230, for the express purpose of constructing a new high school.[11] This new high school would replace an older high school which had been run by the Orland district at one of its grammar schools, along with rented space around the town for history, English, home economics, and science classes.[11] The new school was designed to serve 450 students.[11] The site of the school was an old corn field, which at the time was surrounded by a forest preserve, a lake, and a golf course.[4]

A school board resolution called for the new school to be named for Carl Sandburg, out of "a desire for historic significance transcending purely local associations of the former school districts".[11] In April 1953, it was announced that the new high school building would be named for the poet, after Sandburg "consented and expressed his pleasure" in a letter to the school board.[11] At least until 1960, Sandburg visited the school every other year.[4]

Ground breaking took place on the US$930,000 structure on May 17, 1953.[12] The school was designed to be a one-story structure with a central gymnasium/auditorium capable of holding 1,200 people.[12] A smaller two story section was to house agriculture, science and business education classes as well as the school's library.[12] The school was built with the specific intent to build additions on to the building as the student population grew.[12] The school opened for classes in September 1954.[13] The school was formally dedicated on October 10, 1954, with the school's namesake in attendance.[14][15]

The district saw enormous growth, growing from 186 high school students just prior to the construction of the new school, to a projected population of over 900 for the 1956–57 school year.[16] In the summer of 1956, construction began on the first major addition to the school; an addition that more than doubled the school's size.[16] The 1956–57 school year also saw students attend in split shifts to alleviate the overcrowding that was already occurring.[16] A second gym, primarily for use by girls, was opened ahead of the rest of the addition in January 1958.[17][18] The remainder of the new addition was ready in May 1958, expanding the school's capacity to 1,700 students.[18] The original administration offices became the new book store, while the addition itself contained new classrooms and administrative offices, as well as expanded room for the music and industrial technology classes.[18]

No sooner was the new addition occupied, when, in the autumn of 1958, the school board issued a bond referendum to raise over US$1 million to further expand the school, and to purchase property for the site of a future high school.[19] This second addition, finished for the 1960–61 school year, included ten new classrooms, a new library (the old library was subdivided to make new classrooms) and the school's first swimming pool.[20]

The next bond issue came in 1966; this time a US$3.5 million request from the electorate to finance additions at Sandburg and its now sister school, Stagg High School. As a result, Sandburg saw more science laboratories as well as rooms for art, music, and industrial arts training.[21][22]

The first time Carl Sandburg visited Carl Sandburg High School in his home state of Illinois he was mistaken for a homeless nobody off the street and promptly ordered to leave the premises. School officials quickly learned their mistake. Sandburg, it is said, was gracious and extremely considerate through the whole thing. When Carl Sandburg died in 1967, the school's choir performed at the official memorial tribute, held at the Chicago Public Library.[23]


In 2005, Sandburg had an average composite ACT score of 22.3 and graduated 98.1% of its senior class. The average class size is 19.2. Sandburg has made Adequate Yearly Progress on the Prairie State Achievements Examination, a state test part of the No Child Left Behind Act.[24] Additionally, it has scored a 90.3 on the State Test Performance Index.

Sandburg has been named one of Newsweek's top 1,000 schools on several occasions.

  • 2003, Sandburg was ranked 607 [25]
  • 2005, Sandburg was ranked 744 [26]
  • 2006, Sandburg was ranked 967 [27]

Advanced Placement[edit]

The school has a 38% Advanced Placement (AP) participation rate and boasts a 79% pass rate. The average test taker takes 3.8 exams.[28] Students can choose from more than a dozen different AP courses to take during high school. Options include Calculus, Chemistry, U.S. History, Spanish Language, and others.

Student life[edit]


Carl Sandburg High School is home to numerous different co-curricular activities. The debate team has won seven state championships[29] and ranked nationally in the Public Forum style of debate. The team has also qualified teams for the prestigious Tournament of Champions hosted annually at the University of Kentucky. The debate team joins hand-in hand with the likewise successful speech team to represent the Carl Sandburg Forensics Team, which ranks, "27 out of more than 3,000 schools nationwide"[30] with the combined skills of two groups. The speech team has won three state championships in the past three years alone. Both the Carl Sandburg High School debate team and speech team are recognized by the National Speech and Debate Association (formerly the National Forensics League). The Model United Nations club hosts an annual conference[31] and competes at conferences across the country.

Carl Sandburg High School currently has five bands, all co-curricular. Directed by Stewart Bailey and Brian Hillhouse, they include the entry level Varsity Band, intermediate Symphonic Band II, and the top Symphonic Band I, in addition to Percussion Band II and Percussion Band I. Sandburg also has a marching band with the typical high-school band brass, woodwind and percussion sections, in addition to color guard, a group that is included with the marching Eagles, but perform with flags, rifles, and sabers.

In early December 2008, the Sandburg Marching Eagles were selected to perform in the 56th Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C. and the color guard was also displayed with a performance.[32] The Carl Sandburg Marching Eagles were also chosen to perform during half-time in the 2016 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana as well as the Sugar Bowl New Year's Eve Parade.

Carl Sandburg High School also has three levels of orchestras directed by Dr. Linda Nussbaum. In order from most to least advanced, they are Symphony, Philharmonic, and Concert Orchestra. The department is also home to the co-curricular Quartet Furioso, a group consisting of the four most prestigious players in the Symphony Orchestra.

The school currently has five curricular choirs and one co-curricular a capella group. Directed by Ms. Nicole Denofrio, they include: Freshman Choir, Concert Choir, Cantabile, Bel Canto, and Chorale (formerly Varsity Singers). Chamber Singers (also Accidentals and Eloquence), is an eighteen-member a cappella group that performs at many locations around the community, occasionally alongside the Quartet Furioso.

The District also has a Relay For Life event that donates money towards the American Cancer Society. In 2011, the Relay For Life of District 230 raised nearly $413,000. This placed them first in the state of youth events and boosted the event to the second largest all-youth event in the country. This second in the nation was only behind one large university, Virginia Tech. The Relay has been going on for the past 14 years and was the first event of its kind in the country.


Sandburg competes in the Southwest Suburban Conference (SWSC) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), which governs most sports and competitive activities in the state of Illinois. School teams are stylized as the "Eagles".

Carl Sandburg High School state championship sign at the intersection of 131st St. and LaGrange Rd.

The school sponsors interscholastic teams for young men and women in basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and water polo.[33] Young men may compete in baseball, football, and wrestling, while young women may compete in badminton, cheerleading, and softball.[33] While not sponsored by the IHSA, the school's athletic department also sponsors a poms team.[33]

Sandburg's cross country and track teams have been extremely successful and was home to world champion athlete Lukas Verzbicas. Verzbicas won the Gatorade Boys' Cross Country Runner of the Year award his junior and senior seasons. In addition, Verzbicas won the Nike and Foot Locker national championship and went on to run at the University of Oregon.[34] Another member of the cross country team, Pat McMahon, was awarded the prestigious $20,000 Foot Locker scholarship in the Spring of 2013.[35]

The following teams have placed in the top four of their respective IHSA sponsored state championship tournament or meet.[36]

  • Badminton (girls): State Champions (2010–11)
  • Baseball: State Champions (2001–02)
  • Basketball (girls): 4th place (1997–98)
  • Cheerleading: 3rd place (2007–08, 2009–10, 2016–17); State Champions (2005–06, 2008–09, 2011–12)
  • Cross Country (boys): 4th place (1981–82, 2006–07) 2nd place (2014–15) 1st Place (2015–16)
  • Cross Country (girls): 4th place (2001–02); 3rd place (2002–03); 2nd place (1997–98, 2009–10)
  • Football: semifinals (1993–94)
  • Gymnastics (girls): 4th place (1996–97, 2000–01); 3rd place (1994–95); 2nd place (2008–09)
  • Soccer (boys): 3rd place (1994–95, 2012–13); State Champions (1993–94, 2001–02, 2002–03)
  • Soccer (girls): 3rd place (2008–09); 2nd place (1995–96, 2000–01)
  • Softball: State Champions (2009–2010); 4th place (1993–94, 1998–99, 2001–02); 3rd place (1992–93, 1999–2000, 2005–06); 2nd place (2000–01)
  • Swimming and Diving (boys): 4th place (2011–12)
  • Track & Field (boys): 3rd place (1976–77) 3rd place (2015–16)
  • Volleyball (boys): 2nd place (1996–97, 2000–01); State Champions (1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2010–11)
  • Volleyball (girls): 3rd place (1980–81); 2nd place (1981–82, 2001–02); State Champions (1998–99)
  • Water Polo (boys): 4th place (2007–08, 2010–11); 2nd place (2008–09)
  • Wrestling: 2nd place (1966–67, 2009–10); State Champions (2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2011–12, 2012–13)

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Administration". directory. Consolidated High School District 230. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Administrative Staff". directory. Carl Sandburg High School. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "Carl Sandburg High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Shepherd, Sylvia (8 December 1960). "Sandburg Grows Where Cornstalks Once Stood: Old Cornfield is home of Sandburg High Offer Varied Program to 1,400 Students". Chicago Daily Tribune. pp. s1.
  5. ^ a b "Orland Park (Sandburg)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 20 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  6. ^ a b "Clubs & Activities". directory. Carl Sandburg High School. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Attendance Areas Archived 2017-02-02 at the Wayback Machine." Consolidated High School District 230. Retrieved on January 19, 2017. Compare with the city maps and/or with the U.S. Census Bureau school district maps for Cook County, Illinois, index, page 4, page 6
  8. ^ a b "Street Map Archived 2016-08-03 at the Wayback Machine." Orland Park, Illinois. Retrieved on January 22, 2017.
  9. ^ Zoning Map. Orland Hills, Illinois. Retrieved on January 22, 2017.
  10. ^ Zoning Map. Palos Park, Illinois. Retrieved on January 20, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e "New School Will Be Named After Poet Carl Sandburg". Chicago Daily Tribune. 12 April 1953. pp. sw1.
  12. ^ a b c d "Break Ground Today for New Sandburg High: Structure Will Cost $930,000". Chicago Daily Tribune. 17 May 1953. pp. sw1.
  13. ^ "Enrollment up as 2 counties open schools: Suburbs Ready 4 New Highs Enrollment up as 2 counties open schools". Chicago Daily Tribune. 5 September 1954. pp. sw1.
  14. ^ "New $900,000 Orland Park High School, Named for Carl Sandburg, to Be Dedicated Today". Chicago Daily Tribune. 10 October 1954. pp. sw1.
  15. ^ Butcher, Fanny (24 October 1954). "The Literary Spotlight: Dedication in that Downpour". Chicago Daily Tribune. pp. g10. ... the Carl Sandburg High school at Orland Park was dedicated, with Sandburg the guest of honor ... Carl had a moment of surprised triumph when one young athlete (feminine) arrived clad in a sweater with huge letters across the back reading "Carl Sandburg".
  16. ^ a b c "Sandburg High plans Million Dollar Annex: Addition Will Double Size of School". Chicago Daily Tribune. 14 June 1956. pp. s12.
  17. ^ Leo, Ralph (16 January 1958). "Second Gym Eliminates Night Chores of Sandburg Quintet: Coach Jorstad builds hopes to pass rich New Facilities Sharpen Veteran Squad". Chicago Daily Tribune. pp. s8. A new gymnasium, intended primarily for the use of 600 girls in an enrollment of 1,075 students, was used for the first time Monday at Carl Sandburg High school in Orland Park.
  18. ^ a b c "Tours to open new Sandburg High addition". Chicago Daily Tribune. 18 May 1958. pp. sw3.
  19. ^ "Student rise spurs school board action: District 230 Asks Bond Issue Seek to Enlarge Sandburg High". Chicago Daily Tribune. 16 November 1958. pp. sw1. The money will be used for an $841,000 addition to Carl Sandburg High school, and for purchase and development of a new site in the southern portion of Orland township.
  20. ^ "Sandburg High addition due by September". Chicago Daily Tribune. 29 May 1960. pp. sw4. An $841,000 addition to Carl Sandburg High school, Orland Park, will be completed in time for September classes ... Ten new classrooms will be built. The library will be divided into classrooms. A new library ... will have space for 20,000 books. Also included in the new construction is a swimming pool.
  21. ^ "School Bond Issue to Go to Voters". Chicago Tribune. 20 November 1966. pp. r14. Voters of Sandburg-Stagg High school district 230 will go to the polls on Dec. 3 to vote on a 3.5 million dollars bond issue ... The Sandburg annex will include science laboratories, and art, music, home economics, and industrial arts rooms. It will have space for 500 students.
  22. ^ "Evanston OK's 6.85 million school bonds: Funds Will Complete Expansion Program". Chicago Tribune. 4 December 1966. pp. j1. In the Sandburg-Stagg High school district in the southwest suburbs, voters approved a 3.5 million dollar bond issue ...
  23. ^ Powers, Irene (11 September 1967). "Carl Sandburg Tribute to Be His Kind of Thing". Chicago Tribune. pp. b18. The program will open with brief tribute from Gov. Kerner ... and Mayor Daley ... The audience will hear Gwendolyn Brooks ... read from his poems ... the "one song" will be sung by the Carl Sandburg High school choir.
  24. ^ "Illinois School Report Card" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ [2] Archived 2008-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ [3] Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^
  29. ^ IHSA. "Records & History". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  30. ^ "Sandburg Forensics Team 27th in nation". 8 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ [4][dead link]
  33. ^ a b c "Carl Sandburg High School Athletic Department". Athletics 2000/Carl Sandburg High School. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  34. ^ "Another-national-award-for-Verzbicas". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2013-08-04.
  35. ^ "Cross Country/Track: Sandburg's Pat McMahon wins Foot Locker scholarship - Southtown Star". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2013-05-10.
  36. ^ "Season summaries for Orland Park (Sandburg)". Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 6 October 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Akouris, Tina (22 January 2008). "Sandburg Eagles". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  38. ^ "Jeffrey Lawrence Alm". statistics & biographical information. Archived from the original on 8 January 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
  39. ^ Bell, Taylor (24 May 2008). "Sandburg's Schofield fast to rise". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2009. Now Schofield ranks among the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2009 ... He is the most recruited player to come out of the Orland Park school since Jeff Alm in the 1980s. Alm later played at Notre Dame and in the NFL.
  40. ^ "Sandra Biedron :: Electrical & Computer Engineering | The University of New Mexico". Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  41. ^ a b Yamamura, Kevin (8 May 2006). "The Buzz: Political roots". Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, CA, USA. State Assemblyman Dave Jones and Board of Equalization member John Chiang once won an election on the same ticket by opposing disco music. In 1979, the two became student body president and vice president of Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.
  42. ^ "Omowale Dada". statistics and biographic sketch. Washington State University Athletic Department. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2009. Earned eight varsity letters at Carl Sandburg High in three sports, football, basketball and track ...
  43. ^ "Northwestern hires Fitzgerald as football coach". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  44. ^ "Timothy Hanson". IMDb. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  45. ^ Andrews, Natalie (March 18, 2020). "Marie Newman Defeats Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois Primary Challenge". Wall Street Journal.
  46. ^
  47. ^ "Jed Zayner". statistics & professional information. Columbus Crew. Archived from the original on 24 July 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. A four-year starter at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill., which he helped lead to state titles in 2001 and 2002 and a 55-game winning streak ...

External links[edit]