Since welcoming its first students in 1964, Maine South High School has earned many honors, awards, and recognition as natural extension of always striving to improve student learning and opportunities and do do so in innovative ways.
Sometimes the recognition is national. Over the years, Maine South has regularly appeared on the list of top U.S. high schools as composed by national publications.
-- 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 South 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, students’ exam performance compared to statistical expectations, and the relative test performance of disadvantaged students. Maine South has consistently earned a spot on this list, including every year since 2012.
-- Newsweek often compiles its own list of “America’s Top High Schools,” and Maine South has consistently earned a spot, ranking 73rd nationally in 2016.
-- In 1989, Maine South was named a Secondary School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.
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. In recent years for instance, Maine South, physics teacher Jack Marino and Social Science teacher Andrew Trenkle have been recipients of the Yale Educator Award, annually presented to only about 50 teachers nationally. In 2016, Social Science teacher Michael Biondo was awarded the Senior Division Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award for Illinois and was nominated for the National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award.
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. Among them:
-- The Constitution Team has made advancement to national competition an almost annual event, placing first nationally in 1999 and advancing two national competition in all except one year over the past 25 years.
-- The Hawkettes dance team won its first state title in 1980 and has been high kicking their way to trophies ever since, winning numerous state and national championships, the most recent national high kick title coming in 2017.
-- The student newspaper, Southwords, consistently places high among Illinois high school newspapers in judging by the National Scholastic Press Association. In both 2015 and 2016, Southwords earned the prestigious All-American honor rating.
-- The Maine South yearbook, The Eyrie, has won national honors in recent years, winning, for instance, a first place award for the 2016 yearbook from both the National Scholastic Press Association and the American Scholastic Press Association.
Maine South has excelled in athletics. The school won its first state title in 1975, when the girls swimming team won the IHSA title. Since then, South’s state titles in IHSA events include:
-- Girls swimming and diving in 1976
-- Boys basketball in 1979
-- Football in 1995, 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2016
-- Team chess in 2002, 2003, 2007
-- Boys volleyball in 2006
-- Competitive Dance in 2013
As impressive as this list may be, it represents only a sampling of the countless honors and awards garnered by South students and staff over the years and only a beginning of the honors that lie ahead.