Hinsdale Central grads feel well prepared for college
Some of the seniors waved to family members as they spotted them while filing past to their seats. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:06AM
Hinsdale Central has a reputation as one of the very best high schools in Illinois and being among the best in the nation.
And several members of the graduating class of 2012 believe that top reputation is deserved, as they have been well prepared to now head off to college.
“I just started a summer college course, and it’s so much easier than I expected,” said Emily Gates of the Class of 2012.. “It’s easier because Hinsdale Central has me so well prepared.”
Gates and fellow new graduate Samantha Gianakas both said the teachers at Central are a huge factor in students being so well prepared for college.
“The teachers really push us,” said Gates, who is headed to Bradley University to study nursing.
“They prepare you well for everything at Central,” said Gianakas, who plans to study dietetics and nutrition at the University of Dayton. “It’s a very competitive environment, but I think it’s healthy. I think the really high expectations here push us to reach our potential.”
The 2012 ranking of best high schools by U.S. News and World Report ranked Hinsdale Central sixth in Illinois and 235th nationally.
Schools were ranked at the state level based on state assessment performance and then were analyzed at the national level looking at Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate offerings. The ranking were based on data on nearly 22,000 public high schools, some of which are magnet or charter schools with limited enrollment opportunities.
Figures for the 2012 graduating class at Central are not yet available, but for the class of 2011, 97.2 percent were college bound, a number typical of most years, according to the school’s guidance department.
“The rigor of this school obviously prepares our kids well,” Principal Michael McGrory said. “We get some of the best teachers, have highly motivated students, and have great parental support.”
McGrory said school staff receives considerable feedback from students, who overwhelmingly have said they were very well prepared for college.
Irena Browar, another new graduate, said Central’s reputation for high expectations had her concerned when she started school as a freshman.
“I was a little scared, but once I got started, I loved it,” she said. “You get all these experiences; you don’t really realize at the time how much you’re doing and learning. It’s a great environment, and everyone is kind of like a big family by being supportive of each other.”
Because of her positive experience at Central, Browar is not at all nervous about going to college.
“I’m going to Monmouth College for elementary education; I want to be a teacher,” she said. “I know I’ve been very well prepared in high school to go to college.”