By Kathy Bankhead, ’76
I am a proud second generation graduate of Thornton Township High School (TTHS) in Harvey, Ill. TTHS has a rich history or more than 100 years. As an alumna, and member of the Thornton Alumni Legacy Fund (TALF), I was never more proud than on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, when Gov. Pat Quinn cut the ribbon on the rededicated Lou Boudreau Room.
Mr. Boudreau was a 1935 graduate of Thornton.
Alumni from as far back as 1942 and current students gathered in the gym to celebrate the legacy of Mr. Boudreau who was, arguably, the best athlete in TTHS and Illinois history.
Dan Ustian ‘68, former CEO of Navistar, was the Master of Ceremonies. Bob Caress ‘61, Ron Ferguson ’49 and Bill Hayes ‘42 attended and gave personal tributes.
Mr. Ernie Banks and Tom Dreesen ‘57 sent video messages.
The Lou Boudreau Room displays the trophies and photographs that document the legendary history of Thornton athletics. It features local standouts like LaMarr Thomas ‘66 as well as current and former professional athletes such as Jim Ard ‘66, Lloyd Batts ‘70, Rod Higgins ‘78, Antwaan Randle El ‘97, and State Senator Napoleon Harris ‘97.
However, Thornton is so much more than just athletics. Wildcat Pride runs deep. Thornton alumni have stepped up in a major way to provide resources essential to the success of current and future students.
The TALF has provided over $150,000 in resources such as CPR equipment, Nano Chemistry Research Project funding, Smart Boards, graphing calculators and so much more. The district wide Navistar Diesel Technology program has made it possible for many students to graduate from high school and immediately begin their careers with National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Certifications. Many others in the program have enrolled in college and majored in STEM related curricula.
Leading the Way
- Thornton Township High School has more Gates Millennium Scholars than any other high school in Illinois.
- Thornton’s Drama Program and Speech Teams have consistently excelled.
- The “Lead the Way” project is a pre-engineering program ranked sixth in the nation.
Thornton continues to prepare students to compete in today’s high technology global society.
Persevering in the face of persistent negative perceptions, overcoming the odds, securing success through adversity and reaching out to give a hand up are the hallmarks of Wildcat Pride, past, present and future. Go Wildcats!!!