The History of Good Counsel High School
Chicago (population 2.7 million) is located in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, the Chicago and Illinois Rivers, and the Des Plaines River are the main waterways to and from town. I-90, I-94, I-55, and I-57 will all lead you to the “Windy City.” From what started as a small village in the early 1800s, Chicago has grown to the nation’s third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world.
As Chicago expanded from its original location at Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, so did the need for creating schools to educate its young people. The Catholic archdiocese also saw for this need and created schools for the children of catholic families as neighborhood populations grew.
Good Counsel High School was established in 1911 in Milwaukee, WI with 12 students under the teaching of members of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice. The purpose of the school was to educate candidates that were considering joining the Felician Sisters, using a flexible curriculum that was modeled after that of a Felician seminary in Detroit.
However in 1927, the school pulled up stakes and transferred their motherhouse to Chicago’s northwest side at what is now Peterson Avenue (U.S. Route 14) and Pulaski Street. Good Counsel was a boarding as well as a day high school for girls. This arrangement lasted until 1948 when it was decided that the boarding portion of the school would end. The high school continued on as a day school for girls only.
Good Counsel began construction on new facilities in June 1963, which later were dedicated on May 1, 1966. The school was considered on the cutting edge of education, being one of the first in the nation to use a modified modular system of scheduling, offering film education classes as well as AP (advanced placement) courses that gave college credit, as well as having team teaching, and continual review of its discipline codes & faculty handbooks.
Good Counsel High School was closed, ceremoniously graduating its last class in 2003. Good Counsel was owned and managed by the Felician sisters who made the inevitable but extremely difficult decision to close the high school. At the time its closing was announced, the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Felix also offered financial assistance to current students who continued education at another catholic girls’ high school, but with a higher tuition than what they were paying at Good Counsel. (Thank you to Annie Baker for this information.)
The Good Counsel High School facility has usefully continued on as a Charter School for the Chicago Publilc School system.
Good Counsel High School Quick Facts
Year opened in Milwaukee: 1911
Moved to Chicago: 1927
Year boarding of students ceased: 1948
Year closed: 2003
Good Counsel HS team nickname: the “Chargers”
Good Counsel HS team colors: Blue & Gold
School Fight Song: “Hail, Good Counsel High”
Written by Sister Alphonsetta Haneman, C.S.S.F.
Katie Suerth Beese
G.C.H.S. Class of 1992
G.C.H.S. Class of 1985
Ann Gilger Knudsvig
G.C.H.S. Class of 1984
Sing for Joy, Sing for Glory!
Hail, Good Counsel High!
United, true, firm, loyal we stand.
In service plighted to you,
In virtue honoring you -ou-ou -ou!
Clear name is our trust.
Sacred, keep it we must.
Lead on, Good Counsel High,
To high ideals beyond.