DeKalb Notre Dame High School for Girls

DeKalb Notre Dame (now St. Mary’s School)
A picture containing sky, outdoor, sign

Description automatically generated
Photo: Cody Cutter (October 2010)


From Marge Broecker:

“We are having a total school reunion on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at the old school on Gurler Road in DeKalb which is now the St. Mary’s Grade School. We are still finalizing times, etc.  It was 40 years ago that the school closed and I am from the last class of 1971.  Another classmate and myself have been working on this since last Fall. We have found over half of the school and a few staff.”.

The History of DeKalb Notre Dame High School for Girls

DeKalb (population 39,018) is located in DeKalb County, about 55 miles west of Chicago and 40 miles south of Rockford. The city, which is home to Northern Illinois University, can be reached by taking Illinois Routes 23 and 38, as well as Interstate 88, and located along the East Branch of the Kishwaukee River. The city was founded in 1837. The “Overland Route” of the Chicago and Northwestern (now Union Pacific) railroad runs through the center of DeKalb.

Like most larger cities, DeKalb not only had a public school system, but a private school system for students who chose to learn through the teachings of Catholicism. The Notre Dame High School for Girls was one of such instituctions, and opened her doors in 1965.

Much of the history of the school comes from the book That all May Be One: A History of the Rockford Diocese by Reverend Robert R. Miller (1976). Our good friend George Fornero provided us with the except from the book that details the history of Notre Dame:

Notre Dame, located on Gurler Road, opened in September 1965 and was staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The high school was adjacent to their motherhouse on the west side of DeKalb. During the 1966-1967 school year, 125 girls were enrolled under the direction of ten (10) Sisters and three (3) lay teachers. The school was dedicated by Bishop Loras T. Lane on June 3, 1966. The school closed in 1971.

Initially the school site was taken over by the DeKalb County Special Education Association. Now it is the site of St. Mary Elementary School.”

A picture of the building would be a welcome addition to this page.

DeKalb Notre Dame “Quick Facts”

Year opened:   1965

Year closed:     1971

School colors:  Green & White

School song:    “Lady of DeKalb

DeKalb Notre Dame HS School Song
A sheet of music

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by Mary Koczan


We are unaware that there were any extra-curricular activities for the students at the Notre Dame High School for Girls during it’s brief existance, although it may be easy to imagine that they enjoyed things outside of study to round out their high school careers. We are curious as to what the students did to stay involved at the school.


Goes out to George Fornero for submitting Notre Dame High School for Girls to the Glory Days website!


about the history of Notre Dame High School for Girls in DeKalb? If so, here’s your chance to let us know. We enjoy hearing about the school history, activities, memories created, and photos of the school. Please send them to us at or thru the mail at:

Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 North Neva
Chicago, IL 60631

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: