Northfield Marillac High School

Marillac High School
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Photo: Cody Cutter – October 2010
Marillac High School
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Office Entrance

The History of Marillac High School

Northfield (population 5,389) is located in far northeastern Illinois in far northern Cook County.  Illinois Routes 43 (Harlem Avenue) and 68 (Dundee Road) travel through Northfield as Interstate Highway 94 passes by the east side of town. The Amtrack Soo Line Railroad travels through the west side of Northfield. To read about the history of the town please check out  Northfield began its history in the 1850s however was not officially incorporated as a town until 1926.

The history of Marillac Catholic High School, officially known as Saint Louise de Marillac High School, is in need of research.  According to the web address of , the school was founded in 1967 and operated by the Daughters of Charity. The first group of girls who entered the school were freshmen and sophomores who began classes in 1968. Marillac was an all-girls catholic high school who served the northern area of Cook County well for many years.  The 1990s brought with them talks of closing Marillac High School.  This effort was realized when Marillac High School officially closed in 1994. This was the result of a consolidation effort between Marillac High School and Loyola High School of WIllmette.

The girls of the Marillac High School area began attending Loyola Academy in Willmette, formerly an all-boys Catholic high school. The Marillac High School building is now a preschool- 8th grade grammar school called Christian Heritage Academy. The web address for the school is .

**Marillac alumnae Patti tells us:

“I’m from the Charter Class at Marillac. When Marillac opened, there were no sophomore’s,  only freshmen. The school wasn’t completely done and there were halls and class rooms we couldn’t use at first, it didn’t really matter to us. We turned into a fairly tight group of girls, we all knew each, which in itself was pretty amazing. We voted on the school colors, the final two choices were pink and black and green and blue. Obviously green and blue won.  The Juniors and Seniors had uniforms that were green and blue, I don’t know if that ever changed. Our daily schedules were different: alpha, beta, delta, gamma and epsilon. No matter if we had a day off we ran those days concurrently.

Nuf Yad was started by Miss Myers, the Drama teacher, who was fabulous.  We had great nuns in the early days. Sr. Constance was the Principle, Sr. Ann  the Guidance Counselor – she was busy, Sr. James, Sr. Ann Marie, Sr. Honoria, Sr. Agnes, Sr. Marilyn the list goes on.  One thing should be noted about Marillac, it was a great prep for College. By not not having assigned study halls we were left on own to make decisions about what we should do with our time between classes. Obviously, in the beginning those decisions, weren’t always the best, but we learned through trust.

It was a great place, I made lasting friendships there. If those walls could talk – On My!”

Marillac High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                         1968

First graduating class:            1971

Year closed:                          1994

Consolidated to:                     Loyola Academy HS (Wilmette)

Marillac HS team nickname:    the “North Stars”

Marillac HS team colors:         Navy Blue & Kelly Green

School Fight Song:                 unavailable


We know the Marillac High School girls were very competitive in sports.  Basketball was one of the premier sports at the school.  Volleyball, track, softball, golf, and other sports were likely offered as well.  Team fight song, coach’s names, and team records are all items we are seeking.  One thing was for certain, electricty filled the air each time the North Stars played their rivals from nearby Regina Dominican High School.


The Marillac High School basketball program was one of the premier programs in the northern Cook County area during the 1980s and early 1990s.  In fact the program excelled in its final season as well.

Coach Tonya Johnson led the charge from 1984-85 until the school closed in 1993-94.  Her tenure included 10 straight winning seasons, three Regional Championships, and one Sectional Championship. Coach Johnson has continued her coaching career in girls basketball at Loyola Academy where her teams have attained an even more loftier status including winning a State Championship.  Coach Johnson’s overall record at Marillac was an incredible 202 – 64 for a .759 winning percentage!!

In addition Coach Pat O’Connell led the charges in 1979-80 when as a “double-A” school Marillac progressed to the Elite 8 round.   

The seasons as listed on the IHSA website ( are in turn listed below.

1979-80AA    24 – 5     ELITE 8 FINALIST!!                     Coach Pat O’Connell

Regional Champions

                                 Sectional Champions

                                 Super-Sectional Champions

                                 Beat Skokie Niles North 60 – 53

                                 Elite 8 Finalist

                                 Buffalo Grove 47  Marillac 44

1984-85         21 – 4     Regional Champions                 Coach Tanya Johnson

1985-86         22 – 4                                                       Coach Tanya Johnson

1986-87         18 – 9                                                       Coach Tanya Johnson

1987-88         15 – 11                                                     Coach Tanya Johnson

1988-89         17 – 9                                                       Coach Tanya Johnson

1989-90         19 – 8                                                       Coach Tanya Johnson

1990-91A       27 – 3    SWEET 16 FINALIST!                  Coach Tanya Johnson

                                 Regional Champions

                                 Sectional Champions

                                 Super-Sectional Finalists 

Elgin St. Edward 60    Marillac 50

1991-92         24 – 4    Regional Champions                  Coach Tanya Johnson

1992-93         18 – 7                                                       Coach Tanya Johnson

1993-94         21 – 5    School’s Final Season                   Coach Tanya Johnson


The better records and coach’s names listed on the IHSA website are in turn listed below for the Marillac diamond girls.

1979-80                                                        Coach Rick Pausback

1983-84     9 – 7                                             Coach Rick Pausback

1984-87                                                        Coach Terry Uselmann

1987-88   11 – 11                                           Coach Terry Uselmann


The lady netters brought home one District title and one Regional title from the IHSA State Tournament.

1977-78            District Champions
1990-91            Regional Champions


One athlete from Marillac placed at the IHSA State Meet!

1984-85     Jenny Wendell       100 Free Style      6TH Place


The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competetive high school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. Marillac participated in this festival in 1976.

Memories & Facts

From Kathy Gehl Beamer (Class of 1972)

“Marillac High School graduated it first class in 1971.  I was a part of the class of 1972. The school opened in Sept 1968 with Freshman and Sophomore classes only.

The school had unique (for the times) modular scheduling.  The days were lettered A, B, C, and D.  Each day was broken into 15 minute modules or “mods” as we called them.  A class might be 3 or 4 modules long (some lab classes might be 6 mods)  When you were not in class you could roam all around the campus.  We spent a lot of time in the Student Center (cafeteria).  In the spring we would lie in the grass with foil covered record albumn covers, roll our skirts up and catch some of the warm sunshine.

The best part of each year was a fund-raising day call “NUF YAD” (Fun Day backwards).  Groups would form and sponsor a booth to raise funds for charities.  It was a real carnival experience.”

We Are Seeking Information

We are looking for information regarding the great history and many activities which occurred at Marillac High School.  Also any information regarding the team nickname, school colors, ect. would be appreciated.  A photo of the high school building is especially being sought.  You can supply this information by e-mail at or by writing to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.     60631

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