(Skokie) Niles East High School “Trojans”

Niles East Township High School
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Credit: Lake County Discovery Museum/Curt Teich Postcard Archives
Niles Township High School Building
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Submitted by Barb Smit (Class of 1959)

The History of Skokie – Niles East High School

Skokie (population 63,348) is located in northern Cook County in northeastern Illinois.  It is considered a near-north suburb of Chicago. Illinois Route 50 and U.S. Route 41 intersect with Illinois Route 58 in town. Interstate Highway 94 runs along the western edge of Skokie.

The town was established in 1888 and originally named Niles Centre. In 1910, the town name was changed to Niles Center. Folks in the area got this confused with a town nearby called Niles. It was decided in 1940 to change the name again to the current name of Skokie. The population in Skokie boomed between the years of 1920 and 1960. The population of Skokie progressed as follows: 1900-529 residents, 1920-763 residents, 1940-7,172 residents, 1960-59,364 residents.

Nile HS Entrance Sidewalk
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Courtesy of Barb Smit

With the growth of the city also came the growth of the school system. The school system was established soon after the town became incorporated. It was not until 1938 however that Niles High School, the forerunner for Niles East High School, was formed. Niles High School was the only school in town until Skokie’s and the other northern suburban towns amazing growth spurt allowed for the formation of two new high schools in the area, Niles West and Niles North. The three schools flourished for the next two decades until declining enrollment forced the closure of one. Being the oldest facility, it was Niles East that was closed in 1980. All students were then split between Niles North and Niles West High Schools.

Only a portion of the Niles East High School building still stands. A large portion of the building was demolished and new construction was put in place by its current owner and user, Oakton Community College.

Larry Perlman, who attended Niles East from 1977-80, provides the following tidbit of information regarding the Niles East HS building:

“The movies “Risky Business” and “16 Candles” were both partially filmed at Niles East.”

Niles East High School Quick Facts

Year opened:              1938

Year closed:               1980

School nickname:        the “Trojans”

School colors:             Blue & Gold

School Fight Song:

Nilehi, Nilehi

Go out and win this game,

We’ll help you to try,

The Trojans were a mighty race,

They fought with lots of vim

Let’s keep our fighting spirit and we’ll win!

Let’s go now

Gold and Blue

We’re true to you

We’ll stand behind you always to a man.

Let’s keep our colors flying high

Our motto is to do or die

Let’s win this game Nilehi!

Let’s Go Nilehi!

Let’s GoTrojans!

Fight Hard Nilehi!


From Joel Goldman (Class of 1965):

In addition to the fight song, you may be interested to know that Niles (I don’t know if this predates the creation of East or not) has an Alma Mater. Here are the lyrics:


Gold and Blue we sing to you
To you we bring our hearts so true

When we go off to College, we will think of you old school
Where we gained lots of knowledge and learned the golden rule

Though years may come and years may go
Deep in our hearts we’ll always know

That there’s only one real high school
And so we sing anew
We love you Gold and Blue

The only word that may have been altered from time to time

is in the phrase “real high school” in the last stanza. I

have also heard it as “true high school.”

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Description automatically generated with low confidenceATHLETICS

The Niles East High School Trojans excelled in MANY different sports and events in state-wide competition.  The IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) lists a Niles East HS success in nearly every sport and event in which records are kept.  The Trojans competed in the Suburban League Conference with New Trier, Evanston, Oak Park, Proviso, Highland Park, Morton, and Waukegan.

Though no team State Championships were won, the Trojans did have several top ten finishes.  There were several individual state champions in various events.  The school was known as Skokie Niles High School until the early 1960s when the name was changed to Niles East. The extensive history of the Niles East High School Trojans is listed below.


The Trojan baseball teams had three trips to the state baseball tournament.  Twice the Trojans finished in the Sweet 16, once in the Elite 8.  The 1957-58 team nearly took it all, losing the State Championship game in 8 innings to Maine Township High School of Des Plaines.  The great accomplishments and game scores of the 1958 team are listed below.

As Skokie Niles High School

1947-48    20 – 4      Regional / Sectional / Elite 8 Qualifier                  Coach Jim Phipps

1950-51                  District Champions

1957-58    20 – 5      Regional / Sectional / STATE 2ND PLACE FINISH!  Coach Jim Phipps

                              Elite 8          –  Niles HS  16  –  Highland HS  5

                              Semi-Final   –  Niles HS   4   –  Danville HS  3  (12 innings)

                              FINAL           –  Niles HS   2   –  Des Plaines Maine HS  3  (8 innings)

1960-61    15 – 8      Regional / Sectional / Elite 8                                 Coach  Jim Phipps

As Skokie Niles East

1967-68     13 – 9     Regional / Sectional / Elite 8                                 Coach Nick Odlivak


The boys basketball team won two Regional titles on the hardwood court.  Both titles were won as the Niles HS Trojans. Only four other seasons are listed but none are better than a .500 season. Coach Dick Haselton made one of seven coaching stops here in the 1960s.

As Skokie Niles HS

1944-45           Regional Champions

1951-52           Regional Champions


The Lady Trojan bowling team wona District title and qualified for the State tournament.  Unfortunately the team record and coach’s name are not available.

1975-76           District Champions / State Qualifier


There is no mention of the Niles or Niles East High School football Trojans on the IHSA web site. The 1958 squad was said to have been a good one, defeating their arch-rivals Evanston during the course of the season.  The squad of 1978 finished at 4 wins and 5 losses, good enough for 3RD Place in the conference standings.  If you have any further information on the Niles HS or Niles East HS boys football teams please forward it to us so we can share it with others.


The Niles East HS boys golf team had one individual place 2nd in the State meet competition.  On a team level the Trojans also brought home a District Title.

1972-73    District Champions

Individual Medalist

1946-47    Bob Dombrowski     2ND PLACE MEDALIST!!!


The north-suburban area of Chicago has a long history of great success in gymnastics.  The Niles / Niles East High School boys gymnastics teams had no less than EIGHT (8) top ten finishes in boys gymnastics.  There were also 18 individuals who medaled in state competition!  The coaches at the head of this success were John Riccitelli through the 1963-64 season and Tom Sokalski who became head coach in the 1964-65 season.  The incredible success of the NEHS boys gymnastics program is listed below.

1961-62    Team Finished FOURTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalists

Elliot Pearl      Rings               STATE CHAMPION

                Dale Hardt       Trampoline     3rd Place

                1961-62 Final Team Standings

                1.)   Proviso East       –  61.5

2.)   Willowbrook        – 36

2.)   Elmhurst York     – 36

4.)   NILES EAST HS – 35

1962-63    Team Finished SECOND in State Competition

               Individual Medalists 

               Dale Hardt      Trampoline        STATE CHAMPION!!

               Ike Heller        Parallel Bars     2ND PLACE

                                      All-Around         2ND PLACE

               Rick Block      Tumbling           3RD Place

               Mark Slotten   Horse                 3RD Place

               1962-63 Final Team Standings

               1.)  Evanston  HS        –  67

2.)  NILES EAST HS   –  54

3.)  Prospect HS         –  53

1963-64   Team Finished SECOND in State Competition

               Individual Medalists   

               Dale Hardt       Tumbling             STATE CHAMPION!!

               Mark Slotten    Horse                   STATE CHAMPION!! 

              Ron Rapper     Parallel Bars        2ND PLACE

               Mark Kahn       Rings                    2ND PLACE

               Rick Block       Tumbling              3RD PLACE

               1963-64 Final Team Standings

               1.)   Willowbrook HS          –  56.5

2.)   NILES EAST HS        –  54

               3.)   Evanston HS              –  53

1964-65   Team Finished EIGHTH in State Competition

               Individual Medalist

               Steve Alleman      Trampoline        4TH PLACE

               1964-65 Final Team Standings

               1.)  Evanston HS        –  53.50

2.)  Proviso East HS   –  43.83

3.)  Niles West HS     –  42.50

4.)  Willowbrook HS   –   39

5.)  Arlington Hts. HS –  38.50

6.)  Thornton HS        –  29.50

7.)  Prospect HS        –  28.50

               8.)  NILES EAST HS  –  22

1965-66   Individual Medalist  –  Barry Slotten  Tumbling  STATE CHAMPION!!

1966-67   Team Finished FIFTH in Team Competition

               Individual Medalists

               Barry Slotten        Tumbling              STATE CHAMPION!!

                                            Trampoline           STATE CHAMPION!!

               Seymour Rifkin     Parallel Bars        4TH PLACE

               1966-67 Final Team Standings

1.)  Evanston HS          –  51.5

2.)  Prospect HS          –  36.5

3.)  Maine East HS      –   32

4.)  Niles West HS       –  30.5

               5.)  NILES EAST HS    –  29.5

               6.)  New Trier East HS  –  29

1967-68   Team Finished FOURTH in State Competition

               Individual Medalists

Seymour Rifkind       Parallel Bars     3RD PLACE

1968-69 Final Team Standings

1.)  Arlington Hts.         –  64

2.)  Maine East HS       –  53

3.)  Prospect HS          –  31

4.)  NILES EAST HS    –  22

5.)  Wheeling HS         –  21.5

1968-69   Team Finished THIRD in State Competition

Individual Medalists

               Seymour Rifkind        All-Around           STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                 Parallel Bars       STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                 Rings                   3RD PLACE

                                                 Horizontal Bars    5TH PLACE

               Bob Quintanales        Parallel Bars       5TH PLACE

               Al Weiner                  Trampoline          5TH PLACE

               1968-69 Final Team Standings

               1.)  Arlington Hts. HS       –  221

2.)  Hinsdale Central HS   –  182.5

3.)  NILES EAST HS        –  121.5

4.)  New Trier East HS      –   88.5

1969-70    Individual Medalist  –  Al Weiner      Trampoline      2ND PLACE

1971-72    Individual Medalist  –  Dave Apple    Free Exercise  STATE CHAMPION!!

1973-74    Individual Medalist  –  Steve Kozub  Rings                5TH PLACE

1974-75   Team Finished FOURTH in State Competition

               Individual Medalists

               Neal Sher         Horizontal Bars      2ND PLACE

                                        Parallel Bars          2ND PLACE

                                        All-Around              3RD PLACE

               Steve Pollice    Trampoline            2ND PLACE

               Mike Burke       Horse                      3RD PLACE

1974-75 Final Team Standings

1.)  Hinsdale Central HS          –  194

2.)  Niles West HS                  –  133.50

3.)  Hersey HS                        –  125.83

4.)  NILES EAST HS               –  109.50 

               5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS  –  109.33

1977-78    Individual Medalist  –  Chris Besser    Rings    4TH PLACE



One Lady Trojan gymnast brought home three medals (including a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP) in State Meet Competition.

1979-80    Individual Medalist

               May Ann Kostyniuk    Uneven Bars      STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                 Balance Beam   2ND PLACE

                                                 All-Around          2ND PLACE


The boys swimming team at Niles East High School also excelled on the state level.  As Niles High School the boys earned 4 top ten finishes in State Competition.  They earned an additional top ten finish as Niles East High.  This of course means there were several Trojan individual winners as well. The results of the top ten finishes and individual medalists are listed below.

1948-49     Team Finished SIXTH in State Competition

                 Individual Medalists

                 Dick Provost            Diving                               3RD PLACE

Robert Lindahl        50 Yard Free Style            3RD PLACE 

                                                100 Yard Free Style           5TH PLACE

                 1948-49 Final Team Standings

1.)  New Trier HS                –  43

2.)  Lane Tech HS               –  32

3.)  Proviso HS                   –  26

4.)  Evanston HS                –  19

5.)  Rockford West HS        –  13


                 7.)  Chicago U-High            –    6

1951-52     Team Finished NINTH in State Competition

                 Individual Medalists

                 Relay Team             150 Yard Medley             4TH PLACE

                 Don Larson               50 Yard Free Style         5TH PLACE

                 George Lockwood   100 Yard Breast Stroke   5TH PLACE

                 1951-52 Final Team Standings

1.)  New Trier HS                     –  42

2.)  Evanston HS                     –  30

3.)  Maine Township HS           –  13

3.)  Highland Park HS              –  13

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS  –  12

5.)  Chicago Harrison HS         –  12

5.)  Rockford West HS            –  12

8.)  Proviso HS                       –   6

                 9.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL      –   5 

                 9.)  Chicago Lane Tech HS      –   5

1952-53     Team Placed FOURTH in State Competition

                 Individual Medalists

                 George Lockwood       100 Yard Breast Stroke    STATE CHAMPION!!

                 Don Larson                   50 Yard Free Style          2ND PLACE

                 Roy Yocum                   Diving                             3RD PLACE

                 Relay Team                  150 Yard Medley Relay   4TH PLACE

                 1952-53 Final Team Standings

                 1.)  Evanston HS                      –  45

2.)  New Trier HS                      –  31

3.)  Maine Township HS            –  22

                 4.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL       –  16

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS   –  14

1953-54     Team Finished EIGHTH in State Competition

                 Individual Medalists

                 Dean Ness      50 Yard Free Style        3RD PLACE

                 1953-54 Final Team Standings  

                 1.)  Evanston HS                     –  67

2.)  New Trier HS                     –  56

3.)  Maine Township HS           –  37

4.)  Rockford West HS             –  19

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS  –  18

6.)  Peoria HS                         –  15

7.)  Chicago Lane Tech HS      –    8

                 8.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL      –    4

8.)  Rockford East HS              –   4

1955-56    Individual Medalists

               Relay Team     200 Yard Medley Relay      5TH PLACE


1959-60    Individual Medalsits

               Phil Karafotas  200 Yard Free Style           6TH PLACE

                                       200 Yard IM                        6TH PLACE

1964-65    Individual Medalist

               Marty Chalfie   100 Yard Fly                       5TH PLACE

1967-68    Team Finished NINTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalists

                Jim Hawkins    100 Yard Breast Stroke      3RD PLACE

                Relay Team     200 Yard Medley Relay      4TH PLACE

                Paul Katz         50 Yard Free Style             6TH PLACE

                1967-68 Final Team Standings 

1.)  Hinsdale Central HS         –  191

2.)  New Trier East HS            –  136

3.)  Evanston HS                    –  127.5

4.)  Thornridge HS                  –  110

5.)  Moline HS                        –   83

6.)  Peoria Richwoods HS       –    81

7.)  Rock Island HS                –    69

8.)  New Trier West HS           –    52

                9.)  NILES EAST H.S.            –    43

10.) Danville HS                      –    34


The boys tennis team at Niles East High School also excelled, especially in the 1960s.  The Trojan’s placed in the top ten 4 times in their history.  Their best effort was a 3rd Place finish in the 1960-61 meet.  Individual medalists and final team standings are listed below.

1960-61    Team Finished THIRD in State Competition

                Individual Medalist

                Mike Baer          Doubles              2ND PLACE

                Paul Bishop       Doubles              2ND PLACE

                1960-61 Final Team Standings

1.)  Evanston HS                    –  13

2.)  Hinsdale HS                     –  12

3.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL      –   5

3.)  Decatur Stephen HS         –   5

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS  –   4

5.)  New Trier HS                    –   4

5.)  Rock Island HS                 –   4

5.)  Danville HS                       –   4

1964-65    Team Finished SIXTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalists

                Mark Bishop          Doubles         3RD PLACE

                Steve Williams      Doubles         3RD PLACE

                1964-65 Final Team Standings 

                1.)  Decatur MacArthur  HS               –  10

1.)  New Trier East HS                      –  10

3.)  Arlington Heights HS                   –   8

4.)  Hinsdale HS                               –   6

4.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS            –   6

6.)  NILES EAST HIGH SCHOOL       –   4

6.)  Belleville HS                               –   4

6.)  Rockford West HS                      –    4

6.)  Evanston HS                              –    4

1966-67    Team Finished SEVENTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalist 

Mark Bishop         Singles           3RD PLACE

                1966-67  Final Team Standings

1.)  New Trier East HS                  –  15

2.)  Hinsdale Central HS                –   8

3.)  Arlington Heights HS               –   7

4.)  Danville HS                             –   6

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS        –   5

5.)  Rock Island HS                       –   5

7.)  Decatur MacArthur                  –   3


                7.)  Ottawa HS                             –   3 

                7.)  Evanston HS                          –   3

1967-68    Team Finished FIFTH in State Competition 

                Individual Medalist      

                Mark Bishop         Singles            STATE CHAMPION!!

                1967-68  Final Team Standings  

                1.)  Hinsdale Central HS                 –  9

2.)  Evanston HS                            –  7

3.)  Arlington Heights HS                –  6

3.)  Rock Island HS                        –  6


5.)  Granite City HS                        –  5

5.)  New Trier East HS                    –  5

1972-73    Team Finished SEVENTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalist 

Pete Stearns           Singles              5TH PLACE   

                1972-73  Final Team Standings 

                1.)  Hinsdale Central HS             –  15

1.)  Highland Park HS                 – 15

3.)  Arlington Heights HS             – 11

4.)  Galesburg HS                       –  8

5.)  New Trier East HS                 –  7

5.)  Oak Park-River Forest HS      –  7


7.)  Ottawa HS                            –  6

7.)  Rock Island HS                     –  6

7.)  Evanston HS                         –  6


The Niles East High School Lady Trojans won some State hardware of their own.  Mindy Epstein led the 1977-78 girls tennis team to a SIXTH place finish.  The year and Mindy’s great season are listed below.

1977-78     Team Finished SIXTH in State Competition

                 Individual Medalist     

                 Mindy Epstein         Singles           4TH PLACE

                 1977-78  Final Team Standings   

                 1.)  Hinsdale Central HS              –  17.5

2.)  Crystal Lake HS                   –  17

3.)  New Trier East                     –   11

4.)  Lake Forest HS                    –  11.5

5.)  Arlington Heights HS             –  10

6.)  Peoria Richwoods HS            –   9


                 8.) Maine East HS                       –   8

Niles Township HS Mascot
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Although no team records are available, one Trojan runner made his mark with the program by placing at the State Meet:

1965-66      Individual Medalist: Peter Lanners                  9th Place

1976-77      District 219 Champions

                  Defeated Niles North and Niles West

                  For Championship – Fall of 1976 


The Niles East High School Trojan thindlads brought home several individual medals and managed a 7th Place finish in the1954-55 State Meet.  The accomplishments of the Trojan Boys Track athletes are listed below.

1942-43    Individual Medalist

               H. Johnston          1 Mile Run               5TH PLACE 

1945-46    Individual Medalist  

               Relay Team          880 Yard Relay        5Th PLACE

1946-47    Individual Medalists

               Relay Team          880 Yard Relay        4TH PLACE

               Robert Farr           440 Yard Dash         5Th PLACE

1954-55   Team Finished SEVENTH at State Track Meet

               Individual Medalists

John Ravencroft    440 Yard Dash         2ND PLACE

               Bruce Debes          880 Yard Run          3RD PLACE

               1954-55 Final Team Standings

1.)  Blue Island HS                    –  18

2.)  New Trier HS                       –  14

3.)  North Chicago HS                –  13

4.)  Elmhurst York HS               –   10.5

5.)  Chicago Heights Bloom HS  –    9.5

6.)  Chicago Phillips HS             –    9

7.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL        –    7

7.)  Aurora East HS                   –    7

7.)  DeKalb HS                          –    7

10.) Chicago Tilden HS               –    6.33

1960-61   Individual Medalist

              Relay Team           880 Yard Relay          3RD PLACE

Boys Track Memories

The 1978 Niles East Boys Varsity Indoor Track Team defeated a field of 12 schools in the first ever Niles West Indoor Track Invite with Niles East winning the crown.  The crowning victory to seal the title was the Niles East Boys (4) Lap relay consisting of Barry Leb, Phil Waller, Robert Holzheimer and Jim Doumouras (as Anchor Leg) with a time of 1:16.6 minutes.”

The below photo was sent to us with the following information:

“Niles East High School in Skokie, IL, May 1978, Niles East Boys Track Team Members, Jim Doumouras and Mike Potts taking First and Second Place in the 330 Yard Low Hurdles event in a Tri Meet with Stevenson High School, Niles North High School and Taft High School.”

NIles East HS Track 1975 – James Doumouras
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Skokie Niles East Track Meet May 1978
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Two Lady Trojans brought home medals from the IHSA State Meet as well.

1973-74   Margaret May       1 Mile Run           7TH PLACE

1975-76   Jamie Borkovitz    Discus                 8TH PLACE


The Girls Volleyball team won a District Championship during their brief existence.  Girls sports were not recognized by the IHSA until 1973-74.  The year of the title is listed below.  Unfortunately the coach’s name and team record is not available.

1977-78   District Champions


The Niles East High School grapplers had a great run of success in the 1960s.  On four occassions the Trojans finished in the top ten in the State Meet. In fact the 1960-61 squad brought back a SECOND Place trophy.  Coach Howard Byrum was responsible for many of the successful seasons below.  In addition several individual medals were won at the school.

1960-61     Team Finished SECOND in State Competition 


                 Final Team Standings

1.)  Reavis HS                              –  51

                 2.)  NILES HIGH SCHOOL            –  34 

                 3.)  North Chicago HS                   –  26

4.)  Granite City HS                      –  25

4.)  Waukegan HS                        –  25

1961-62     Individual Medalist

                Stuart Marshall       154 Lbs Weight Class       4TH PLACE 

1963-64     Team Finished FIFTH in State Competition          

                 Individual Medalists

Howard Rosenbaum  103 Lbs. Weight Class      STATE CHAMPION!!

                 Mark Newberger        165 Lbs. Weight Class      3RD PLACE

                 1963-64 Final Team Standings

1.)  Waukegan HS                         –  49

2.)  Sterling HS                              –  27

3.)  Aurora East HS                       –  22

3.)  Proviso East HS                      –  22


                 5.)  Deerfield HS                            –  20

5.)  Joliet HS                                 –  20

5.)  DeKalb HS                              –  20

1964-65    Individual Medalist

               Ron Ponticore         180 Lbs. Weight Class        4TH PLACE

1965-66    Team Finished EIGHTH in the State Competition 

                Individual Medalists

Bill Paus                 154 Lbs. Weight Class        STATE CHAMPION!!

                Ron Ponticore         180 Lbs. Weight Class        4TH PLACE

                1965-66 Final Team Standings

1.)  Waukegan HS                       –  65

2.)  Wheaton Central HS              –  26

3.)  Granite City HS                     –  24

4.)  North Chicago HS                  –  23

5.)  Aurora West HS                    –  22

6.)  Rockford East HS                  –  20

7.)  East Leyden HS                    –  19


                8.)  Evanston HS                         –  18

1966-67    Team Finished SIXTH in State Competition

                Individual Medalists 

Tim Cech                 120 Lbs. Weight Class         STATE CHAMPION!!   

                Vic Mittelberg          Heavyweight Class              4Th PLACE

                1966-67 Final Team Standings

1.)  Rodk Island HS                      –  25

2.)  Evanston HS                          –  22

2.)  Orland Park HS                      –  22

4.)  Pekin HS                               –  21

4.)  Champaign HS                       –  21


                7.)  Moline HS                              –  17

8.)  Rich East HS                          –  16

1974-75AA     Individual Medalist

                    Jeff Rock             98 Lbs. Weight Class      2ND PLACE

1978-79AA     Individual Medalist

                    John LaManna  119 Lbs. Weight Class      4TH PLACE


1979-80AA    Individual Medalist

                    Kelly Walls          Heavyweight Class         4TH PLACE


The statement at the beginning of the sports section on this page regarding niles East never having won a state title in any sport is not entirely true.  Scott Blanke (Class of 1971) tells us of one state championship that the Niles East boys fencing program earned in 1971:

“Someone stated that Niles East had no state champions as a team.  I am proud to state that I was part of the 1970 state champion fencing team.  My team-mates placed 1st, 3rd, 4rd, 10th, 13th and 16th out of 66 fencing boys.  My team placed first and I still own the white letter sweater that a state champion was allowed to wear.”

Phenominal accomplishment by the Niles East fencing team of 1971!!

**Steve Alleman (Class of 1966) tells us the following as well:

“I attended Niles East from 1962-1966 and was on the Gymnastics Team (1965, Trampoline 4th place). I remember that a boy named Harvey Harris was a State Champion in fencing, and might have been for 2 years, 65 and 66.”

1970-71          STATE CHAMPIONS!!



Give the Niles East High School English Department some credit here.  One individual won a medal at the state competition.       

1962-63      Mike Kassin    Oratory Declamation             STATE CHAMPION!!!


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 with East’s very own Jerry Proffit leading the efforts. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. Niles East participated in this festival from 1976 to 1980.

Distinguished Alumni

Martin Chalfie – NEHS Class of 1966 – Nobel Peace Prize for Chemistry awarded in 2008 “for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.”

(Information provided by Steve Alleman.)

H. Robert Horvitz – NEHS Class of 1964 – He received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology for his research on the nematodeworm – Caenorhabditis elegans.

(Information provided by Steve Alleman.)

Alan Sutton – Chicago Tribune high school sports writer from 1976 to 2008. Sports editor of the Nilehilite during his high school years. Official Tribune biography: “Before joining the Chicago Tribune in 1976, he worked for (in order) the Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union, Boston Globe, St. Petersburg Times, Daily Herald and Miami Herald. In St. Petersburg, he wrote about high school sports and covered games involving future NBA stars Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins (Orlando Evans) and Otis Birdsong (Winter Haven). He’s been on the girls high school basketball beat at the Tribune since 1996 and has seen between 900 and 1,000 games. Alan has been a voter in the Associated Press’ Class AA state poll and also has been on the panel of voters for the Gatorade Athlete of the Year. He is also responsible for compiling the Ms. Basketball ballot.”

**From Capi Pike (Class of 1957):

“Did you know that Dorothy Collins, one of my classmates and 1957 graduate had her own column in the Chgo Trib for quite a few years. Another of our classmates, Chuck Slack, who I also went to Lincolnwood Grammar School with, was a feature cartoonist for the Trib for many years. Yet another, Bruce Robbins, a very accomplished pianist, was a lounge musician in the Chicago area for years and years.”

**Dave Kaplan

Famous Chicago radio and television sports talk show host Dave Kaplan is a graduate of Niles East High School.



From former teacher Ellen Peirce (1974-1980):

“I taught at Niles East High School from 1974 to 1980, and those of us who were part of the faculty always missed this school!”

If You Have ANY Further Information…

…you would like to share regarding the MANY great accomplishments and fond memories of Niles HS or Niles East HS please forward it to us.  A photo of the original school building is being sought.  You can e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Niles East H.S. Winter Concert “LP”
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From Winter 1969

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