Friday Flyover: Joliet Central

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This week, we feature Joliet Central High School on ABC7's Friday Flyover, celebrating high school sports!

The Steelmen will face off against state-ranked Homewood Flossmoor at Homewood Flossmoor. Sophomores kick off at 5 p.m. and varsity kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Go Steelmen!
Joliet Central celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

High School Football gets into high gear every Friday with a full slate of games supplied by the High School Cube. ABC7 Sports will air highlights of some of these games on TV during ABC 7 Eyewitness News at 10 PM.

PHOTOS: Friday Flyover

Accolades - Captains: Tommie Sherman, Josh Morris, Jasyn Hurt, Steven Washington, Matt Key, Jake Klima.

How many students on the football team -114 in the program (about 40 on varsity)

The flyover is a great way to kick off our JCHS Homecoming Week, which will take place the week of Sept. 22. The Homecoming football games for Joliet Central High School will take place on Sept. 27 after the parade, beginning with the sophomore game at 11 a.m., followed by the varsity game at 1 p.m. The games will be held at the Joliet Central High School Athletic Complex. The homecoming theme is "Under the Sea."

Joliet Township High School District #204 was dedicated in April of 1901 at 201 E. Jefferson Street. When the school opened it also housed Joliet Junior College, the nation's first and now oldest community college. Students were offered six years of education. High school seniors would graduate and enter directly into Joliet Junior College, at no cost to their families.

The castle-like building at 201 E. Jefferson Street doesn't look like most high schools, but more like a museum with marble floors and arch-shaped doorways.

The high school building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982 largely due to the efforts of historians Dorothy Crombie and Mary Tracy and with the assistance of the JTHS Archives Committee.

Joliet Central High School serves over 3,000 students.

In 1964 201 E. Jefferson Street Building was re-named as Joliet Central High School and the school is celebrating 50 years of education this year (2014).

The famed Steelman statue arrived in 1935. The Steelman statue stands leaning forward into the future and is dear to the hearts of many alumni. It represents the school's spirit to all. The high school's famous sculpture was created by Louise Lentz Woodruff (1893-1966) for the Chicago World's Fair, "A Century of Progress," in 1933-34. At the fair, the magnificent statue was placed in front of the Hall of Science representing "Science Advancing Mankind." The eight bas-reliefs that accompanied the Steelman to the school represent astronomy, botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, physics and zoology.

Woodruff was, indeed, herself a student at JTHS entering in 1906. Her dramatic statue of the The Steelman became the official mascot in 1935 when she presented the sculpture to her alma mater.

Vivian Long Ziech was a junior student in 1935 when she submitted the name in an all-school contest to name the statue. Her winning essay stated that the name should be the Steelman because "Joliet is a steel town and the JT teams play like men of steel." The golden anniversary of the Steelman was celebrated in 1985 with a limited edition calendar. Traditionally, the school celebrates the Steelman's birthday on October 10th each year.

At JTHS, our mission is to ensure that all students are college and career ready when they graduate from high school. The JTHS Career Academy structure has been designed to make this mission a reality.

All ninth graders begin their education in the Freshman Academy. This small learning community is structured to assist students with the transition to high school. Freshmen begin the day a period earlier than upper-class students, which provides them with the opportunity to take an additional elective or receive academic support in math and/or reading.

The Freshman Academy structure incorporates cohort teaming and scheduling of teachers and students. This provides teachers with the opportunity to assist students through integrated lessons and shared student progress monitoring. Teachers work together in teams to provide students with unified support, which eases the transition into the larger school community.

During the freshman year of high school, JTHS students explore career options as they progress through the Freshman Academy, advisory and the online Career Cruising program. This career exploration prepares your student for the Career Academy selection.

During sophomore year, students enter one of five career-themed Career Academies.

JTHS Career Academies increase student achievement by organizing students into small learning communities that offer a personalized learning environment within a large school setting.

In the JTHS Career Academies, students receive an individualized education relevant to their career interests. Teams of teachers work together to prepare interdisciplinary lessons that relate to each academy's theme. Students are provided with a rigorous and relevant curriculum that integrates course content and technology skills in alignment to the Common Core State Standards and College and Career Readiness Standards.

The five JTHS Academies are: the Academy of Arts and Communication; the Academy of Business Management & Information Systems; the Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); the Academy of Health & Medicine; and the Academy of Human Services.

Along with academics, JT perfected a music program, which by the late 1920s was known as the best in the nation.

The JTHS Band was organized in December of 1912 at the request of Mr. H.A. Stillman, then a member of the Joliet Township High School Board of Education. In 1913, A.R. McAllister, a manual training teacher who played the cornet, was asked to organize a band. Three Joliet Rotarians, who were also members of the school board, Al Oldhaver, Herb Spencer and Art Montzheimer, purchased the musical instruments and band uniforms from Rotarian George Wiswell's Music Store. Thus, the storied band legacy began in a manual training (industrial arts) room. Nail kegs were used for the band's chairs, but the dreams of the group were not so humble. By January, 1914, there were 18 boys in McAllister's band and the band made its first appearance in April at a basketball game. By 1917, it was recognized as the finest high school band in the state.

March 2014 - Honor Award Winner at the Dixie Classic Festival in Richmond, Virginia for highest scores overall.

April 2013 - Grand Champion at the State of Illinois Invitational Concert Band Festival at Illinois State University.
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