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Guerin College Prep High School, River Grove, Illinois

Guerin Prep High School was a Catholic, co-educational and college preparatory high school serving the northwest side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs through the completion of the 2019-20 school year.

Upcoming Reunions Related to Guerin Prep High School


  • Holy Cross High School alumni have scheduled a 2022 reunion to take place on October 1, at Chandlers, located in the Schaumburg Park District Golf Course. The reunion will begin at 6 p.m., and the alumni will have a website up and running in the near future. Cost to attend will be $80, which includes a dinner and open bar. Any alumni are welcome to attend. For further information, contact Mike Consiglio (1974 graduate) at 708-645-6831.
  • The 1972 graduating class of St. Pascal Grade School in Chicago will conduct its 50th Jubilee Reunion on October 1, at The Fairway, 6676 W. Howard St., Niles, Illinois. Cost is $60 per person. Many students from St. Pascal attended Mother Theodore Guerin High School, Holy Cross High School or Guerin College Prep High School. The Planning Team for the reunion includes Bill Bergfalk, Pat Chopelas, Donna DeFrank, Anthony Fidanza, Howard Fischer, Jim Flood, Joe Moran, Karen Pacana, Steve Rysemus, Carol Skiba and Sandra Slove. For more information, contact Pat (Chopelas) Fitzgerald through Facebook. More information will be forthcoming.
  • The Mother Theodore Guerin High School Class of 1982 is planning its 40th reunion, which will take place on Saturday, October 8. The Saturday evening Mass will be dedicated to deceased alumni and will take place at 5 p.m., at the Mother Guerin Parish in Elmwood Park (formerly St. Celestine). A celebration will follow at Draft Bar, 8221 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago. Cost is approximately $30 with a cash bar. For more information, call Debbie Cyza Duncan at 727-310-9398 or email thedarlingdeb@gmail.com, or also contact Diane Vessini at 708-899-1306 or email vessini23@gmail.com.

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Alumnae/i association

Alumnae from Guerin Prep High School may contact Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp at jhagelsk@spsmw.org or by phone at 812-535-2855.

Soon, the Sisters of Providence will form a Guerin Alumni Association. Those interested in being a part of the association or assisting with its operation should contact Maureen Dickinson, director of Mission Advancement, at 812-535-2801 or mdickinson@spsmw.org.

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History of Guerin College Prep High School, River Grove, Illinois

Chicago Archbishop Meyer invited the Sisters of Providence to establish a high school for girls in River Grove adjacent to the Holy Cross High School for boys. The offer was accepted, and the decision was made to name the school after Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence. The Archbishop gave the land and contributed $1 million. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on April 15, 1962, with Monsignor McManus officiating. Since the new building would not be ready for occupancy until the fall of 1963, a wing of Holy Cross High School was rented. More than 300 freshmen began classes in September 1962. Bishop Cletus O’Donnell presided at the laying of the cornerstone on Aug. 24, 1963, and on Sept. 9, classes began in the new building with 796 freshmen and sophomores. Cardinal Meyer blessed and dedicated the school and the convent on April 11, 1964.

The school was built to accommodate 1,200 girls. However, the enrollment grew well beyond this, and in the 1970s, five mobile units were added. Other developments have been the establishment of the Learning Club, a preschool in the Home Economics Department, and some co-educational classes with Holy Cross.

In 1990, following a recommendation of representatives of Catholic School Management, Sister Margaret Kern was appointed first president of Mother Theodore Guerin High School. She was succeeded in 1993 by Sister Cathy Campbell.

In accordance with the Congregation’s Contingency Plan, the sisters made studies at various times to consider the possible sale of Guerin High School or the leasing of it to the archdiocese. In 1985, the sisters proposed a lease to the archdiocese. According to the terms of the agreement, the sisters need the written consent of the archdiocese to discontinue maintenance or sell. The archdiocese was unwilling to lease the school or allow the sale, as the school as thriving and it was needed because of the large number of students who wished to enroll in a Catholic high school. As of 1996, the school continued to operate as a sponsored institution of the sisters.

In April 1999, Sister Nancy Nolan was appointed third president of the school, and Sister Kathleen Burke the principal. Sister Kathleen resigned at the end of the 2000-01 school year. Sister Jeanne Hagleskamp, who had been principal from 1991-97, accepted the invitation to serve as interim principal during the 2001-02 school year. Bonnie Brown, who had been assistant principal, was named principal beginning in the 2002-03 school year.

When Holy Cross High School for boys announced it would close in June 2004, Cardinal George asked if the sisters and Guerin would be willing to become co-education, college preparatory high school. The request was granted, and in September 2004, the school opened its doors as Guerin College Preparatory High School.

Guerin Prep remained dedicated to developing the unique potential of its diverse student body through an extensive academic curriculum, excellent administrative and instructional staffs and through its Catholic faith, service and extracurricular programs until it closed.

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