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Peoria Notre Dame High School

Peoria Notre Dame High School
5105 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, Illinois, 61614
United States
Type Private, Parochial, College-prep
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1863 (Academy of Our Lady)
1899 (Spalding Institute)
1964 (Bergan High School)
Opened 1988 (merger)
Oversight Diocese of Peoria
Superintendent Dr. Sharon Weiss[1]
Principal Randy Simmons[1]
Chaplain Father Adam Stimpson
Grades 912
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 790[1] (2013–14)
Average class size 20[1]
Color(s)      Blue
     Kelly Green (trim)
Athletics conference Big Twelve Conference
Team name Irish
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Average ACT scores (2013-14) 24.6[1]
Publication Gael (literary magazine)
Newspaper Acclaim
Yearbook Irish Odyssey
Tuition $4,230

Peoria Notre Dame High School is a Catholic parochial high school in Peoria, Illinois. It is the largest parochial school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria with approximately 815 students and has a college preparatory curriculum. According to the school, most of the students graduating in recent years went on to college.[3] The school uses an academy system with a trustee committee, oversight board, pastor's board, president, and principal. The school's team name is the "Irish", like the University of Notre Dame, but uses the shamrock as its team symbol.


  • History 1
    • 1988 consolidation 1.1
    • Campus move 1.2
    • 2010 curriculum changes 1.3
    • 2014 terminations 1.4
  • Sports 2
  • Houses 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


1988 consolidation

The school traces its roots back to 1863, when Father Abram Ryan and seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founded a parochial school in Peoria. Notre Dame was created at the beginning of the 1988–1989 school year by the consolidation of the two Peoria area Catholic high schools: Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute, itself from the 1973 consolidation of two schools with histories back to 1863 (the Academy) and 1899 (Spalding); and Bergan High School, formed in 1964.

The Spalding Institute/Academy of Our Lady facility was closed at the end of the 1988–1989 academic year while the Bergan facility was expanded the summer of 1989, only the Bergan high school site used from fall 1989.

Campus move

In 2006, the school's Education Commission, in conjunction with the Peoria Area Pastors' Board and the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, hired The Reid Group of Bellevue, Washington, to develop and conduct a campus location study. In June 2008, it was announced that the Reid Group had advised the Commission to build a new school, an athletic facility/pool, and new sports fields on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus north of the present Peoria Academy near the intersection of Willow Knolls Road and Allen Road in outlying Peoria.[4] The estimated $60 million required would be funded largely through a capital campaign and private donations, the diocese, and potentially other parishes in nearby counties. As of October 2009, no definitive timeline was in place for construction of the new school.

2010 curriculum changes

Beginning in the 2010–2011 school year many changes were implemented. A trimester schedule was implemented, along with house system, and a one-to-one laptop program. The trimester system lowers the number of students the average teacher sees to around 80 a semester from the usual average of 130–150. Longer class periods enable a more engaged approach to education with more time for labs and project based instruction. Every freshman and sophomore student was required to purchase and use a Macintosh laptop; payments could be spread out over the three or four years until graduation. Peoria Notre Dame High School is the first high school in the state of Illinois to partner with Apple in implementing a one to one laptop environment. More course content, including AP and college-credit courses and computer coursework, will be done on-line and in a dual online/lecture form. More electives will be offered, and the school intends to offer additional dual credit courses using the online format.[5]

The school held its first snow day Internet class, an economics class taught by principal Charlie Roy, in January 2010.[6]

2014 terminations

Former teacher Mike Sullivan, a longtime cross country and track coach who taught at Bergan and Peoria Notre Dame for 39 years, abruptly resigned from his position on February 8, 2014.[7] School officials had no further comment on his departure.[7]

Principal Charlie Roy left his position at Peoria Notre Dame on February 26, 2014.[8] Roy had been the principal at the school since 2007, when the organization changed to a president-principal combination following a restructuring of the administration by the diocese.[8] Roy sent an email to students on February 27, 2014, informing him that was taking a new position as president of Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, California.[8] The event made the local news, with students expressing displeasure at the sudden departure.[8] Randy Simmons will serve as interim principal until the end of the school year.[8]


Peoria Notre Dame, along with Peoria's public high schools, joined the Big Twelve Conference in 2014, disbanding the Mid-State 6 Conference that Peoria schools had long been the core of.

The Peoria Notre Dame High School Fighting Irish were the Illinois State Class 2A Champions in men's soccer (2004, 2008, 2010, 2012) and women's cross country at the state finals.

In the fall 2014 post-season play, the 2014 Irish football team, who have not yet been defeated in a match, won the second round of the IHSA Class 6A tournament on Saturday, November 8, 2014, defeating Chatham Glenwood High School in a 41-0 sweep, moving on to the super-sectionals, after having previously defeated Galesburg.[9] They had a 9-0 season that year, but were defeated by Lemont 32-25 in the Class 6A semifinals.[10]

Peoria Notre Dame rival is crosstown Richwoods High School.


Peoria Notre Dame introduced the house system, which is traditionally used in British and Commonwealth schools, in 2010. Students are randomly assigned to one of the six houses, which are named after prominent figures in the Catholic church or school history. Each house has approximately 150 students and is a blend of students from all years.


See also

External links

  • Peoria Notre Dame High School — official site


  1. ^ a b c d e "School Report Card". Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  3. ^ Notre Dame High School website: Quick Facts. Retrieved 2010-11-20
  4. ^ . Peoria Journal Star, 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2009-11-24.Notre Dame aims to build anew
  5. ^ . Peoria Journal Star, 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2009-11-24.Notre Dame looks to high-tech future
  6. ^ Haney, Dave (January 8, 2010). "Notre Dame High School holds first live Web class".  
  7. ^ a b Duvall, Adam. "Longtime coach Mike Sullivan no longer at Notre Dame". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Adams, Pam. "Peoria Notre Dame students upset by principal's sudden departure". Peoria Journal Star. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ House System
  • Web page from Peoria Notre Dame denoting the year each of the three former Catholic High Schools were formed.
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