"I was a teacher, athletic director and coach, and
administrator for 1970 to 1996 and I think I could probably share some information about the athletics and some other
innovative programs with you should you wish to go any farther with the article.
Madonna was named a Blue Ribbon School by the US
Department of Education--the year ???, this is a huge honor for a school to this day.
Here are a few things off the top of my head...Athletics-wise--Basketball,
volleyball, softball, track and field, bowling, gymnastics, tennis, cross country were all included--often on the varsity,
junior varsity and freshmen levels. Madonna was a member of the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference which they joined
in 1975 and continued active participation to the end. Between 75 and 96 there were IHSA regional titles in both basketball
(maybe 2) and volleyball (1) in addition to consistent high finishes in numerous sports in various divisions of GCAC. Prior
to that time, Madonna participated in CYO for volleyball and AAU basketball. They won city titles in the early 70s.
During that time, the mayor's office often held tournaments in volleyball, basketball and track. Madonna won the city
track championship in 1975. There are a number of premier athletes from Madonna:
--Mary McGrath '70 played on the
Pan American Volleyball team,
--Jeannette Hauser Pancratz '71
attended DePaul, coached gymnastics and volleyball at Resurrection HS, and continues to coach at Schaumburg HS and is one
of the winningest coaches in IHSA,
--Carol Lukaszewicz '79 played four
sports and was a GCAC champion in tennis,
--Renee Duckman '85 played three
sports and attended Northwestern University on a full volleyball scholarship,
--Shelly Pease '88 (an athlete in
volleyball, gymnastics, and track) attended Jacksonville University on a volleyball scholarship and went on to coach state
championship level teams in the state of Virginia.
--Her sister Wendy Pease '81 was
the first state finalist from Madonna in any sport. She ran in the 1980 and 81 state finals in the 100 Meter Hurdles.
Not bad for learning the sport in the parking lot!
--Another three sport athlete, Karen Krzeminski
ran in the 1986 state finals in the 400 Meter event.
--Beth Miller '89, attended Carolina
Coastal University on a volleyball scholarship.
--Bernadette LaRocco '77 played
softball for the University of Illinois at Chicago.
--Dr. Carla Knorowski '77 also played
softball for the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a former administrator of UIC, Northeastern Illinois University
and is the current CEO of the Lincoln Foundation in Springfield (I may not have the exact name of that).
--Terri Sullivan '88, a three sport
athlete in volleyball, basketball, and softball, attended Loyola University on a softball scholarship and proved to be an
outstanding college player. She coached at UIC and was named as the first coach of the the University of Illinois (Champaign)
softball program. As the first and only Illini coach, she built the program into a Big Ten and national powerhouse.
She has done this for about 10 years and continues at Illinois at the current time.
As you can see, there is so much history and your
account scratches the surface. I am currently a school principal so it is not possible to drop everything to piece together
who coached what and when and what was the record. I would be glad to help you out if possible. I can be reached via
email at MaryHaf@aol.com or email@example.com.
--Another graduate: Nancy Schuster
Waites '71 currently a judge in Lake County.She is a DePaul graduate and taught history at Resurrection and Madonna
prior to obtaining her law degree. There are so many teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers and other professionals who
came through Madonna and received a well-rounded academic program allowing them to pursue the careers of their choice.
If you want to know about the hey day of high schools,
the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference was founded in 1974 when 11 schools wanted to provide competition for girls after the
passing of Title IX. At its hey day, the GCAC organized activities for 38 schools.
Good luck with your undertaking."
**From Lori C Fontechia (Waz):
"I attended Madonna from 1965-1969; it was the best school high school for
girls in the area. At least in my opinion. You began your academic career in the Freshman building ; I had Sister
Lucretia for homeroom. Sister Hugoline was our principal. Always remember when walking the halls from class to
class if you met one of the sisters you had to make sure you said; Blessed Be Jesus Christ; Good /Afternoon Sister.
Running from the Freshman building to the new building; first time over the walk way ; you didn’t want to look down.
You had those 5 min to make it to class and you better be on time; especially if you had Sister Alvernia
I remember my senior year of having Sister Kingnetta
for homeroom; she was the greatest; what a sense of humor and a passion for her teaching and understanding what it was
like to be 17 in that time era.
I was sad to see Madonna close; so many great memories and
so many happy times were spent there. In reading over what some of the uniforms were like in later years; we did well.
Our freshman and sophomore uniform was an A-line skirt in dark navy and a vest with a white long sleeve blouse. Peter
pan collar of course. Senior year was the same style but in a light shade of blue.
Sister Dorothy and her drama club;
we all would go to the try outs in hope of making it to the stage for at least one play. I was lucky to be in
one ; The King and I. And our debutante balls with our Dads is a memory that will be with me forever.
To all my fellow classmates from the graduating year of 1969;
I wish you all peace and joy. Go Madonna!"
**From Yolie Pauda:
"I went to Madonna High School in 1985. Although I only went for half a year
(tuition was too expensive for my dad after losing his job), I had loads of fun! I remember having to sell those $20.00 calendars
for a raffle. I also remember the uniforms:
Freshman: Wine colored sweater with dark grey and wine plaid skirt.
Sophomore: Rust orange sweater with brown and orange plaid
Junior: Dark grey sweater with dark grey plaid skirt.
Senior: Baby blue sweater with baby blue and grey skirt."
**From Jeanne (Mangelsdorf) Doherty (Class of 1973):
"During my time there, the old building was connected to the new building
with a long indoors overpass. The nuns that taught there and some retired nuns also resided in the upper floors of the
old building. There were a couple of tennis courts on the grounds of
the old building - they were usable but not really taken care of well. The old building was where the closed down Jewel Food store is now."
**From Rosalinda Quintana:
"That old building was called the "Freshman Building" and I gotta tell ya,
it was great! It had so many nooks and crannies for uks to talk to each other about whatever! We were the last
freshmen class there, the class of 1976. I gotta tell you a secret, on the top floor was where the nuns slept. The
big cross where whoever slept (maybe Sister Joseph!!!). I paid good money to see that!! Does
anyone else remember??"
**From Monica Orchard (Class of 1991)
"I attended Madonna 1987-1991. Mr.Richard Bania
coached track and field those years and I think freshman volley ball. Mrs. MacNamara coached gymnastics."