**From Donald Walsh:
"I was a teacher at Cooley High from 1968 until it closed in June of 1979.
I believe that the school was closed simply because the building was old, inefficient,
too big with a large portion of the building unused. There was also an upper grade center housed in the facility
which closed several years before the high school closed.
Prior to 1960, the building housed the Washburn Trade School. Prior to 1934?
it was Lane Tech High.
From 1968 to 1976 the only inter-scholastic sport offered was boys basketball,
frosh-soph and varsity. The coaches were Michael Levy
and Jimmy Johnson respectively. I believe Mr.
Levy is still working for the Board of Education. Mr. Johnson is deceased. In 1976, I believe, inter-scholastic baseball was initiated. Mr. Levy was the
I don't recall any inter-scholastic sports for the girls. The girls gym teacher
was Penny Padley. She is retired."
**From Jan Prymus (Class of 1964):
"I happened upon your Cooley website; greatly enjoyed reading about my alma mater!
I attended Cooley from 1960-64, and graduated in June, 1964. The school building was constructed
in 1912 for Lane Technical High School; when they moved in 1934 to their new location at Western and Addison, their former
building became Washburne Trade School, who moved to 14th and Union. In September of 1958 when Washburne Trade School moved to the new location
on 31st Street, the former Washburne Vocational High School was renamed Edwin G. Cooley High School. Joseph
J. Partle was the principal.
There were actually three seperate schools; the trade school, the continuation school, and the
vocational high school - all under one roof. I still have the student handbook, 45 pages of information, including school
songs, floor plans, teacher names, and much more. My electric shop, in which I majored, was in room 222, facing
Division and Orleans, also the electric teacher was Raymond T. Bernke.
Now retired, I still look back fondly on my Cooley days - I would enjoy sharing informaiton
with you and others interested. Is there an organized group of former Cooley students/teachers? Are reunions
**From Martin Ficzko:
"I attended Cooley High
for three years and have some very fond memories, especially of the print and machine shop. At
the time I went the "EL" ran directly in back of the school and the Oscar Myair wienner factory. I also rememeber the basketball
**From Gary Stern (Class
"I attended Cooley High & Cooley upper grade Center 1225 Sedgwik from
1963-1964 (upper grade center) 1965-1969 high school. In those periods
only sport was Basketball. I played on the 1966 freshman - sophomore team under
Michael Levy. Mr. Johnson was head of Athletics . The last reunion was some years
ago with all years attending. They tried about three years but failed lack of
response .Those were good days. I took electric shop also. Graduated class
**From Margaret Smith:
"My Dad, Francis Miller, taught @ Cooley from 1962 to 1968, as a drafting
instructor. We still have a gavel that was made for him by his students as he
used to use a 2x4 to the desk to call class to order. My Dad often looked back
with fondness for Cooley. He had returned to college to obtain his degree in
after a back injury that ended his career in masonry. Our family would meet
him @ Cooley once a month in the evening as he taught adult education classes in
the evening after working a full day. We would have dinner the the Oscar Meyer
Cafeteria, which was a treat in the 1960's. I also remember the fashion shows
that were held by the fashion technology & cosmetology programs--they were
awesome! He went on to help develop the Building Technology Program @ Thornton
Community College, Harvey, IL now South Suburban College, South Holland, passed
"I am a big fan of Cooley High. The movie and the school. I didn't go
there but a
family friend did. His name was Larry Beusell. Unfortunately, he was killed in
Detroit back in the mid 90's.
I just read your wonderful article on Cooley
High and I read that you were interested in receiving some resent pictures of
the school and wondered if you were still interested. I don't know about
"recent," but, I have two pictures that I took myself, back in 1977 (photos posted at top of page)!! I thought
I had more time to go back later and take more, but they had torn it down before
I had the chance. I hope these are somewhat close to what you were looking for.
I am glad that I had the privilege to get these shots. As you can see, they were
taken in winter. I've cherished these photos all these
years and I am happy to share them with you. Looking forward to seeing them on
your site. I only wish I had taken more."