In researching the school, we were only able to come up with one sport that the school offered while it was
open, but feel that there may have been more. Track and field was the sport that we did get information on, but could it be
possible that other sports such as volleyball and basketball were offered as well? Please let us know if you have any information
regarding other sports at St. Thomas the Apostle. In order to round out a young lady's educational experience at the school,
one might think that St. Thomas the Apostle probably had clubs, dances, band, chorus, and theatre, but there was
no record of those when researching.
TRACK & FIELD
One athlete brought home a second place medal from the state class A meet in the school's final year as the
doors were about to close. Cheryl Chrismon represented her school in the long jump, and came close to taking the state title.
1980A Cheryl Chrismon Long Jump----2nd place
The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competetive high
school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still
going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January.
St. Thomas the Apostle participated in this festival from 1976-77.
"I attended to St. Thomas the Apostle Grammar
School (boys and girls) from March, 1942 to June, 1950 - continuing in the all-girls high school and graduating in June,
1954. (My mother had lived in the area when she was young and had also attended in 3rd and 6th grade. I don't remember
why the time spacing.)
"STA was built in the shape of an H, with the grammar
school on one side, front entrance (on Woodlawn) & gym as the first floor center, and the cafeteria above
that on the second floor. The high school was on the other side of the H. In 1980 the high school was closed
due to lack of students, etc., and there was a big "good-bye" get-together at the school. We had quite a large crowd from
many classes at the closing."
(from Yolande Robbins, class of 1958) "St. Thomas the Apostle was a Catholic girls' school
staffed by Dominican nuns in Hyde Park which even then was visibly, though not notably, integrated. Still it was striking
in the year of the turmoil at Little Rock's Central High to have eight African-American graduates in a class of thirty-nine.
That was my class of 1958.
"Our principal was Sr. Mary Norbert; our senior homeroom advisor and teacher, Sr. Mary Marcolino. Sr.
Mary Laboure was our "Crede Mihi" (see below) advisor.
"STA was classically transitional. It was situated in a university
(of Chicago) neighborhood; it was a traditional, strongly Eurocentric Catholic school; but it was already finding its way
among what would soon be Vatican II's call to renewal and the winds of change here at home.
"At 17 and 18 years old,
we were the children of parents who had gone through, remembered, and talked about World War II. We were possibly the
last generation of children who fell asleep at night listening to the muffled conversations of grown-ups in the kitchen or
living room. Our cultural references were religious and tribal, yet surprisingly universal. We knew who the pope was (Pius
XII) and his archenemy, the Communists. We had been referencing Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers for a decade or more. We had
heard about Haile Selassie. And we knew who Ralph Bunche was. More, I think, than any subsequent generation, we were on speaking
terms with the world.
"One of the most memorable events of that year was the arrival of Marianne Horvath, a
non-English speaking Hungarian teen who had survived the Hungarian Revolution and made it to the US -- and Chicago -- with
her family. We were already in session when she came, and we immediately tagged her, "The Refugee." But we all felt involved
in her struggle and success, grandly achieved in enough mastery of English to have a part in our play. She was a strikingly
"Our drama teacher, whose name escapes me now, had a new baby boy that year (which would make him
about 51 now), and I remember she was starring in local theatre, in a production of "The Glass Menagerie", I think.
of our classmates, Carol Maxey, I think, was an "army brat" who'd lived all over the world.
"And, of course, there
"At the end of the school day, we all retreated to our own teen haven somewhere there
on school or church property where we played the latest "hits" and danced under the watchful eye of young Fr. Cunningham who
prayed as we had our more worldly good times.
"Making use of the Latin that was still so much a part of our lives at
that time, we produced an end-of-the-year annual called "CREDE MIHI" ("Believe In Me") which, in retrospect, sounded both
threatening and optimistic, but not a bad way to encapsulate both hope and possibility at the end of the '50s. Both, it seems,
were well warranted.
"The members of STA's Class of '58 were:
Mary Ellen Barry
Antoinette (Toni) Durkin
WE CAN USE SOME MORE HELP....
to tell more about St. Thomas the Apostle High School. Please contact us if you have any information, such
as school colors, nickname, song, any other sports/extra-curricular activities, or even a photo of the school. Our address
by email: dr.veeman@gmail,com
or by USPS:
Illinois High School Glory Days
6439 North Neva
Chicago, IL 60631