Taft High School Foundation - Chicago, Illinois

William Howard Taft Hall of Fame

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  • Please visit www.VoteTaft.org to VOTE TO INDUCT 13 graduate alumni, 5 retired teacher alumni and 5 Taft teams who are considered as potential inductees to the William Howard Taft Hall of Fame. All eligible voters may vote for up to 5 graduates, 3 retired teachers and 3 Taft teams. The election begins on MAY 9, 2017. Stay tuned.

Special Announcement to all Taft High School Alumni

U.S. News & World Report just published its 2017 study and rankings of High Schools across the country. Chicago High Schools were featured and a partial roster of those rankings is listed below.  Their study generated awards of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to high performing schools across the country and examining the list it appears that "college readiness" was a critical component in determining Gold medal winners.

Chicago High Schools earned 8 Gold, 10 Silver and 6 Bronze medals in this study.  Illinois High Schools received 14 Gold, 67 Silver and 114 Bronze medals.  Therefore, Chicago High Schools garnered 57% of the Gold medals, 15% of the Silver medals and 5% of the Bronze medals.

Here is a partial roster of notable Chicago Public High Schools medal winners in the top 70 high schools in Illinois:

School                 Graduation %    College Readiness    Medal Awarded      ACT average score*  
Northside Prep          100%                      94.7                        Gold                         29.7
Payton                         93%                      89.1                        Gold                        30.1
Jones                          98%                       81.4                        Gold                        26.8
Young                         99%                      77.6                        Gold                         28.0
Lane Tech                   96%                      74.4                        Gold                         25.7
Lincoln Park                90%                      62.0                        Gold                         22.5
Curie                           85%                      32.3                        Silver                        17.7
Prosser                       93%                      32.3                        Silver                        18.3
Von Steuben               94%                      26.6                        Silver                        20.7

Other notable Chicago high schools

Senn                          71%                       28.2                        None                        19.7
Mather                       78%                       27.7                        None                        18.1
Steinmetz                  76%                       21.4                        None                       16.8
Taft                            84%                       18.0                        None                        19.7
Schurz                       76%                       16.4                        None                        16.8
Amundsen                 81%                       12.2                        None                        18.3

For the complete lists of Chicago high schools, Illinois high schools and even high schools in other states
simply GOOGLE "U.S. News best high schools 2017" and navigate your way through the listings on their website.

* ACT scores obtained from www.edgap.org


2017 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Finalist Candidates Voting Begins on May 9th!

If you voted in the nomination primary simply log-in to VoteTaft.org to vote for the finalists. If you did not vote in the nomination primary you must Register to vote by simply clicking on the "REGISTER" tab at the top of tthe VoteTaft.org website. Thanks for voting.

"No person was ever honored for what he or she received. Honor has been the reward for what one has given."
Calvin Coolidge - 30th President of the United States

Inductees to the William Howard Taft Hall of Fame are persons whose pursuit of excellence and deep commitment to achievement exhibit widely known expressions of enthusiasm, in both word and deed, that inspire others to reach goals that common experience demonstrates are improbable.

Hello Taft High School Alumni!

The complete listing of the top nominated graduate alumni, retired teacher alumni and exceptional Taft teams that were nominated to be on the FINAL BALLOT for the 2017 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame election is below. We are acquiring complete biographies of all individual nominees and the FINAL BALLOT ELECTION will begin on May 9, 2017 and extend through June 15, 2017. Please make plans to visit the website www.VoteTaft.org and vote for your most deserving nominees during the month of May. EVERY eligible voter (TAFT GRADUATE AND RETIRED TEACHER ALUMNI) will have the opportunity to cast up to FIVE graduate alumni votes, THREE retired teacher votes and THREE Taft team votes. One completed ballot per alumni is allowed. We look forward to your participation in this Taft Alumni election in recognizing those graduates, retired teachers and Taft teams that deserve the honor of officially representing William Howard Taft High School's success and legacy. Please check back at www.VoteTaft.org on May 9th to read all the candidate biographies and to cast your ballot in this election. We will send an email reminder once voting is available. The 2017 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2017 from Noon to 3:30pm at Cafe La Cave in Des Plaines, IL. More details will be forthcoming in May, 2017. Thank you for voting.

Taft High School Foundation Board of Directors
Richard A. Winge - President
Richard Bolinder - Vice President
Lynn Halicki Arnold - Corporate Secretary
Denine Hermesdorf Anderson - Director
Robert Zaun - Director
Penni Eichin Isaacson - Director
Art Ellingsen - Director
Frank Klimata - Director
Michelle Falco - Director
Dr. Arthur Tarvadian, Emeritis Taft High School Principal - Board Advisor
Mary Kay Cappitelli, Emeritis Taft High School Principal - Board Advisor
Hodges Loizzi Eisenhammer Rodick & Kohn LLP - Corporate Legal Counsel

 2017 William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Nominees

Taft Graduate Alumni
18 votes - Leonard Wislow (1966)
17 votes - Frank Braun (1960)
15 votes - Robert Young (1961)
14 votes - Richard Nelson (1970)
13 votes - Glenn Gibisch (1970)
12 votes - Raymond Pollina (1965)
12 votes - Jerry Krause (1957)
11 votes - Penni Eichin Isaacson (1959)
11 votes - Leslie Zurawic (1959)
10 votes - Alan Boghosian (1970)
10 votes - James Fisher (1959)
10 votes - Robert Gunderson (1957)
10 votes - Dennis Pickett (1958)
86 other graduate alumni received from 7 votes to 1 vote

Taft Retired Teacher Alumni
14 votes - Glenn Anderson (60's to 90's)
14 votes - William Rankin (60's)
14 votes - David Zalinski (70's to 80's)
12 votes - Marvin Sopkin (60's)
10 votes - Paul Bigler (50's to 60's)
46 other retired teachers received from 3 votes to 1 vote

Taft Teams
12 votes - 1969/1970 Basketball Team
10 votes - 1961 Illinois State Championship 880-yard Relay Track Team
10 votes - 1992 City Championship Girls Softball Team
9 votes - 1959/1960 City Championship Army ROTC Drill Platoon
8 votes - 1968 Cheerleaders Team
14 other teams received from 3 votes to 1 vote

Individual nominee biographies will be available on the VoteTaft.org website prior to May 9th, when voting begins. Thank you for voting.

William Howard Taft Hall of Fame Inductees

Graduate Alumni
Fred Allegretti
Wayne Anderson
Brian Arnspiger
Gordon Arnspiger
Joe Bartel
Ron Barth
Gary Blohm
Rich Bolinder
Rich Coady
Mike Costanzo
Tom Day
Stuart Dunn
Cara Dunne Yates
Jack Dustin
William Eckholm
Steve Ek
Debbie Ewanic Allen
Robert Forney
Jim Grabowski
Pat Gramarossa
Phyllis Holmen
Jim Jacobs
Terry Kath
Barbara Knudson Newlin
Ken Kortas
Margie Kosinski LaCerra
Mary Kay Kretch Haben
Dean Krone
Jack Lichtenberger
Steve Lombardo
Gordy Lund
Larry Marsh
Donna Miller
Lynn Morley Martin
Howard Moore
Greg Schumacher
Joe Tunzi
Jim Weinstein
Stuart Weinstein
Susan Weinstein
Robert Wislow
Robert Zaun

Lifetime Achievement Inductees
Mr. Jim Delmedico
Mrs. Betty Genzlinger
Mrs. June Weinstein

Retired Teacher Alumni
Mrs. Ruth Artisuk
Mr. Norm Bakall
Mr. John Blacharski
Mr. John Brow
Mrs. Beverly Conrad
Mrs. Pat Daniels
Mr. Chuck Dobrath
Mrs. Carol Fink
Mr. Wally Freedman
Mr. Joseph Giambrone
Mr. Donald Giannetti
Mr. Robert Goldberg
Mr. John Graven
Mrs. Rita Hansen
Mr. Leo Hoeffer
Mr. Frank Hood
Mr. Roy Horton
Mr. Jeff Komada
Mr. Joe Kupcinet
Mr. Wally Lynch
Mr. Dan Lyons
Mrs. Belle Meites
Mr. Ed Mitchell
Mr. Sam Ozaki
Mr. Errol Pearlman
Mr. Raffe Simonian
Mr. James Smilgoff
Mr. James Stamm
Miss Edith Strandberg
Mr. Irv Stein
Mr. John Swider
Mr. Art Tarvardian
Mr. Julio Tiritelli
Miss Lois Tortorelli

Taft Sports Teams
1957 Baseball Team
1958 Baseball Team
1960 Football Team
1968 Baseball Team
1972 Football Team
1986 Girls Softball Team
2006 Girls Softball Team

Photos of the resurfacing of the Gymnasium Floor



The Foundation Board of Directors:

Denine Hermesdorf-Anderson (1988 alumna)
Lynn Halicki Arnold (1970 alumna)
Rich Bolinder (1970 alumnus)
Art Ellingsen (1968 alumnus)
Michelle Falco (2006 alumna)
Carol Gerhardt Horschke (1944 alumna) Honorary Director
Penni Eichen Isaacson (1959 alumna)
Frank Klimala (1973 alumnus)
Dr. Art Tarvardian (Emeritus Principal of Taft High School)
Rick Winge (1970 alumnus)
Bob Zaun (1958 alumnus)

Note: This is the foundation website for William Howard Taft High School located in Chicago, Illinois