Glenbrook North High School
2300 Shermer Road


United States
Coordinates42°06′41″N 87°50′03″W / 42.11133°N 87.83422°W / 42.11133; -87.83422Coordinates: 42°06′41″N 87°50′03″W / 42.11133°N 87.83422°W / 42.11133; -87.83422
Other nameGBN
Former nameGlenbrook High School
TypePublic high school
Established1953 (1953)
School districtNorthfield Township High School District 225
SuperintendentDr. Charles Johns
NCES School ID172901003042[1]
PrincipalJason Markey[2]
Teaching staff160.15 (on an FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment2,040 (2019-2020)[1]
Student to teacher ratio11.54
Color(s)Forest Green and Yellow Gold   [3]
Athletics conferenceCentral Suburban League
MascotSparty Jones[4]

Glenbrook North High School (also known as GBN) is a public high school in Northbrook, Illinois, United States. It was established in 1953 and is part of the Northfield Township High School District 225.

In 2022, it was ranked the 48th-best public high school in the United States by Niche.

Feeder schools that attend GBN are Wood Oaks, Northbrook Junior High, Field (Northbrook portions), and Maple (Northbrook portions).[7] GBN Serves Most of Northbrook, some unincorporated portions of Cook County, and a small section of Glenview.[8]


Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook
Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook

In 1930, Northbrook opened Northbrook High School to serve its residents. But as Northbrook grew due to American suburbanization, more space to accommodate students was needed, warranting its closure and the construction of a new high school.[9]


Glenbrook North High School opened its doors in the fall of 1953 as Glenbrook High School, with its name being a combination of "Northbrook" and "Glenview".[10] After the opening of Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, the school was renamed to Glenbrook North.[11] Subsequently, the two schools formed Glenbrook High School District 225.

Glenbrook North has grown fourfold in the size of its student body since its founding. In 1979, the school opened the Sheely Center for the Performing Arts,[11] and in 1990, a fieldhouse was dedicated. In the spring of 1996, a three-year renovation and construction project involving the science facilities and the "A" wing was built. A second swimming pool was built in 2000 to accommodate the burgeoning growth in aquatics. A successful referendum in 2006 enabled the creation of the two-story classroom "F" wing, state of the art Fitness Center, complete renovation and additions to the Music Area, and a sun-filled main entrance, which were completed in 2009.[12]

Throughout the years, Glenbrook North High School has received state and national recognition for its academic excellence. In the late 1950s, when Glenbrook was less than 10 years old, it was named one of the top 44 high schools in the country by a survey in a national magazine. In 1984, GBN was named one of only four high schools in the state of Illinois to receive the United States Office of Education Excellence in Education Award from President Ronald Reagan. In 2008, GBN was selected again for the nation's top distinction as a Blue Ribbon School.[13]

John Hughes films

John Hughes was an alumnus who used the school in his films. The two best-known movies filmed at this high school were The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.[14] Hughes' 1985 film The Breakfast Club featured a group of kids from "Shermer, Illinois 60062." Shermerville was the original name of the town of Northbrook, where GBN is located, and 60062 is the town's zip code. The movie features the clash between what was known during the 1980s as the 'sporto' versus 'freak' cultures at GBN. Some interior scenes of The Breakfast Club were filmed inside Glenbrook North, and exterior shots of GBN were used in both The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.[14]

President Clinton visit

On January 22, 1997, President Bill Clinton visited the school to deliver a speech about education initiatives.[15] It was held in the school's fieldhouse and largely centered around mathematics and science. At the time, students in Northern Illinois were participating in a program called "First in the World." The program was to judge the level of knowledge in math and science against other schools around the world. Northern Illinois students scored 1st in the Science category and 3rd in the Mathematics category. Remarking about Glenbrook High School District 225, President Clinton said:

Can you imagine a school district or a set of school districts with more genuine local control than this one, with—more than these— more parental involvement, more committed teachers, more—you know, you've got local control. But you didn't use it as an excuse not to throw your hat in the ring. I think it's great that it came out this way. But if you had finished eighth and ninth, I would still be here to pat you on the back because you had the guts to do it.[16]

Less than a month later, Bill Clinton referenced his visit to the school and these achievements in his 1997 State of the Union on February 4, 1997.[17]

Student hazing incident

In May 2003, the school gained notoriety after an off-campus, non-school-sanctioned event involving students dressed in school colors turned into a major hazing incident that attracted national media attention. The event was a "Powder Puff" girls' football game between members of the junior and senior classes. The "game" took place on May 4, 2003, in Chipilly Woods, part of the Cook County Forest Preserve District. Although the annual Powder Puff game had been held at the school's football stadium in earlier decades, there was no football at the 2003 event. During the event, about 20 junior class participants were covered in paint, urine, feces, and animal guts. Some were shot with paintball guns, others were kicked and beaten. At least five participants sustained injuries requiring medical attention.[18]

Thirty-one students – twenty-eight females and three males – were suspended from school for 10 days. They were later expelled.[19] Some of the expelled students and their parents filed a lawsuit to allow the expelled students to graduate.[20] The plaintiffs and the school district reached an agreement where the expelled students would have their diplomas mailed to them but would not be able to participate in graduation ceremonies.[21] Local law enforcement authorities investigated the hazing incident and filed charges against 15 students for assault and battery.[22][23] Two mothers were charged with providing alcohol for the event. All were convicted and the sentences received were light, ranging from probation to community service.[24]

A community-wide task force was established by the Northbrook Police Department Community Services Division after the hazing incident.[25] Their final report stressed the needs for recognizing and preventing hazing incidents.


Glenbrook North is located at 2300 Shermer Road adjacent to Maple School.[26] Glenbrook North is home to the Forrest S. Sheely Center for the Performing Arts (where the Northbrook Symphony performs)[27] and has an additional "little theater". Within the athletics wing exists multiple pools,[28] several gyms including a climbing and gymnastics gym, a fieldhouse, a fitness center, and outdoor tennis courts, fields (including for football), and tracks. There are two cafeterias; one for students and one for staff. Weather permitting, the central courtyard is open during lunch. At the back of the property is a 1.5 acre prairie.[29]


For the 2021 school year, 71.4% of students were White, 0.5% were Black, 5.4% were Hispanic, 17.9% were Asian, 0% were Native American, 0.1% were Pacific Islander, and 4.8% were of two or more races.[30] The school also has a large Jewish population.

The school offers a variety of programs catering to students' heritage. For example, its language program includes less commonly taught languages such as Russian and Mandarin Chinese.[31] Owing to the North Shore (Chicago)'s large Jewish population (see History of the Jews in Chicago), Hebrew was introduced in 2010[32][33] and Jewish Club was created. Other culture-focused clubs are Black Student Union, Foreign Films Club, Hellenic Club, and Pan-Asian Student Society. Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSO) serves Glenbrook North's LGBT population. There is also a feminist club.


SAT Scores for Glenbrook North High School [34] [35]
School Year SAT ELA SAT Math SAT Mean
2021-2022 577.5 586 1177

The academic school year consists of 37 weeks divided into two semesters. It has a block schedule with classes meeting on alternating days and each school day consists of four blocks of 90 minutes each. The summer school program is six weeks in length.

Honors level courses are offered to qualified students. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are available in a range of topics including English, history, math, science, art, music, computer science, and world languages.

In 2021, the school graduated 96% of its senior class, and 98% enrolled in college.[36][37] The 2021 class included 14 National Merit Semifinalists and 176 Illinois State Scholars.[38] The student-to-teacher ratio is 11.54 to 1.

In 2022, it was ranked the 48th best public high school in the United States by Niche.[39] In 2016, it was ranked 23rd on the public high schools with the best teachers in America by Business Insider.[40]


The school's debate team was ranked the top debate school of the 20th century based on performance in the National Speech and Debate Association.[41] The school has won numerous state and national championships in Policy Debate, as well as state championships in Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate. It is the only high school debate program in the country to have ever won the debate's "Triple Crown," sweeping the National Speech and Debate Association Tournament, the Tournament of Champions, and the Grand National Speech and Debate Tournament in 2004.[42]

Since 1974, it has won at least one national championship in debate in fourteen individual years. It has also won an Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state championship in 18 of the 35 years since 1982, and has placed as runner up in three of those years.[43]


Glenbrook North offers many sports including, but not limited to baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross-country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball. The school is a member of the Central Suburban League North and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA).[44] William Lutz Stadium, which is the home of the Glenbrook North's football, lacrosse, track and field and soccer teams, is named in honor of William Lutz, the school's first athletic director.

Badminton Baseball Basketball Bowling Cheerleading Cross Country Football Golf Gymnastics Lacrosse Pom Poms Soccer Softball Swimming and Diving Tennis Track and Field Volleyball Water Polo Wrestling

In 2005, the school became the first large-enrollment high school in Illinois to have won a state championship in each of football, basketball and baseball.[45] The following GBN teams have won IHSA sponsored state championship tournaments in the listed years:[46]


On December 28, 2005, the school's basketball program gained national media attention[47] when Jon Scheyer scored 21 points in the final 75 seconds of a comeback attempt against Proviso West. Scheyer fell one point short of the Glenbrook North basketball record for most points in a game, scoring 52 points.


Glenbrook North Hockey,[48] a club team, won back-to-back state titles in 1984 and 1985, becoming the first varsity hockey team in Illinois to do so, and repeating the feat in 2007 and 2008. In 2011, 2013, and 2014, the team returned to the title game but lost to the New Trier Trevians. In 2015, it defeated Benet Academy in the state title game in overtime, 3–2. The Spartans hockey program has won five Illinois state championships.[49]


Glenbrook North is home to many different extracurricular clubs. An accurate, up-to-date list is difficult to keep, as clubs are added and dropped as students graduate or lose interest. However, some clubs include Key Club, Scholastic Bowl, World Languages Honor Society, Environmental Club, Student Government Association, Open Forum, PAWS (Protection of Animal Welfare by Students), and Spartan Buddies (an affiliate of Best Buddies International).

Notable alumni

See also: Category:Glenbrook North High School alumni

Benjamin Agosto
Jason Kipnis
Jon Scheyer

Notable faculty


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