|Simeon Career Academy|
8147 S. Vincennes Avenue
|School district||Chicago Public Schools|
|Principal||Trista L. Harper|
|Athletics conference||Chicago Public League|
|Accreditation||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools|
Neal F. Simeon Career Academy (formerly known as Westcott Vocational High School, Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School, Neal F. Simeon Career Technical Academy), locally known simply as Simeon, is a public four-year vocational high school located in the Chatham area on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Simeon is a part of the Chicago Public Schools district. Opened in 1949, The school is named for African-American Chicago Public Schools educator and administrator Neal Ferdinand Simeon.
Simeon was founded in 1949, as Westcott Vocational High School in a building located at 8023 S. Normal Avenue, where it operated until the Kroger company donated a vacant warehouse (located at 8235 S. Vincennes Avenue) to the Chicago Public Schools in 1963. The school was renamed Neal F. Simeon Vocational High School in September 1964. The school's name changed from "Vocational High School" to "Career Technical Academy" in September 1998. With a new gymnasium completed in 1987, Simeon still operated in the Kroger building's limited conditions until a new building was completed and opened September 2003. When the new building opened, the school's address changed to 8147 S. Vincennes Avenue. In 2003, Simeon's name changed to its current name.
The Career Academy designation at the Chicago Public Schools is “a college-preparatory curriculum and career–focused education in different fields at each school.” Key Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Simeon are,
Each program provides the opportunity for students to gain direct knowledge and most earn industry-recognized certifications or college credit.
Ratings for Simeon reported by the CPS
Performance Rating: level 1
SAT Average: 889
Graduation Rate: 85.2%
College Enrollment: 61.7%
Boundary Grades Served: No Boundary
Grades Served: 9-12
Simeon competes in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and is a member of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Simeon is well known in the Chicago area as a high school sports powerhouse. The school sport teams are nicknamed Wolverines. Student-Athletes 2013, Simeon is the first Chicago public school to win four consecutive basketball state titles, and the second statewide. All team seniors are off to college. “I think what our team has shown is there’s excellence in the hood. You can be smart, you can be cool, you can be an athlete,” - Sheldon D. House, Simeon principal. The girls' volleyball team were Class AA and public league champions in 1985–86, 1997–98, and 1998–99. Simeon boys' won the 2002 Chicago Public Schools wrestling championship.
The boys' baseball team were Class AA and public league champions seven times 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2002–03 and 2003–04. Simeon also has eight second place seasons. Led by the only African-American member of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame "trendsetter" Leroy Franklin, baseball was the first city championship in any sport for the Wolverines. More Simeon alumna have been selected in the Major League Baseball amateur draft, than any other high school in the state. After 35 years of coaching Simeon baseball, Leroy Franklin retired in 2016.
The late Alvin Scott is the second winningest H.S. football coach in the Chicago Public League. Scott, coached Simeon, from 1972 through 2004. During that time the Wolverines had 262 wins against 130 losses. The Wolverines “blue machine” were Chicago Public League champs in 1983, 1986, 2000, 2003 and 2009. Simeon has represented Chicago Public League football in the Chicago Prep Bowl for the years 1983, 1986, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2011, and 2012 while winning the Bowl in 2013, 2016 and 2017.
The Simeon girls' basketball team were Class AA and regional champions four times 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07. Simeon won the IHSA Class AA state boys' basketball championships three times; 1983–84, 2005–06 (with Derrick Rose), and 2006–07 (with Derrick Rose). They also won the Class 4A championship four times; 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, and 2012–13 (which tied Manual High School for the longest Illinois state championship title run). Simeon's boys' basketball team was ranked first in the United States in ESPN H.S.'s 2011 preseason rankings. Led by Jabari Parker and Kendrick Nunn, they won the 2012 Illinois Class 4A championship by defeating Proviso East High School.
In 2013, Parker led them to another state championship when they defeated Stevenson High School. Bob Hambric (b. 1939; d. 2009) coached boys’ basketball at Simeon for 24 years. Never having a losing season, in 1984 Hambric coached the team to its first city and state championships.
Simeon boys were the 2016-2017 Chicago Public League Basketball champs. The 68–64 win over far South Side rival Morgan Park High School is their eight-city championship. The Simeon boys’ basketball team starts season ranked number one in their conference. Simeon was victorious the third straight time as Chicago public league boys’ basketball champs, with its 69–59 win over Orr Academy (2016-2017 State Class 2A champs) in the 2018 city title game. The last boys’ basketball CPL three-peat was in 1961.
The school is well known for Benjamin "Benji" Wilson, a 17–year old star basketball player (then recognized as the top high school basketball player in the nation) who led the Wolverines to their first city and state basketball championships was shot on the eve of his senior season opener (November 20, 1984). He died the following day. The day after his murder, then Chicago Mayor Harold Washington spoke to grieving students, denouncing gun violence in the city and promising a new gymnasium for the school, to be named in Wilson's honor. The gymnasium was completed in August 1987. Afterwards, Ben Wilson's number 25 jersey was traditionally worn by Simeon's best player, until it was retired. The last to wear it was Derrick Rose. Rose moved on to become one of the nation's top point guards in 2007 and eventually an NBA All-Star and league MVP for the Chicago Bulls. Nick Anderson, Deon Thomas and Calvin Brock are Simeon alumni who wore that number at the University of Illinois in honor of Wilson. In 2012 the Simeon team began wearing sneakers on the court with Wilson's name and number 25 on them. A 30 for 30 documentary film about Benji was released in 2012 by ESPN.
…a game pitting the Catholic League champs against the Public League champs, a 'Prep Bowl' city championship...
First team - Calvin Brock, Simeon 6-6 senior forward - the Public League's best all-around player