Awards & Recognition

An Award-Winning District 

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The National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award, from the U.S. Department of Education, was first awarded to H-F in 1983 (only the second year of the program). Given to the most outstanding public and private schools across the U.S., the award identified exemplary schools that exhibit a strong commitment to educational excellence for all students, model equity, and succeed in furthering the intellectual, social, moral and physical growth of all students. Refusing to rest on its success, the school continued to excel and received the prestigious award again in 1996. When in 2002, the U.S. Department of Education announced H-F had again been named a Blue Ribbon school, it became one of only 14 public schools nationwide, and two in Illinois, to claim the honor three times.

Additional District Awards

Homewood-Flossmoor has been ranked annually in the Washington Post's America's Most Challenging High Schools report. Additional awards of note:

  • In 2020, H-F was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a Best High School in America.
  • In 2016, H-F was named a Safe Sports School 1st Team by the National Athletic Trainers Association.
  • In 2015, the school's North Building Fieldhouse Addition earned a LEED gold-level by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • In 2014, H-F received the Illinois Exemplary Reading Program Award from the International Reading Association.
  • The school's quarterly community newsletter -The Viking Connection- received a certificate of excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association in 2014.
  • The H-F High School website - - received a certificate of excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association in 2013.
  • In 2013-14, H-F became an authorized Microsoft Office Specialist Testing Center, allowing students to earn their Microsoft Office Specialist certification via their H-F Computer Applications class.
  • Since 2005, H-F has annually received the highest financial profile score of "financial recognition" from the Illinois State Board of Education and was awarded a perfect 4.0 score in 2012.
  • In 2010 & 2011, H-F received an exemplary ranking by the College Board for having one of the best AP Psychology programs in the country. H-F was the only Illinois high school to receive this prestigious ranking.
  • H-F was awarded the Red Quill Award by the ACT for best practices in the use of assessments and data for the enhancement of curriculum and in continued dedication to students.
  • In 2002, H-F was the only school in the nation to receive the U.S. Department of Education's Special Honor for Technology Usage.
  • In 2010, H-F received its 17th in a row Bright Red Apple Award for educational excellence! School Search chose H-F as one of only 83 Illinois School Districts out of 869 districts for the award.

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Annual STAFF Accomplishments

Faculty & Staff Awards

  • H-F's Visual Arts Department was named the Best School Art Program in the state in 2013 by the Illinois Art Education Association.
  • H-F has been home to four teachers who were given the National Golden Apple for excellence in teaching: Lawrence Baran (1995), Karen Nyberg (1998), Dean Auriemma (2001) and Catherine Ross-Cook (2019)
  • In 2015, Nick Anello, Social Science teacher, was named a STAR in the Classroom by 3M and Econ Illinois.
  • In 2011, Greg Petecki, Art teacher, was named the Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association. The school has had two other teachers who were named Illinois Teacher of the Year in their disciplines and one who was named national Teacher of the Year.
  • Jon Elfner, Social Science teacher, received the 2009 Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
  • In 2011, Student Services Coordinator John Schwaller was given theIllinois Education Association's Human and Civil Rights Award.
  • H-F has had one teacher who was inducted into the national Teachers Hall of Fame: Lawrence Baran.
  • Those Who Excel Award Winners:
    • 2020/21 - Von Mansfield - Administrator (Merit)
    • 2019/20 Matt Holdren - Teacher (Merit); Jody Scariano - Board Member (Excellence); Dr. Nancy Spaniak - Administrator (Excellence)
    • 2015/16 Assessment Department Team (Merit)
    • 2012/13 Department Chair Team (Merit)
    • 2010/11 A.P. Psychology Team (Merit)
    • 2009/10 Amy Garcia - Teacher (Excellence) & MAPPS Team (Excellence)
    • 2008/09 Negotiations Team (Recognition)
    • 2005/06 J.R. Rose - Teacher (Excellence); Reading Dept. Team (Excellence) & Larry Connor - Educational Service Personnel (Recognition)
    • 2004/05 Dr. Von Mansfield - Administrator (Excellence)
    • 2003/04 Dr. Laura Murray - Administrator (Excellence); Michael Rugen - Teacher (Recognition); Social Science Dept. Team (Merit); Tom Wagner - Educational Service Personnel (Merit)
    • 2002/03 Visual Arts Department Team (Merit)
    • 2001/02 William Jastrow - Teacher (Recognition)
    • 2000/01 James Chasey - Teacher (Merit)
    • 1998/99 Brent Williamson - Teacher (Merit)