St. Joseph High School
st. joseph westchester

Catholic high school in west suburban Chicago is closing

April 13, 2021
St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Ill., was a longtime basketball powerhouse.

 St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Ill., is closing permanently after 61 years.

David Hotek, the St. Joseph principal, announced the closing in a letter to alumni and friends.

“Amid the current Covid pandemic, with its severe impact on the finances of many families, and the serious fiscal burdens St. Joseph High School has experienced during the past several years,as well as our steadily declining school enrollment, the Board of Directors has reluctantly made the recommendation to the Christian Brothers to cease operation of St. Joseph High School at the conclusion of the current academic year," Hotek says. "After a comprehensive review by the leadership council of the Christian Brothers, the recommendation of our Board was accepted."

St. Joseph opened in 1960 and educated more than 11,600 students, Hotek says.

Set in Chicago's west suburbs, the school was considered a basketball powerhouse, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Longtime St. Joseph basketball coach Gene Pingatore, who died in 2019, the winningest high school basketball coach in Illinois history, with a record of 1035-383 in 50 years. He coached NBA stars Isiah Thomas and Evan Turner and had a starring role in the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams.”

The school's basketball team won two state championships (2015, 1999).

The school was all-male institution until 2005, when it became coed after a neighboring school, Immaculate Heart of Mary, closed.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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