JT Central Principals
Clarence D. Stallman 1964-65
David R. Ross 1965-69
Harold A. Miller 1969-78
Thomas R. Murphy 1978-81
Jeanette P. Franklin 1981-83
Leroy Leslie 1983-89
Dr. James Harris 1989-93
Dr. James R. Maloney 1993-Dec. ‘96
Craig D. Spiers Dec. ‘96-2006
John A. Randich ’06 to 2015
Shad Hallihan '15 - Present
JT Central Name/Mascot: Steelmen
(Historic brand of the school mascot)
JT Central Traditional
March: “March of the Steelmen”
Composed by Charles S. Belsterling, Vice President of the United States Steel Company, and dedicated to the JTHS band in March of 1937.
JT Central School Colors: Blue (Royal) and Gold
JT Central Newspape: JTC Journal
JT Central Yearbook: “The J”
The official song of Joliet Central High School was copyrighted in 1927 when the campus was known as Joliet Township High School. Student leader and drum major, Warren Wood, Class of 1927, composed the music. His ’27 classmates, Florence Martin, Claude Robison, and Allen Touzalin, penned the lyrics. It was first sung at a pep rally that initiated the 1927 basketball season. To this very day, the alumni of JTHS and JT Central feel the thrill of pride each time they stand to sing the following words.
JT CENTRAL LOYALTY
Joliet High, we’re always loyal,
To thee we’ll e’re be true,
With a battle cry of “Onward,”
We will fight for Gold and Blue.
Joliet High is on to battle,
We’ll conquer ev’ry foe,
We have a fighting spirit
On to vict’ry we will go!
From the pages of history.…It was the people of the Joliet area who first had the vision for this extraordinary school. Local architect, Frank Shaver Allen, designed the building and envisioned the structure as a “palace of learning and culture.” It was built as a lasting monument to the progressive spirit of a wide-awake community.
The castle-like building at 201 E. Jefferson Street doesn’t look like most high schools, but more like a museum with marble floors and arch-shaped doorways. Allen designed the exterior of the school in collegiate Gothic with Joliet limestone and Bedford stone trim for the windows and the doors. Marble was used for the halls, stairs and wainscoting. Even a Swiss woodcarver was brought to America to design the solid oak doors and entrances with the traditional Gothic arches.
Although, the high school passed its 108th anniversary this year, it is a misconception to think that the Joliet area didn’t have a high school until 1901. Joliet’s first high school was established in 1880 when East and West side schools got together under Superintendent Colonel D.H. Darling. At that time, it was a school of 200 students and five faculty members.
In 1899, the Joliet Township High School District was established with boundaries beyond the city so it could broaden its tax base. Under the direction of Dr. J. Stanley Brown, the new public high school was built. Construction began in 1900 by the Adam Groth Company, a Joliet contractor, and the dedication ceremonies for Joliet Township High School were held on April 4, 1901. The opening of the new school was cause for a weeklong celebration. The high school featured the “new” electric lights as well as the gaslights of the era. According to the statement of construction costs that included the grounds, building and all equipment, the grand total was $220,382.00. At the time, the building was characterized by Andrew S. Draper, President of the University of Illinois, as “the finest high school building in America.”
On opening day, JTHS welcomed 235 students, however, the school’s student population quickly grew and by 1915 there were more than 1,000 attending classes. Additions and extensions were added in 1908, 1917, 1922, and 1931. The high school building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982 largely due to the efforts of historians Dorothy Crombie and Mary Tracy and with the assistance of the JTHS Archives Committee.
The 2,100-seat auditorium was designed by the D.H. Burnham Co. of Chicago. The Diogenes quotation, “The Foundation of Every State is the Education of its Youth,” (suggested by Superintendent Dr. D. L. Smith in 1925) has left its imprint on an entire community and is seen on the proscenium arch above the stage.
More Joliet Central History...