The History of Chicago Westcott Vocational High School
Chicago (population 2.8 million) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the center of Cook County.
Lake Michigan (one of the "Great Lakes") serves as Chicago's eastern border. Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United
States and boasts of several museums making it a fantastic place to visit for history buffs. It is also home to several professional
sports teams, most noteably the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox.
Chicago has strived to provide a good education for its children. High schools have been built in
Chicago since the early 1850s. In addtion to the many high schools have been established over the years are those
which have went through name changes and identity makeovers. One of these such schools was Wescott High School.
Wescott High School was the predicessor to the current and very well-known Simeon High School. A history of Wescott High School and, ultimately, Simeon High School can be found on the Simeon Career Academy High
Schoool website address of http://simeonca.org/about/history.jsp
. A brief summary of this page is as follows:
Westcott Vocational High School (named after Oliver Spink Westcott, a well-known former
principal and administrator in the Chicago school system) was established in a school building at 8023 South Normal Avenue. The
building had formally served as Calumet High School and Vocational High School until 1946. In 1948 the first high school
students began classes in the building which was now known as Wescott Continuation School. In 1949 the school was
established as Chicago Wescott Vocational High School as the need for vocational education opportunities was realized.
This arrangement continued through 1962, basically as an all-boys school only. The students of the all-girls
vocational school called Princeton were moved into the Westcott building in 1962, the boys were moved to the Tilden
High School building. In 1963 the city of Chicago "bought" a warehouse building lacated at 8235 S. Vincenes from
the Kroger company for a cost of $1. The building was renovated and made available for occupancy in December of
1963. The entire building was ready for both male and female students in the fall of 1964. The kids of Wescott
and Princeton schools moved into the building under a new name. That name was the Neal F. Simeon Vocational High
Simeon Career Academy, as the school is known today, was moved to a brand new building at 8147 S. Vincennes
in 2003. The fate of the original Westcott building is not known at this time.
Chicago Westcott High School Quick Facts
Year opened: 1948
Year name changed to Simeon: 1964
Westcott HS team nickname: "Wolverines"
Westcott HS team uniform colors: Royal Blue & Gold
School Fight Song: unavailable