Chicago Vocational Career Academy

Infobox School
name = Chicago Vocational Career Academy
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streetaddress = 2100 E. 87th Street
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state = Illinois
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zipcode = 60617
country = USA
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district = Chicago Public Schools
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grades = 9–12
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conference = Chicago Public League
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nickname = Cavaliers
school_colours = colorbox|#000080 Navy Blue
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yearbook = "Technician"
publication =
newspaper = "Trademaster"
opened = 1940
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enrollment = 1,875 [ [http://www.ihsa.org/school/enrolla.htm List of 2008-09 Illinois school enrollments @ihsa.org; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
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homepage = http://cvca.cps.k12.il.us/

Chicago Vocational Career Academy, commonly referred to as Chicago Vocational or CVS, is a public high school serving students in the south side of Chicago, Illinois, United States. It opened in 1940.

The school was barely opened when the outbreak of World War Two caused a change in plan. The school would be a vocational school, but one under the control of the United States Navy, where many mechanics who would build and repair aircraft, among others, were trained. After the war, the school was instrumental in helping returning veterans who went off to war prior to graduation to earn their diploma.

The school is also closely associated with a few of its notable alumni, none more so than Dick Butkus who played football at CVS, and at the University of Illinois, before his Hall of Fame career for the Chicago Bears. While there is great debate as to who is the greatest athlete in the history of Chicago, no athlete has reached the status of Dick Butkus who can also claim to have played his high school, collegiate, and professional careers all in such proximity to Chicago.

History

Planning for the school began in 1936 with the need for a new vocational school on the South Side of the city. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA; accessed 19 August 2008] ] Construction began in 1939, and was partially funded through the Works Progress Administration. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] Chicago Vocational School opened with an all–male class of 850 in 1940. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=3&did=466230222&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "New Vocational School will be opened in 1940", 1 January 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. 32; accessed 19 August 2008] ] Enrollment was further restricted to students who had already completed a year of high school. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=8&did=495151122&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "Big New School will Train for Heavy Industry", 4 August 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. W2; accessed 19 August 2008] ] According to then Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools, Dr. William H. Johnson, the school's purpose was "the employability of Chicago boys in the heavier trades and industries." [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=8&did=495151122&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "Big New School will Train for Heavy Industry", 4 August 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. W2; accessed 19 August 2008] ] The "Chicago Daily Tribune" noted that the new school was "regarded as the most modern and best equipped trade school in the United States." [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=8&did=495151122&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "Big New School will Train for Heavy Industry", 4 August 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. W2; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

In June, 1941, with entry into World War Two eminent, the school was turned over to the United States Navy, where the school's emphasis would be on training aviation mechanics. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=18&did=517374002&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219150891&clientId=68442 "U.S. to Operate New Trade School", 9 February 1941, Paul Healy, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. SW1; accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=21&did=467310072&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219151361&clientId=68442 "Turn Vocational School into U.S. Training Center", 10 May 1941, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. 8; accessed 19 August 2008] ] This change from general vocational education to specific wartime training had been something anticipated as a possible future of the school shortly before it had opened. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=8&did=495151122&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "Big New School will Train for Heavy Industry", 4 August 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. W2; accessed 19 August 2008] ] Later, additional training for teachers and other civilians in national defense jobs were added. These defense related training courses permitted the Defense Priority Board to free up funds for purchasing more equipment for workshops, and to build a $500,000 addition to the building. Construction also included a still–extant airplane hanger. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ]

During this time, non–vocational courses were moved to Calumet High School. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Local Dream, Worldwide Influence", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=59&did=473252142&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219151612&clientId=68442 "Open Vocational School Spet. 8 in Westcott Unit", 12 July 1942, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. SW5; accessed 18 August 2008] ] By 1942, classes were being taught 24 hours a day to accommodate work and training schedules. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "It's Always Something", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=15&did=466981322&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219150891&clientId=68442 "Bares Shortage of Teachers for Defense Trades", 2 January 1941, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. 6; accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=51&did=473121922&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219151612&clientId=68442 "Classes to Meet Round the Clock at Trade School", 5 April 1942, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. S6; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

February of 1946 saw the academic classes return from Calumet High School, and a return to the normalcy that the school had virtually never known, with the Navy officially "handing back the keys" to the school on April 30, 1946. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=244&did=463090102&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219152635&clientId=68442 "Out of the Navy", 1 May 1946, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. 4; accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=235&did=479165002&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219152444&clientId=68442 "School Reopens to Give Civilians Training Center", 24 February 1946, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. SW4; accessed 19 August 2008] ] 1946 also saw the admittance of the first women to the school. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=254&did=479448372&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219152899&clientId=68442 "City to Admit Girl Students to Vocational", 25 August 1946, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. SW13; accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "It's Always Something", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] CVS started offering night courses to help returning veterans who held a day job. For times, classes were being offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accommodate the varied hours of returning veterans. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "It's Always Something", History of CVCA;accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=258&did=479468352&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219152899&clientId=68442 "S. Side Evening School Classes Begin Monday", 8 September 1946, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. SW4; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

The Navy had left behind an aircraft hanger, and a small number of relatively intact aircraft, keeping aviation maintenance in the school's curriculum for several years. This was highlighted in 1948 when students managed to restore a Stinson monoplane to working condition. Rather than dismantle the plane and shipping it to an airport, the school received permission to wheel the plane on to nearby Anthony Avenue, and arranged for a pilot to take off and fly it to what is now Midway Airport; all in front of cameras for WGN-TV. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=62&did=483732132&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219243716&clientId=68442 "Rebuilt Plane Flown From Pavement at Vocational School", 17 April, 1948, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. 12; accessed 20 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm] ] [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/History%20of%20CVCA.htm "Welcome Home", History of CVCA (note: the school website lists 1947, but the reuse of the same photo, and the date on the newspaper articles is definitively 1948; accessed 20 August 2008] ]

1958 saw the activation of the school's ROTC program; the first to be started in a Chicago high school since 1946. The same article noted that the entire population of the school was 4,000, with the first ROTC class seeing an enrollment of 250. [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=215&did=519045092&SrchMode=1&sid=3&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219245383&clientId=68442 "R.O.T.C. Unit at Vocational Attraacts 250", 6 March 1958, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. S1; accessed 20 August 2008] ]

Academics

When the school first opened, it was not a diploma granting institution, with students earning certificates for industry. Aside from vocational education, students only took courses in English and United States History, [ [http://www.nileslibrary.org:2065/pqdweb?index=8&did=495151122&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=10&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=HNP&TS=1219149640&clientId=68442 "Big New School will Train for Heavy Industry", 4 August 1940, "Chicago Daily Tribune", p. W2; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

Being a vocational and career academy, one of the core aspects of the school's curriculum is the "Education-To-Careers" (ETC) curriculum. Within this curriculum, students select a major from one of the "schools". [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/ETC.htm Schools of the Education-To Careers curriculum; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

In addition to simple preparation for future occupations, some of the majors offer paid work or an opportunity to take licensing exams upon successful completion of the courses. For example, the Practical Nursing/Health Occupations offers students an opportunity to take the L.P.N. certification test. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/HOAPCluster.htm School of Health Occupations; accessed 19 August 2008] ] Students majoring in Diesel Technology who acquire 600 hours of experience work in a salaried position for one semester. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/TransportationCluster.htm School of Transportation; accessed 19 August 2008] ] The Network Fundamentals major leads to a chance to be certified in CISCO networking. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/BusinessandFinance.htm School of Business and Finance; accessed 20 August 2008] ]

Within the academic departments, the school offers two Advanced Placement courses in the English Department: English Language and English Literature. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/english1.htm English Department course offerings; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

The school's JROTC program (the "Buffalo Soldiers") is also considered a part of ETC department. [ [http://www.cvca.cps.k12.il.us/cvca_buffalo_soldiers.htm Buffalo Soldiers CVCA webpage; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

Extra-curricular programs

Athletics

Chicago Vocational competes in interscholastic sports as a member of the Chicago Public League (CPL), and competes in state championship series sponsored by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The school sponsors interscholastic athletic teams for men and women in basketball and volleyball. Men may compete in baseball, football, swimming & diving, and wrestling. Girls may compete in bowling, cross country, softball, and track & field. [ [http://cvca.cps.k12.il.us/bsb.htm Athletic offerings at CVCA] ]

While not sponsored by the IHSA, CVCA sponsors a boys softball team which competes exclusively in the CPL. Unlike the fastpitch variety played by girls, the boys play the 16 inch variety of softball. [ [http://www.ihsa.org/initiatives/hstoric/softball_boys.htm "Boys Softball in Illinois and its Origins from Indoor Baseball", Robert Pruter, Illinois H.S.toric series, @ IHSA.org; accessed 19 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.lanetechfan.com/Sports%20History/A%20Brief%20History%20of%20Boys%20Softball%20in%20the%20Public%20League.htm "A Brief History of Boys Softball in the Chicago Public League", 29 September 2006, Neil Hernandez; accessed 19 August 2008] ]

Notable alumni

* Michael Baisden (class of 1981) is a notable author ("The Maintenance Man", "Men Cry in the Dark") and radio talk show host. He is currently host of a nationally syndicated self–titled radio show. In 2008, he received a "Keepers of the Dream" Award from the National Action Network. [ [http://www.cpsalumni.org/honor_roll/feb/11/2008/michael-baisden Michael Baisden biography at Chicago Public School Alumni Honor Roll; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.abcradionetworks.com/article.asp?id=364098 "The Michael Baisden Show" @ABC radio Network; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS126281+02-Apr-2008+PRN20080402 "Radio Host Michael Baisden to Receive Keepers of the Dream Award on 40th Anniversary...", 2 April 2008, "Thomson Reuters"; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* Dick Butkus (class of 1961) was an NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears (1965–73). He was a two–time All-American at the University of Illinois, was an NFL first round draft pick in 1965, and was named to 8 All-Pro teams. He was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He was later named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1985, he became the namesake of the Dick Butkus Award, given annually to the top collegiate linebacker. [ [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/preps/highschool/356121,CST-SPT-spot25.article "High School of the Week: Vocational", 25 April 2007, "Chicago Sun-Times"; accessed 18 August 2008; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.dickbutkus.com/dick_butkus_biography.aspx Dick Butkus biography from dickbutkus.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?player_id=39 Dick Butkus Pro Football Hall of Fame biography; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.collegefootball.org/famersearch.php?id=60042 Dick Butkus College Football Hall of Fame bio; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* Marvin Freeman (class of 1981) was a Major League Baseball pitcher (1986–96). He was a member of the 1992 and 1993 Atlanta Braves who played in the World Series. [ [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=freemma02 Marvin Freeman stats @baseball-almanac.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/f/freemma02.shtml Marvin Freeman stats @baseball-reference.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cpsalumni.org/honor_roll/feb/11/2008/marvin-freeman Marvin Freeman biography at Chicago Public School Alumni Honor Roll; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* DeMarlo Hale (class of 1979) is a former minor league baseball player and manager. Since 2006, he has been the third base coach for the Boston Red Sox, including their 2007 championship season which culminated with the 2007 World Series. [ [http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/team/coach_staff_bio.jsp?c_id=bos&coachorstaffid=224103172143 DeMarlo Hale bio @Boston Red Sox website; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/preps/highschool/356121,CST-SPT-spot25.article "High School of the Week: Vocational", 25 April 2007, "Chicago Sun-Times"; accessed 18 August 2008; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* Juwan Howard (class of 1991) is a professional basketball forward in the NBA (1994–present). He was a member of the University of Michigan's Fab Five. [ [http://www.nba.com/playerfile/juwan_howard/bio.html Juwan Howard bio @nba.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cpsalumni.org/honor_roll/feb/11/2008/juwan-howard Juwan Howard biography at Chicago Public School Alumni Honor Roll; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007777/2/index.htm "Cleaning Up", 26 February 1996, Johnette Howard, "Sports Illustrated"; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* Bernie Mac (class of 1976) (attended as Bernard McCollough) was a comedian and actor ("The Original Kings of Comedy", "Ocean's Eleven", "Mr. 3000", "The Bernie Mac Show"). He was nominated for two Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and won four NAACP Image Awards. [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-bernie-mac-080814,0,2358184.story "My student, Bernie Mac", 14 August 2008, David McGrath, "Chicago Tribune"; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/preps/highschool/356121,CST-SPT-spot25.article "High School of the Week: Vocational", 25 April 2007, "Chicago Sun-Times"; accessed 18 Augst 2008] ]
* Keena Turner (class of 1976) was an NFL linebacker who played his entire career (1980–90) for the San Francisco 49ers. He started, and was a member of the winning team in Super Bowl XVI, Super Bowl XIX, Super Bowl XXIII, and Super Bowl XXIV. He is currently Vice President of Football Affairs for the 49ers. [ [http://www.49ers.com/team/front_office_detail.php?PRKey=87 VP Keena Turner bio @49ers.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cpsalumni.org/honor_roll/feb/11/2008/keena-turner Keena Turner biography at Chicago Public School Alumni Honor Roll; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/T/TurnKe01.htm Keena Turner stats @pro-football-reference.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=TURNEKEE01 Keena Turner stats and bio @databasefootball.com; accessed 18 August 2008] ]
* Chris Zorich (class of 1987) is a philanthropist and former NFL linebacker, playing most of his career (1991–97) for the Chicago Bears. Playing college football at the University of Notre Dame, he was a three–time All-American, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. [ [http://www.suntimes.com/sports/preps/highschool/356121,CST-SPT-spot25.article "High School of the Week: Vocational", 25 April 2007, "Chicago Sun-Times"; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080718/SPORTS13/807180465/1021/Sports "Zorich follows a less traveled path", 18 July 2008, Steve Lowe, "South Bend Tribune"; accessed 18 August 2008] ] [ [http://www.cpsalumni.org/honor_roll/feb/11/2008/chris-zorich Chris Zorich biography at Chicago Public School Alumni Honor Roll; accessed 18 August 2008] ]

References

External links

* [http://cvca.cps.k12.il.us/ School website]


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