In 1917, George Cardinal Mundelein authorized the construction of a combination church and school on the east side of Glenview Avenue (modern day Waukegan Road and site of Techny). The cornerstone of the new building was laid on May 13, 1917 and the new building was dedicated on September 29, 1917. The school began with two classrooms, increasing to three in 1932.
In the early 1940s as Northbrook was transforming from farmland into a bustling suburban community. As parish and school enrollment increased, His Eminence Samuel Cardinal Stritch decided to relocate St. Norbert Parish from Techny to Northbrook. In 1945, the pastor, Father Charles Haefner, purchased the land for the current location on Walters Avenue. Ground broke on the first building on April 22, 1948. The new school would have seven classrooms, an all-purpose room, and a small chapel. As principal, Sister Florence, SSpS, and Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit continued to staff the school when the new building opened in 1949.
In 1953, St. Norbert School became an Archdiocesan school and enrollment increased to 640 students by 1954. Seven classrooms were added to the school. In 1958, an additional four classrooms were added and thirteen Sisters of Saint Casmir in addition to nine lay teachers taught 1,158 students. Sister Mary Scholastica, SSC, was the principal and the average tuition was $3.00 per child.
By 1984, with the addition of other Catholic schools in the area, enrollment decreased to 359 students. Miss Alice Halpin was the principal at this time, to be succeeded in 1991 by Sister Ann Busch, OSF. During this time, St. Norbert School added a preschool program. The students benefitted from a religious environment, low student to teacher ratio, hot lunches, before and after school care, and an excellent curriculum including, math, language arts, foreign language, social studies, religion, science, sacramental preparation, fine arts, and technology.
Today St. Norbert School continues to welcome students in preschool through eighth grade. The Pastor, Fr. Bob Heinz, and the Principal, Mrs. Geralyn Lawler, work collaboratively as leaders of the school. Our students enjoy a faith based education; attending all school Mass on a weekly basis, participating in daily religion class, sacramental preparation, and celebrating the liturgical year as a school community. Our academics remain rigorous as we strive to cultivate knowledge through critical thinking skills, self-understanding, mutual respect, global awareness, and a desire for life-long learning. Our teachers integrate best practices into our everyday learning and our parents serve as a constant source of support.
We are very proud of what St. Norbert School is today and are thankful to all of the people who have been a part of our rich history. We are blessed to celebrate our 100th year as a school.