Walsh Academy - Maryville Foundation
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Walsh Academy

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Now Open!
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6935 W. Touhy Avenue
Niles, IL  60714
(formerly South School)

The Maryville Foundation is very excited to support the development of The Charles H. Walsh Sr. Academy and Career Tech High School. This project marks one of the largest investments in any single program in Maryville Academy’s 140-year history.

Building upon the unique and award-winning education model developed by Maryville Academy’s Jen School, Walsh Academy will be the first school in Illinois and perhaps the nation to develop an enhanced curriculum focused on providing a pathway for high school students with special emotional and educational needs to enter high-paying, high-demand careers in the skilled trades.

Skilled trades people are in high demand. In fact, there are over 8 million trade jobs requiring skilled labor but not enough qualified workers to fill these positions. A recent study shows that there are more than 650,000 open positions in construction alone.

Walsh Academy is being built on the site formerly occupied by South School in Niles, Illinois. It is planned to open fall of 2023 and will welcome students from more than 30 high schools and 18 school districts in northern Illinois. It will operate as a nonpublic special education day school with no religious affiliation.

5 Things That Make Walsh Academy Unique

First high school for students with special education and emotional needs in Illinois and perhaps the nation to integrate academics and social and emotional learning, with a career technical education (CTE) curriculum focused on creating pathways for students to enter high-paying, high-demand skilled trade careers
Internship opportunities will be created in collaboration with unions, schools and businesses in the students’ neighborhoods
Students taking CTE courses will receive up to 120 hours of instruction per semester
The only nonpublic special education school to have a teacher, paraprofessional and social worker in every classroom to address social/emotional needs
Classes will be limited to 10 students to facilitate learning

7 Benefits of Walsh Academy

Students with special learning needs often struggle with standard school curriculum and how to apply it to daily activity. The high school dropout rate is 46% higher for students with specific learning and emotional disabilities. Fortunately, for this at-risk population, data shows that the hands-on approach of Career Technical Education (CTE) classes more fully engage students, curb the dropout rate, and lead to higher median annual earnings.

  • Carpentry & Woodworking
  • Culinary Arts / Agriculture
  • Electrical / HVAC / Welding
  • Printshop / Screen Printing
  • Health Science
  • Small Engine & Bike Repair
  • Computer Tech (Pod Cast & Video Production)
  • Information Technology/3-D Printing

Future CTE Classrooms

  • Plumbing
  • Drafting / Computer Aided Design

Graduates will receive an Illinois High School diploma with curriculum that is validated by the Illinois State Board of Education. Students will also be awarded certificates for each CTE program they complete.

This will double the current capacity.

The current space is 32,250 sq. ft. (at two separate buildings)

Our current students come from Cook, McHenry, and Lake Counties where there are approximately 3,000 students who are eligible for non-public special education school.

Walsh Academy will be located at 6935 W. Touhy Avenue, Niles, Illinois. This location is accessible from I-294, I-94, Harlem Avenue and local PACE buses.

Walsh Academy will create internship opportunities in collaboration with unions, schools and businesses in the students’ neighborhoods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your investment in this important initiative can be made in several ways including check, cash, wire transfer, donor advised fund, stock, or charitable remainder trust payable to:

Maryville Foundation
701 Lee Street, Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL  60016

For gifts of stock, please contact Michelle Jimenez, Chief Development Officer, at 847- 294-5400 or [email protected].

Please designate Walsh Academy in memo portion of your check.
Maryville Foundation is a 501(c)3 designated organization. Your donation is fully tax deductible. The EIN number is: 46-0865258

Online donations can be made by clicking here and selecting Jen School / Walsh Academy under Designation.

Questions may be directed to Michelle Jimenez, Chief Development Officer, at [email protected] or call 847.294.5400

If your questions were not answered, please email [email protected] or call 847.294.5400.

About Charles H. Walsh Sr.

Charles H Walsh

Chuck always referred to Maryville as an anchor in his life. Not only did Maryville provide him with a home, but it also nurtured and inspired many of his life passions. He learned several different vocational skills including shoe making. Upon graduation, it was shoe making skills that helped Chuck land his first job at Florsheim Shoes.

Chuck later joined the U.S. Army with the hope of obtaining the G.I. Bill to further his education. After completing his service in Korea, Chuck earned his B.A. in business administration at DePaul University and his business degree at Northwestern University.  Chuck went on to become a successful businessman and part owner of both the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls.

Chuck Walsh passed away in 2018 leaving a lifetime of inspiring and colorful stories. To honor his legacy and to help inspire others facing
educational challenges, his family and friends are supporting the creation of the Charles H. Walsh Sr. Academy and Career Tech High School.

Quick Reference Materials

CISCO Project of the Year Feature

Walsh Academy Groundbreaking

The Washington Examiner

Crains Chicago Business

Yass Prize selects Walsh Academy as quarterfinalist