Discover the Largest High School in Chicago (And Notable Alums)

Written by Kathryn Koehler
Updated: September 14, 2023
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Chicago’s Northside is a vibrant and culturally diverse urban enclave characterized by its historic neighborhoods, artistic scene, and lively atmosphere. Home to iconic landmarks like Wrigley Field, the Northside boasts a blend of residential charm and cosmopolitan energy. Nestled within its boundaries is Lane Technical High School, commonly referred to as Lane Tech.

Lane Technical High School is the largest high school in Chicago. It is a prestigious public high school. Lane’s student body numbers over 4,000. The school has a reputation for strong academic programs, a diverse student body, and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Lane Tech first opened its doors in 1908. The school strives to prepare students for success in college and beyond. Continue reading to discover more about the largest high school in Chicago and its notable alums.

Infographic of the Largest High School in Chicago
Lane Technical High School is located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood on the north side of Chicago.

Lane Tech at a Glance

Name:Lane Technical High School
Location:Roscoe Village, Chicago, Illinois
Category:Public, secondary (7th-9th grades), magnet school
School Colors:Old gold and myrtle (dark green)
Student/Teacher Ratio:19/1
Graduation Rate:95%
International Baccalaureate (IB):No
AP Capstone DiplomaYes


Albert Grannis Lane Technical College Preparatory High School was established in 1908 as a manual training school, with a focus on providing practical skills to students. Over the years, it evolved into a comprehensive high school offering a wide array of academic and vocational programs. Located in Roscoe Village, a principally residential area, the neighborhood has a strong sense of community and camaraderie. The main commercial thoroughfare through Roscoe Village is Roscoe Street, which is lined with an array of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, and specialty stores. This commercial strip contributes to the neighborhood’s walkability and offers a range of options for shopping and dining. Roscoe Village is home to several schools besides Lane Tech, contributing to its family-friendly appeal. In the 100+ years since Lane Tech first opened its doors, Roscoe Village has evolved while retaining its distinctive character.

Aerial view of Lane Technical High School in Chicago.

Lane Tech, which first opened its doors in 1908, has 4,500 students enrolled.

©David Haynes/


Great high schools seamlessly integrate academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities, cultivating a holistic environment that nurtures students’ intellectual, physical, and personal development. By striking a harmonious balance between challenging academics, rigorous athletics, and creative extracurriculars, students not only excel academically but also learn essential life skills such as teamwork, and time management. Extracurricular activities foster creativity and a sense of community. This comprehensive approach equips students with the tools they need to thrive in both their academic and personal lives, setting the stage for lifelong success. And Lane Tech sets a high bar.

As a selective enrollment school, Lane Tech is more academically challenging and intellectually stimulating than its open-enrollment counterparts. Prospective students must meet certain academic criteria, standardized test scores, and other performance-based benchmarks to be eligible for admission.

The aerial view of Lane Tech College campus Chicago, Illinois, United States

Lane Tech is more academically challenging and intellectually stimulating than its open-enrollment counterparts.

©Wirestock Creators/


Lane Tech is renowned for its rigorous academic curriculum and emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. It offers a variety of honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) allowing students to challenge themselves intellectually. The school offers students Alpha and Omega cross-curriculum programs. These allow students with more than one skill or interest to pursue both. Lane Tech offers a core curriculum with seven specialized areas of study:

  • Computer Science
  • Art
  • Music
  • a-STEM
  • Omega
  • World Language
  • Drama.

Each program offers its own curriculum, bolstered by more than 100 elective courses. Electives include Genetics, Web Development, Architectural Drafting Design, Robotics, and Marine Biology, among a host of others.


Lane Tech has a strong tradition in sports and boasts 33 teams. Each sport may support up to three separate teams, from freshman to varsity. The school fields competitive teams in football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and swimming. Lane’s athletic programs participate in city and state-level competitions. Lane has accrued hundreds of city championships, and Lane Tech has won 16 state championships in its 100+ year history. Lane Tech’s team nickname is Champions. Its school colors are old gold and myrtle, which is dark green. Lane has a regulation football field, Fritz Pollard Field at Lane Stadium, named in honor of 1912 graduate Fritz Pollard, who lettered in three sports while at Lane. Pollard went on to achieve success in the National Football League, as a player and a coach. He was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 2005.


Lane Tech offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs, performing arts, and community service opportunities. Students can participate in activities such as debate, robotics, theater, music ensembles, Science Olympiad, Chess, Student Council, and math club among others. Students are also required to complete community service hours and take a consumer education course.

Where Is Lane Tech Located on a Map?

Lane Technical High School is located at 2501 W Addison St in Chicago, IL. Situated in the Roscoe Village neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, it is a part of the Chicago Public Schools district. It is less than 1.8 miles west of Wrigley Field and about 15 minutes’ drive to Millennium Park.

Notable Alums

The bonds you form during your high school years can endure and evolve in unexpected ways. Treating your high school friends with kindness not only nurtures healthy relationships but also reflects the potential for greatness in each individual. You never know which of your friends might someday achieve fame, and the sincere kindness you show them could help them on their journey. Cultivating kindness toward your high school companions paves the way for a world where success is celebrated within the framework of enduring friendship, giving you the opportunity to say, “Ah, I knew them when …”

Some of Lane Tech’s more notable alumni include:

  • Edgar Bergen, class of 1918: Bergen was a famous ventriloquist, actor, and comedian. He was most well-known for his ventriloquist dolls, Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.
  • Johnny Weissmuller attended for one year in 1918. Though he is often represented as having graduated from Lane, he didn’t. Weissmuller was an Olympic swimmer and the original motion picture “Tarzan.”
  • Phil Cavarretta: Cavarretta was a major league baseball player, signing with the Chicago Cubs a year shy of graduating from Lane. He had a storied career with the Cubbies, as both player and manager.
  • John Chambers, class of 1941: Chambers received an Academy Award for his work as the make-up artist for the 1969 classic “Planet of the Apes.”
  • David F. James, class of 1941: James was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen.
Aerial view of Burj Khalifa in Dubai Downtown skyline and fountain, United Arab Emirates or UAE. Financial district and business area in smart urban city. Skyscraper and high-rise buildings at sunset.

George J. Efstathiou, class of 1969, was the chief architect of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.


More Notable Alumni

  • John Podesta, class of 1967: Podesta was the White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton.
  • George J. Efstathiou, class of 1969: Efstathiou was the chief architect of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It is located in Dubai.
  • Ertharin Cousin, class of 1975: Cousin has a storied career in global agriculture and food insecurity. She most recently served as Executive Director of the UN World Food Program from 2012-2017. 
  • Dan Evans, class of 1978: Evans is a former general manager for Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky, class of 1988: Tartakovsky is an animator, writer, director, and producer. He has worked extensively with Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
  • Aimee Boorman, class of 1991: Boorman coached Simone Biles, and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team in 2016.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © David Haynes/

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About the Author

Kathryn Koehler is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her focus is on unusual animals, places, and events. Kat has over 20 years of experience as a professional writer and educator. She holds a master's degree from Vanderbilt University. When she is not writing for A-Z-Animals, Kat enjoys puttering in her garden, baking deliciously healthful treats for her family, and playing with her two rescue mutts, Popcorn and Scooter. She resides in Tennessee.

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