York High School News

Don Gelsomino Appointed as York High School's New Football Head Coach

March 22, 2024

Don Gelsomino Appointed as York High School's New Football Head Coach

Elmhurst, IL – York Community High School proudly announces the appointment of Don Gelsomino as the new head coach of the York Dukes football program. Gelsomino, who has been an integral part of the coaching staff since 2019, now set to lead the Dukes into a new era of athletic excellence.

“Gelsomino has been an integral part of the coaching staff since 2019,” shared Rob Wagner, Assistant Principal for Athletics at York Community High School. “I know how much it means to him, both as an Elmhurst resident and current coach, to take the lead this year. We are so fortunate to have had someone of this level ready to step in and lead the Dukes into a new era of athletic excellence.”

Gelsomino's journey to the helm of York football is marked by a remarkable track record of success and a deep commitment to the sport. Having joined the York coaching staff in 2019, Gelsomino quickly ascended to the role of Defensive Coordinator in 2020. Under his leadership, the defensive unit flourished, boasting a record of 35-7 over the last four years, with an impressive average of only 14 points allowed and 219 yards conceded per game.

The 2022 season witnessed historic achievements for the York football program, setting school records for points allowed in the regular season. Gelsomino's prowess in coaching has also seen three inside linebackers named conference Defensive Player of the Year or co-Defensive Player of the Year.

“The last five years coaching at York have been incredible,” shared Don. “Seeing the effort from the players, coaches, parents, and administration to turn this program around has been unbelievable. I could not be more grateful to Coach Fitzgerald for hiring me and trusting me as his defensive coordinator. The community support at every game has created one of the most exciting atmospheres in high school football. I am very excited to take over a program that has accomplished so much recently, is in my hometown, and has the culture and community support that York has. It is not something I will take for granted.”

Prior to his tenure at York, Gelsomino served as the head coach at Ridgewood for three seasons from 2016 to 2018. While in this position he led Ridgewood to two conference championships and two playoff appearances, including the school's first playoff win in 29 years. As Offensive Coordinator and QB coach, he played a pivotal role in coaching Ridgewood's first all-state quarterback in 35 years.

Gelsomino's coaching journey began at Fenwick immediately after graduating college in 2008 where he contributed to Fenwick's Prep Bowl Championship. His dedication to the sport led him to St. Patrick High School in 2011, where he spent five years as a teacher and coach, eventually becoming the science department chair and Defensive Coordinator.

Beyond his coaching accolades, Gelsomino brings a wealth of teaching experience to his new role. With 13 years of experience teaching Biology, Chemistry and Physics, including serving as the department chair at St. Patrick High School, Gelsomino is committed to fostering both academic and athletic excellence among his players.

Gelsomino's passion for football is rooted in his own experience as a player. He played college football at Augustana, where he was honored with the Jerry Freck Most Inspirational award in 2006. His high school career at Holy Cross saw him named Team Captain in 2003 and Offensive MVP in 2002.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Gelsomino's personal journey is one of resilience and determination. A two-time cancer survivor himself, he has faced adversity with courage and strength. His commitment to his family, including his wife Brittany, a York Community High School alum, and their two sons, Trey and James, underscores his values of perseverance and family.

Gelsomino's appointment as the new head coach of York High School's football program heralds a new chapter of excellence and dedication. His leadership, coupled with his extensive experience and unwavering commitment to the sport, ensures a bright future for the Dukes on and off the field.


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York Community High School Team Raises Over $25,000 to Support the Athletes of Special Olympics Illinois

February 28, 2024

York Community High School Team Raises Over $25,000 to Support the Athletes of Special Olympics Illinois
– As part of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge via the Cool School Challenge. –

Elmhurst, IL York Community High School students and staff have raised over $25,000 in support of the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. Joining 17 other school teams in the fundraiser, York is on track to raise the highest amount of any of the participating teams and you can still help them with their goal!

You are probably familiar with the Polar Plunge, but have you heard of the Cool School Challenge? Part of the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, The Cool School Challenge is held annually and provides an opportunity for students and staff to support the athletes of Special Olympics Illinois. York Community High School held their first annual event on Friday, February 23, 2024 at the York Community High School stadium where 47 participants bravely dove head-first into icy cold pools for this great cause.

This was the first year that York High School participated in the event. When asked about why they wanted to participate in the challenge, Steve Westendorf, the Special Olympics Coordinator at York Community High School shared, “We have such an amazing Special Olympics program at York and the Cool School Challenge was a chance to support all of our incredibly talented athletes while also providing an exciting - and certainly memorable - way to give back.”

“Not only is it a great opportunity to support our athletes, but it is also an opportunity to continue educating, engaging and empowering students about the importance of inclusion and making a positive impact,” shared Elmhurst School District 205 Superintendent Dr Keisha Campbell. “As shared in our strategic plan framework, one of our objectives is to provide all students a variety of pathways to identify and explore their passion and purpose. This was just one example of the many ways we strive to achieve that objective.”

Schools can continue to raise money through March 28, 2024 for the Cool School Challenge. The winning school will be announced after the fundraising has completed. You can donate to York High School’s team by visiting https://qrco.de/bemKxt or by scanning this QR code.

York Community High School has 25 students that participate in Special Olympics sports, including basketball, volleyball, and track and field.


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York High School Interact Club Members are Sewing their Hearts out for Breast Cancer Awareness

November 6, 2023


– Students made heart shaped pillows to donate to breast cancer survivors at
Elmhurst Hospital after undergoing surgery –

Elmhurst, IL – The York High School Interact Club, a division of Rotary, is doing their part to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 2022, club members set out on a mission to launch a service project to provide support for breast cancer patients. The club created a plan and set forth to complete an interactive project to make hand-sewn pillows for breast cancer survivors to use after undergoing surgery. Continuing the project this year, students completed their pillows this month and are excited to be able to continue providing support to help those who are battling breast cancer.

President of the Interact Club, Mia Barton says, “I’m excited to continue this project we started last year. It is important that we support breast cancer patients during the month of October.”

These pillows help women who have had breast cancer surgery by protecting their surgical incision and allowing it to heal by preventing the patient's arm from rubbing the surgical incision. Pillows such as these are commonly used to provide an added level of comfort for patients while they are in recovery. The Interact Club will be donating the completed pillows to the Breast Cancer Center at Elmhurst Hospital.

“On behalf of our breast cancer patients and team members who provide care at the Breast Cancer Center, we express our deep gratitude for the pillows from the Interact Club,” says Dr. Kimberley Darey, President, Elmhurst Hospital. “The emotional comfort for the patients knowing the care, compassion and commitment that went into crafting the pillows is just as meaningful as the physical comfort they provide.” 

Each of the pillows are completed using t-shirts that were provided by the Interact Club members. Some of the students were already skilled with a needle and thread, but many students learned to sew, just so they were able to help make the pillows.

Interact Club is the high school branch of Rotary International and shares Rotary's motto of "service above self." York Interact Club works closely with, and is sponsored by, the Rotary Club of Elmhurst. They are one of three service clubs at York. The York High School Interact Club enjoys giving back to the Elmhurst community and is always looking for new members.

student sewing a pillow
students sewing in a classroom











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York Drama to present new musical reading, collaboration with Broadway  writers

Press Contact: Contact: Matt Bourke, York Drama | mbourke@elmhurst205.org | 630-825-8753

October 24, 2023

York Drama to present new musical reading, collaboration with Broadway writers

– “The House on Watch Hill,” a new musical by the writers of Broadway’s
“Bandstand,” is sure to be a blast of 80s nostalgia for the audience, and a unique learning experience for students. –

Elmhurst, IL – On Friday, Oct. 27, York Drama will present a staged reading of
The House on Watch Hill, a new musical from Richard Oberacker and Robert
Taylor, featuring a cast of senior students, most of whom are pursuing music or
theatre in higher education.

Oberacker and Taylor describe the musical as “The Goonies meets The
Breakfast Club,” referencing the quirky coming-of-age movies of the 80s. Set in
1984, the story involves a misfit bunch of horror-loving kids who decide to build
the greatest neighborhood haunted house attraction in the history of forever.
It would alter the course of their lives.

“With little adult supervision and even fewer safety codes, what could possibly
go wrong?” Oberacker asked.

With an exciting original plot centered around teenagers, the writers wanted
to work with York students to develop the piece before they moved to the next
phases of creation. A staged reading is slightly different than the average
musical one might expect from York Drama, as the entire show–rather like a
radio play–will be performed with the cast reading and singing from the script
at music stands so audience members can focus on storytelling and vocal

“While it is challenging to not have a reference of anyone else performing the
show, it is exciting to be the first people interpreting these characters,” Will
Fischer, senior, said. “It feels like you can make your character completely your
own. I've learned about what it's like in the professional world, where actors are
constantly originating shows and roles.”

An event like this is a crucial step in the development of a musical, and it’s a
step that is rarely seen outside the theater industry in New York, and almost
never presented to the general public.

“I think a lot of people underestimate all of the work that goes into creating a
musical,” Charlie Matias, senior, said. “Throughout this process, I have loved
finding my own, authentic connection to my character and discovering that all
teenagers experience this transition to adulthood with some universal

“The House on Watch Hill” will hold two performances on Oct. 27, one at 7 p.m.
and the other at 9:30 p.m., at the Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park, Ill.
Tickets are limited and can be purchased at www.YorkDrama.org. All proceeds
from the event go to support the work of the York Drama program.

“Truthful storytelling is the best storytelling,” Giovanni Santoro, senior, said.
“Any adolescent, or any person who has gone through adolescence, will be
able to connect to the story of these ‘weird little kids.’”

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York Community High School To Host Seventh Annual Options Fair For Students With Disabilities


October 4, 2023

York Community High School To Host Seventh Annual Options Fair For Students With Disabilities
– Supporting students with disabilities as they identify options for post-secondary success–

Elmhurst, IL – Students with disabilities have a variety of high quality options available to them following high school. Since transition planning is crucial, 24 area high schools in DuPage and Cook County have again come together to provide the Options Fair which will be hosted by York Community High School on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. This year’s fair will feature over 70 vendors representing colleges and universities, certificate programs, university experience programs, building trades, and agencies providing services to youth and adults with disabilities.

“We are excited to have students with disabilities and their families at the Options Fair, " said Dr. Skip Kumm, Assistant Director of Special Education for Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, who helped to coordinate the event with a team of professionals from the District’s Bridges Transition Center. Kumm noted, “our college and university partners will have information regarding admissions and accommodations while our trades programs will discuss training opportunities such as automotive, skilled manufacturing, HVAC, welding, and computer technology. There will be something for everyone and you will not want to miss this unique opportunity to explore post-secondary options.”

“Our goal is always for every student to leave our District ready for College, Career, and Life,” said Dr. Keisha Campbell, Superintendent of Schools. The Options Fair will allow students with disabilities to identify and explore a variety of pathways as they continue in their journey to find their passion and purpose.”

The event is free and open to the public and no pre-registration is required.

What: Options Fair
Date: October 11, 2023
Time: 6:00 p.m
Where: York Community High School, 355 W St Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126

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2020 National Merit Semifinalists

Elmhurst Community Unit School District D205 congratulates nine York High School seniors, who were announced today as Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. The seniors are: John Devine, Timothy Hradil, Aaron Ludkowski, Dylan Mahoney, Kol Rollins, James Sampson, Allison Splitstone, Matthew Splitstone and Paige Szipszky.

Our students will be honored by the D205 Board of Education this fall. They also will have the opportunity to advance in the competition, and be considered for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2020 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

Over 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.
The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of
graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

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York's Mock Trial Team Wins state

York’s Mock Trial team won their State competition this past weekend in Springfield. York won the title after a tough competition Sunday evening against Glenbard East High School.

In addition to the team award, York also received 6 individual awards. 

Lexi Lukose was the only student in the state to score a perfect score on the exam.

Katy Clugg, Lexi Lukose, Andrea Gurau received recognition for Best Attorney. While Katy Clugg and Anthony Aguilar received Best Witness. 

Maya Iyer, Sarah Martich, Ava Gehrke, Anika Jacob, Vanessa Bardoshi, and Elinor Kness all played key roles in the team’s success. 

Congratulations to all these amazing students and their coaches, Amy Mueller and Elizabeth Birchler. 

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