New Trier’s illustrious additions to popular culture history

New Trier’s illustrious additions to popular culture history

As is tradition on Halloween, New Trier will be filled with students dressed in a wide variety of costumes.
While there will always be the inevitable Minion, superhero, or Teletubbies costume, many students find their inspiration each year through current pop culture. In honor of this (occasionally) current events-inspired dress-up day, The New Trier News presents four of New Trier’s most notable appearances in the world of pop culture.

(Almost) any John Hughes film
The late filmmaker and Glenbrook North alumni churned out cult classics that still relate to many of today’s high school students. Among them, “Home Alone”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and “Uncle Buck”, had scenes shot at the Northfield campus, while Sixteen Candles contains scenes shot at the Winnetka Campus, according to IMDB. Another iconic Hughes film, “The Breakfast Club”, derived its title from a nickname by New Trier students and staff for morning detention.

“Mean Girls”
Perhaps the most quoted film of all time (at least in the 18-24 year-old demographic), “Mean Girls” lampooned the stereotypical high school “clique” at fictional North Shore High School in Evanston. Despite basing North Shore High School on New Trier and including references to Skokie’s Old Orchard (now Westfield) Shopping Center and Wilmette breakfast favorite Walker Brothers, minimal filming was done in the area, according to the Internet Movie Database.

“High Times at New Trier High”
New Trier found itself as the national poster child of teenage drug usage in December 1996 after Time’s James L. Graff published an investigative piece claiming that “New Trier kids who smoke pot” were “by all accounts more than three-fifths of the student body.” According to the Chicago Tribune, Graff later admitted on WNTH that an edit to the piece had caused an inadvertent change in the message and that 60% of the student body merely admitted to trying it at least once or twice, as opposed to the implication that 60% were regular users. Regardless, New Trier’s outsider reputation had been cemented for years to come.

Trevians on the big screen
Countless New Trier alumni have made some form of contribution to the film or television industry. Most recently, Class of 2013 graduate Katie Chang (“The Bling Ring”), 2012 graduate Zoe Levin (“The Way Way Back”), 2003 grad Beck Bennett (“Saturday Night Live”) and 1996 grad Jake Johnson (“New Girl”) have burst onto the scene in Hollywood. They join a stacked list of famous actors/actresses from New Trier that includes the likes of Rainn Wilson (Class of 1984), Hal Sparks (1988), Virginia Madsen (1979), Bruce Dern (1954) and Charlton Heston (1941).