Our Vision

The IHSEA endeavors to create and foster competitive esports programs in all Illinois high schools by providing assistance, organizing tournaments, and presenting information to schools and advisers. These programs cultivate talents in potentially underserved populations and provide a pathway to college scholarships and careers in the gaming industry. The IHSEA pledges to invest proceeds back into schools and students to advance esports programs in secondary education.

Todd McFarlin

Director of Operations
Chicago Public Schools

Todd teaches Exploring Computer Science and IB-ITGS and is a coach for Lane Tech High School in Chicago. He is also on the IHSA Esports Advisory Committee tasked with getting esports sanctioned as an activity across the state.  Interested in gaming since childhood, Todd currently plays League of Legends and FPS and RPG games on Xbox. He has played League since beta and has peaked ranked at Plat 3. He finds the competitive nature of esports useful for unlocking his students’ potentials.


Andy Mendez

Naperville North and Naperville Central High Schools

Andy Mendez is the Director of Esports at Naperville Community Unit School District 203 and is an alumni of IHSEA’s very own Metea Valley High School Esports, in which he founded in 2016. With both Naperville powerhouses (Naperville North and Naperville Central) under his direction, he now looks continue his success and add more accolades to his arsenal. Esports was initially Andy’s passion as a student; now it translates into his career. Favorite esports titles: League of Legends, Halo, and Overwatch. Andy primarily assists with live event logistics and is a member of the broadcast team.

Amy Whitlock

Public Relations/Social Media
Oswego East High School

Amy is a French teacher at Oswego East High School and is the current esports team sponsor and coach. She has always been a tech junkie and gamer since her first video game, Adventure, on the Atari 2600. Although more a console player than a computer gamer, she plays League of Legends mostly to amuse her players. Amy believes esports in the high schools is an engaging way to encourage the teamwork and communication essential for students’ futures.

Keith Kennedy

Glenwood High School

Keith is a mathematics teacher at Glenwood High School in Chatham, IL. He got his love of gaming from an early age with Pokemon on the Gameboy Color and continued from there. He first became interested in esports titles in his freshman year of college at Illinois State University with Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. He now splits his time between League of Legends (#TLWIN), CS:GO, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Escape from Tarkov. No matter the game, Keith views esports as a way for students to improve their communication, teamwork, and sense of community at school and throughout the state.