District 209, IL...
Students moved through the halls of Proviso West High School as the voice of Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal, began to be heard over the intercom.
"Good morning," he said. "We all belong to the community that is Proviso West."
Similar scenes occurred at Proviso East High School and Proviso Math and Science Academy on Monday, August 19, as the district’s students returned to classes for the start of the 2013-14 school year in District 209. It was a smooth start to the new school year, as students adjusted to their new schedules and in the case of Proviso West and PMSA, new principals, Mr. Oscar Hawthorne and Dr. Bessie Karvelas, respectively.
"It was a great start to a new year," said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. "It is our intent to continue this smooth start as we focus on our goals for this year, including raising student achievement through working together."
At Proviso West, at the stroke of 7:50 a.m., students were led by teachers down the hall from the cafeteria as they walked to their first-hour classes. Christine Henderson, 16 and a junior, said that she was glad to be studying in classes such as photography, among others.
"It’s great," she said. "I get to meet new people and have new classes."
Mr. Hawthorne said that students were excited to be at school, in no small part due to the teachers’ and staff’s preparations.
"Teachers have been part of a great experience with our District Institute and Building Institute," he said. "They were ready to build relationships with students and build a rapport that sends a message that this is an environment where we want them to succeed."
Later in the day at PMSA, Desjuan Smith, 14 and a freshman, noted that there is a faster pace at the high school than at the middle school. Despite the adjustment, he said that he was happy to be where he is.
"I’m glad to be at PMSA," he said. "It’s a good school."
Dr. Karvelas said that the first day of classes went smoothly for everyone.
"The teachers are the epitome of professionalism," she said. "I am so excited, and my students are angels."
At Proviso East, Bridgette James, 16 and a junior, said that she had a good first day, and looked ahead to the upcoming year.
"The new teachers were nice," she said. "I’m looking forward to being a better student."
Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, said that the first day of school went smoothly with the help of everyone at the school.
"Everyone was prepared and good to go," he said. "I also want to thank the Cook County Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Chief Tom Fleming for coming to meet with our students."
Welcome back, students!