The Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education honored students, a teacher, and a Melrose Park village trustee for their service at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 11, at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.
Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, recognized Ms. Michele Vogt-Schuller, a social studies teacher at PMSA, and students Karen Basurto, Gabriel Garcia, and Lizbeth Hernandez, for their efforts in working with the Maywood Library Advisory Committee in finding a federal grant to keep the Maywood Public Library after it closed for two weeks in October 2013. They also have been working with the library’s administration and board to sustain the library, including developing programs for area youth. They had worked on helping to get the library reopened with Mrs. Theresa L. Kelly, a Board member, and State Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch, the former president of the District 209 Board of Education. Mr. Welch said that Ms. Vogt-Schuller and the students played vital roles in helping the library reopen.
"We couldn’t have done it without them," he said
The Board also honored the efforts of students Ava Raddatz, Samantha Vimmer, Emma Plesnicar, and Rebekah Mathias for their commitment to providing ongoing academic support to other students during their lunch period through peer tutoring. In addition, they recognized Mr. Arturo Mota, a Board of Trustees member of Melrose Park, for his financial contribution to the PMSA library.
The Board also gave approval for the District to enter into the request for candidacy phase of the application process to bring the International Baccalaureate diploma program to PMSA. The International Baccalaureate is a program designed to be academically challenging and provide students with an education that can gain them entry to the most prestigious college and university programs in the world.
Dr. Karvelas said that she hopes to pilot the initial steps needed to begin the authorization process at PMSA for the 2014-15 school year. The hope is to then support Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School in their efforts to begin the "consideration phase" of the application process to bring the program to those schools the following year. She said that about 75 percent of the International Baccalaureate programs currently in place are in schools with high percentages of students from low-income backgrounds.
"It’s an exciting program," she said. "International Baccalaureate is a philosophy that can be adopted into any school. It develops intellectually independent ways of thinking. It develops a way of thinking while doing critical analysis of an argument, and it helps you reflect on nature, methodology, and the purpose of philosophy."