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District 209 Board of Education Honors Proviso East Football Players, Educational Leaders

December 11, 2014 03:45 PM
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Coaches and members of the Proviso East High School football team as well as two guidance counselors and two teachers were honored by the Proviso Township High School District 209 Board of Education at the Board’s regular meeting on December 9 at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.
 
The recognition, which took place during the Board’s joint meeting with the Financial Oversight Panel, recognized the students and staff members for their performance and service to the school.
 
The football team, led by Mr. David Odom, head coach, were honored for their display of exemplary sportsmanship during their last regular season game at Leyden on October 24. At the game, they allowed an opposing player with autism to score a touchdown on the first play. Video of the play, which was highlighted in the Chicago Tribune, later went viral and was featured on ESPN’s "Sportscenter."
 
Also honored were assistant coaches, Mr. Terry Love, Mr. DeWan White, Mr. Michael Cortese, and Mr. James Kazmierczak, as well as student-athletes Kahlil Richardson, LaSean Richardson, Kameron Irvin, Brandon Wright, and Fred Burks.
 
"It brought a tear to my eye," said Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East, of the video and emails from fellow administrators in the West Suburban Conference praising them. "It was great to see a Pirate’s name in that."
 
Also recognized were Mr. George Pappas and Mrs. Bonnie Libka, guidance counselors at Proviso East, for "going above and beyond" in their assistance with the Aspire and ACT testing in November. In addition, Mr. Andre Zabrodsky, the math department chair at Proviso East, and Dr. Patrice Reiger, the English department chair at Proviso East, for their work in implementing the "Agile Mind" math curriculum and "Literacy Strategies" reading program.
 
Mr. Valente also discussed the progress in school improvement at Proviso East.
 
During the last two years, there has been a 120 percent increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards on state exams in reading and a 25 percent in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards in math. Mr. Valente said that while there remains room for improvement, Proviso East’s progress compared favorably to other schools.
 
"It’s nice to report that there’s been an increase," he said. "As I looked at high-achieving schools, I could not find another school with a 12-point increase. We’ve had tremendous growth."
 
Mr. Valente said that part of the progress could be attributed to the Empower 3000 reading program and the Agile Mind math curriculum. As of December 4, 323 students were using the Empower 3000 reading program, with 184 reporting a good increase.
 
"That’s how much work our teachers do," Mr. Valente said.
 
Dr. Craig Schilling, chair of the FOP, said that the improvements are a good sign of progress at Proviso East.
 
"The reading increases are very commendable," he said. 
 
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