Mr. Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East High School, and Ms. Carla Williams, a guidance counselor at Proviso West High School, recently were honored as outstanding educators by Representative Danny K. Davis in Chicago.
Mr. Valente and Ms. Williams were recognized at a ceremony and dinner in Chicago on August 2 at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago. They had been nominated for the award by Mr. George Pappas, a Proviso East guidance counselor, and Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, respectively.
Mr. Pappas said that Mr. Valente, who was named Outstanding Principal by Representative Davis, has played a major role in gains seen at Proviso East, including increases in the school’s graduation rate and test scores, as well as the overall environment.
"With Mr. Valente, I’ve noticed quite a few changes," Mr. Pappas said. "I’ve noticed the kids being on time, kids attending school, the hallways clearing up. Academically, the test scores have risen, slowly but surely. I have a better feeling as far as the school being more in control and it looks like we’re heading in the right direction."
Mr. Hawthorne said that Ms. Williams, who also is the cheerleading coach at Proviso West, is respected for all that she does for students.
"She’s well respected among students as a counselor," he said. "She puts in a lot of hours supporting our students. We’re excited to be able to recognize Carla for her work."
The honorees said that they were honored to be recognized.
Mr. Valente said that teachers and staff at Proviso East also were deserving of credit.
"It’s an honor because people recognize the work going on at Proviso East for the last three years," he said.
Ms. Williams said that she simply loves her work.
"I love what I do," she said. "It’s an honor just to be nominated for something you love to do."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the award winners are further examples of the good work that is done at District 209’s schools.
"Every day, our teachers, staff, and administrators are hard at work providing a quality education to our students," Dr. Collins-Hart said. "Mr. Valente and Ms. Williams being recognized by Representative Davis shows the great work that is being done at Proviso East and Proviso West, and we are always pleased when others recognize it. I thank Representative Davis for his recognition of two quality educators from our schools."
Congratulations, Mr. Valente and Ms. Williams, and thank you for helping to Keep Proviso Rising!