Return to Headlines

Proviso Math & Science Academy Earns National Blue Ribbon

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 (PTHS D209) is excited to announce that Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy (PMSA) was officially recognized on Monday, October 1, 2018 as an Exemplary High Performing Schools National Blue Ribbon for 2018 by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos!

“I'm pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students' accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

“The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels,” according to the U.S. Department of Education website.

PMSA’s National Blue Ribbon Schools award exemplifies the educational gains that continue to take place at PTHS D209 as they provide the highest quality education, where learning, leadership, service, and research-based practices ensure equitable and meaningful opportunities for all students. The drivers behind these academic achievements are the teachers, administrators, students, families, and community members who have worked diligently to ensured that all students have access to a high-quality learning environment.

“We are so proud of this accomplishment! PMSA being recognized as a Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the hard work and dedication put in by all of the PMSA administrators, teachers and staff. But most of all, it is a testament to the determination and focus of the students who come from all over Proviso Township. We are so proud of them!” said Board of Education President Mr. Ned Wagner.

Superintendent Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez is proud of this achievement and says, “I want to congratulate PMSA students, staff, families, and the Board of Education for earning continuous accolades. Their work in and outside the classroom reflects teaching, learning, and policy implementation at its best. The support of our parents and communities has helped us achieve this recognition and we thank them for all they have done for our District.”

PMSA enrolls approximately 828 students in grades 9-12 and is an urban selective enrollment school with a 100% graduation rate in the last five years. PMSA is a school with a diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic background of its student body. In 2018, the school was ranked by U.S. News & World Report #8 in Illinois and was one of 13 high schools to receive the Gold Medal Award. In three years they traveled from the Bronze to Silver and in 2018 they got the Gold! The accolades did not stop there, they were also ranked 3rd best high school in the suburban Cook County area by Chicago Magazine. When asked about her students, PMSA Principal Dr. Bessie Karvelas said that she was honored to receive this award as it recognizes the accomplishments of her teachers and students.

“Our students have hopes and dreams, dreams of becoming the next president of the United States; dreams of creating the first home to withstand any kind of hurricane; dreams of curing epileptic seizures or dreams of developing a cure for cancer. Whatever the case may be, we as educators are on the forefront of those dreams. It is our job to make those dreams a reality; it is our job to develop the independent learner and provide an environment where meaning could be constructed collaboratively by students, faculty and staff,” said Principal Dr. Karvelas.