Illinois School Celebrates New Addition, ISAT Scores


The new Media Center at Illinois School is ready for students. The center includes two ceiling projectors for presentations. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

2007 ISAT Scores Show Illinois School at 94.1%, District 162 at 80.5% Over All 

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)— Students, teachers, administrators, and elected officials from SD 162, the Illinois General Assembly, and four municipalities celebrated the opening of the addition to Illinois School Sunday. The new cafeteria was full as the program began with a stirring rendition of America the Beautiful by Mrs. Shernita Mays, a teacher in the district. The district’s Superintendent Dr. Blondean Davis served as master of ceremonies for the afternoon, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony.

District 162 includes parts of Park Forest, Olympia Fields, Richton Park, Matteson, and University. Illinois School is the only school in that all five suburbs feed into. Park Forest was represented by Mayor John Ostenburg, who gave the official welcome for the event, and trustees Ken Kramer, Bonita Dillard, Mae Brandon, Robert McCray, and Gary Kopycinski. Ostenburg commented on the strengths of Illinois School and its significance to Park Forest and the region, "What we see today is a true renaissance in terms of education."

State Rep. Al Riley praised the educators and administrators of SD 162, "One of the things they do is empower the community. They give everyone a chance to pur their two-cents in."

Mayor Linzey Jones of Olympia Fields praised the school and the district, and comments on what he called the "empty rhetoric" of the No Child Left Behind act, "Our success is not going to be mandated by the federal government," he said.

Richton Park Mayor Rick Reinbold said he was proud that, "forty some years ago, I was a student here," adding, "It was a long, long, long, long time ago." He expressed high regard for the faculty who taught him.

Mayor Mark Stricker of Matteson saw the district as a model for cooperation, "You cannot function as a school unless you have excellent teamwork, and that’s one of the things I admire about [school districts] 162, and 227, and 159." Superintendents of districts 227 and 159 were also in attendance.

Artist Vince Alcarese received prolonged applause when he was introduced. Alcarese’s works are in the school’s Media Center and hallway just inside the new entrance.

Dr. Davis consluded saying she saved the best news for last. The district received their 2007 ISAT scores, and Illinois School’s scores came in at 94.1%, The district as a whole tested at 80.5%. Dr. Davis’ news was welcomed with a standing ovation that was both for her and the accomplishments of the district.