Proviso 209 Update: Meet Khushi Suri and Jenny Ramirez, District Teacher Support, Leadership Cadre

The following articles and photos are all from For more updates on District 209 affairs, feel free to go to the website.

PMSA Student Khushi Suri Named to State-Wide Advisory Council

Khushi Suri

A Proviso Math and Science Academy junior recently was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Student Advisory Council.

Khushi Suri, 16, received word of her appointment to the council in late August after she had applied last spring. The student advisory council, according to the ISBE, brings student concerns to the attention of the ISBE.

Khushi said that she was drawn to apply to the student advisory council because she has been active in student government. She also was part of the panel of students, parents, and teachers who helped select a new principal at PMSA.

“It seemed to be a good leadership position to help with all of the kids in Illinois,” Khushi said.

To apply for one of the 11 openings on the council, she had to answer five essay questions on leadership, get two letters of recommendation, and have her principal approve of her application. She then was chosen for an interview with the ISBE administration to discuss her qualifications.

To read more about Khushi and ISBE, click here.

Proviso East Student Jenny Ramirez Uses Her Summer Vacation to Study Atoms

Jenny Ramirez

A Proviso East High School senior spent her summer studying the atomic makeup of precious metals.

Jenny Ramirez, 17, spent much of her summer working with the Killelea Group at Loyola University in Chicago as part of the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED Research Program. Led by Dr. Dan Killelea, an assistant professor in Loyola University’s chemistry department, Jenny and college students in the program studied the dynamics of reactive atomic species on and beneath metal surfaces. They accomplished this by using the university’s ultra high vacuum scanning tunneling microscope to take photos of individual atoms in metals such as nickel and silver.

Jenny said that she applied for the program, which awarded Kristen Alanis, a 2013 Proviso East graduate and Project SEED participant, a scholarship of up to $5,000 last spring, at the urging of Mr. Glenn Lid, a Proviso East science teacher. She wrote in her application essay that she was motivated to study hard by Mr. Lid and her family.

“I said I wanted to do something in chemistry,” she said. “I’m going to be the first one in my family to graduate high school and go to college. I’m also the first one to major in a science.”

At Loyola, Jenny said that she helped in taking the photos of the atoms, pouring in liquid nitrogen to help get better quality images and to cool down the microscope. She said that she was impressed with the technology.

“I have a better understanding of chemistry and new technology that I never knew existed,” said Jenny, who is taking advanced placement chemistry this year. “It made me realize I want to get more involved in chemistry.”

Mr. Lid said that Jenny, who is leaning toward majoring in chemistry at Loyola next year, is the fifth Proviso East student to participate in the Project SEED program.

To read more about Jenny Ramirez’s fascination with atoms, click here.

District 209 Teachers Offer Mutual Support and Receive It From Schools

District 209 Teacher Support

The 21 new teachers at Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School are getting extra support as they continue through their first year in their new jobs, thanks to a new teacher support group.

The support group began this year as a way to help teachers new to the district and new to the teaching profession in general, adapt to the school environment, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209.

“I wanted to make sure that we were providing adequate support for our teachers who are new to the profession and new to the district,” she said. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for them to get together and share ideas about issues they may be facing and what they need to be successful.”

The group first met on August 29, with plans to meet once a month in a location rotated among Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy to help familiarize the teachers with all of the District’s facilities. Facilitated by Mr. Dan Johnson, administrator for special projects for the district, the voluntary program allows the new teachers to ask questions and discuss issues in a “safe” environment. They also receive information and strategies about upcoming events such as Back to School Night and parent-teacher conferences.

The new teachers also have been reading a book, “The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher” by Harry Wong and Rosemary Wong, which covers topics such as classroom management, student achievement, and teacher effectiveness. In addition, the attendees at the meetings have chances to win door prizes donated by area businesses.

To read more about this initiative, click here.

District 209 Leadership Cadre

Proviso Township High Schools District 209 will be hosting its monthly Leadership Cadre series on Wednesday, September 18, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Leadership Cadre, which will be conducted on the third Wednesday of the month during the 2013-14 school year, is a workshop designed to develop leadership among the department heads, administrators, and others at Proviso East High School, Proviso West High School, and Proviso Math and Science Academy who are interested in leadership development.

“We implemented the Leadership Cadre last year as a way of nurturing leaders in our district,” said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209. “We want to build leaders among us so that when we do have a need for a leader in a position, we will have them available.”

The Leadership Cadre also is a forum to discuss problems and find solutions that will work districtwide, learn how to support students and leadership districtwide.

At the first meeting on September 18, the 5-Essentials Survey, which is designed to drive improvement in schools, will be discussed. VFP



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