Local School Update 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 
BAPA School Liaison  

Finally, COVID 19 and Omicron are on the run, along with the City’s mask and proof of vaccination or vax cards. Mandates in the City of Chicago have officially ended. Don’t get me wrong, I supported the mandates and whatever else was needed to protect our public and individual health. Still, this good recent news is hope for better days to come and has spread to our schools.  

Hope Chicago Commits to Free College Educations for MPHS Students 

Hope Chicago officials recently announced that every student, from freshmen to seniors, at Morgan Park High School (MPHS) will be awarded a full college scholarship (including tuition, room and board, and books) to one of 20 post-secondary institutions.  

Hope Chicago is a not-for-profit organization seeking to reduce economic and social inequity by funding postsecondary scholarships and non-tuition costs for Chicago public school graduates. Led by Hope Chicago Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Janice K. Jackson (formerly Chicago Public Schools CEO), the organization has a goal of raising and investing at least $1 billion dollars over the next decade to help tens of thousands of Chicago students and family members earn post-secondary credentials. Hope Chicago is grounded in the belief that educational equity lays the foundation for greater economic and social progress and the rebirth and restoration of Chicago communities. Thank you Hope Chicago and congratulations MPHS! 

MPHS Senior Receives Posse Foundation Scholarship 

MPHS senior Devan King was awarded a four-year, full-ride scholarship, worth more than $100,000, from the Posse Foundation. King was nominated for his academic achievement, leadership qualities, and social skills and will attend Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont this fall.  

MPHS Alumni Competes at the Olympics 

MPHS alumni Aja Evans took home a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics in China. She competed as a member of the Team USA bobsled team.  

More Sport Victories 

MPHS bowling team won the 2022 City Championship with three members ranking among the city’s top ten best high school bowlers. 

Kudos to the Kellogg’s 5th and 6th grade basketball team for winning the Network 10 – Julian Conference with a perfect season record of 8-0. Go Wolfpack!  

Morgan Park Academy’s (MPA) girls’ basketball coach Tom Drahozal just picked up his 500th victory after the varsity girls’ basketball team advanced to the Illinois High School Association Class 1A regional final. Drahozal has coached at MPA Warriors for 34 years. Good job, coach! 

Speaking of Jobs Well Done… 

Diane Pajkos recently retired from teaching at Kellogg School, the same school where she began her teaching career as a student teacher 34 years ago. She was a great teacher but also good human being who could communicate — educator to parent or at times as parent to parent (particularly parents of preteens) — with a fusion of professionalism and compassion. Thank you, Ms. Pajkos for a job well done! 

To All of the Schools… 

February was Black History Month. Though I cannot list all of the galleries, programs, and activities Beverly/Morgan Park’s public, Catholic, and private schools accomplished, I would like to thank each of you for covering aspects of American history that textbooks and lopsided curriculums had previously ignored. In my book, to know everyone’s story is a win for us all.  









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