School Update: Good News from Local Schools 

By Tina Jenkins Bell 
BAPA School Liaison 

I love a good story, great news, a happy ending, or any time the underdog pulls through for the big win 

I breathe the words spoken by Jesse Daley, an Australian professional soccer player, in a speech titled, “Success Is a Journey Not a Destination,” when he said, “The preparation part of the success equation, your journey, should be celebrated, for success is not simply a destination. Success is not something that we arrive at one day. Success has everything to do with your individual day to day choices, actions and experiences. No matter how big or small they are.” 

What have we succeeded in? All the things that matter, and in our community, our children matter, and so do all the minds, hands, and spirits that coalesced to lift them up.  

Last month, Catholic schools in our community celebrated their 100th day in the classroom. The hard work, faith, and grit of our area Catholic School educators did not go without reward because also last month the Archdiocese of Chicago reported Catholic school students had maintained learning goals despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. According to the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools website, 7,382 students were evaluated, and many exceeded the learning goals specified in the annual i-Ready assessmentHats off to Christ the King, St. Barnabas, St. Cajetan, St. John Fisher, and St Walter schools. Also, hats off to the parents who held it together and partnered with educators until their children could return to in person learning. 

Speaking of in person learning, some Chicago Public School (CPS) students began returning to physical classrooms last month and according to a CPS in-person learning return schedule, K-8 students will return in March. For the exact schedule, visit www.cps.edu. Principals, educators, staff, and parents at Barnard, Clissold, Esmond, Kellogg, Sutherland and Vanderpoel schools are to be congratulated for the work put into ensuring their schools are safe and ready for students’ return. Let’s not forget the commitment of these and other educators in their efforts to offer quality learning for students and guidance for parents, whether continuing to teach remotely or preparing for the return of students for face-to-face instruction. 

There are many neighbors and groups met their goals despite the pandemic. As you read this, free your hands, so you can applaud these amazing young people. 

February is Black History month, and area schools commemorated the contributions of African Americans in interesting and creative ways. Kellogg School sponsored a Black History logo contest. Winning logos were featured on sweatshirts and created by5th grader Imani BallardMorgan Park Academy (MPA) celebrated Mercedes Z. Sheppard. their first African American Head of School. MPA was founded as an all-white-male, military academy in 1873, and is now ranked in the top 10 of diverse schools in Illinois, by Niche.com. 

Former Christ the King and current Mount Carmel student Phillip Glenn was selected as a student of the month for being “attentive and hardworking in class (as well as) friendly, polite, and respectful in every interaction with peers and adults.” 

Kellogg graduate and soon to be Brother Rice alum Willie Shaw received a football scholarship to attend the University of Toledo.  

Morgan Park High School (MPHS) student Elijah Roberson’s artwork was accepted to the All City Senior Portfolio Exhibition, exposing Roberson’s talents to various colleges and universities around the country. 

The MPHS basketball program ranked number 2 on the Sun Times list of the 50 best, most winning high school programs in the Chicago area. MPHS’s Ayo Dosunmu was a finalist for the Bob Cousey award, an honor given to the best point guard in the country. 

St. Cajetan student council members partnered with Smith Village and Rush Medical Center to provide gifts of artwork for veterans in the Road Home Program.  

St. Walter congratulated students of the month: Kyliee Webster, Shan Mijka, Caiden BarnettElla Wanner, Covenant Alexander, George Donohue, Laila Wallace, Ingri NunezGianna Cantelom and Valerie Nelson. 

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