Cook County Circuit Court Judge Linzey Jones to Receive Southland College Prep Award

Honorable Linzey D. Jones (Photo Supplied)
RICHTON PARK, IL–(ENEWSPF)–September 24, 2012— Hon. Linzey D. Jones, judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, will receive Southland College Prep Charter High School’s first annual Award of Excellence at the school’s Gala Benefit Saturday, September 29, 2012 in the institution’s Commons at 4601 Sauk Trail Road, Richton Park.  

Judge Jones, who served as president of the Village of Olympia Fields from 1997 to 2010, “is a strong advocate of the enduring value of quality education, both for individuals and as the foundation to strengthen our democracy as a nation,” said Dr. Blondean Davis, Southland’s CEO and superintendent of Matteson District 162 schools. 

 Judge Jones is a former member of the Park Forest-Chicago Heights School Board where he served for five years. Later, he was elected president of the Olympia Field’s Village board. When during his tenure there, he often focused on local public school issues. He was especially proud of the recognition that District 162’s Arcadia School earned in 2009 when it was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education and the President of the United States. 

Under Judge Jones’ leadership, Olympia Fields organized the first ever municipally funded Education Commission to bring residents, parents, students, educators and administrators to work collaboratively to improve student outcomes.  

“When it became apparent that the people of Rich Township realized that change was coming too slowly to our high schools and that other alternatives needed to be considered, Judge Jones was the first mayor to publicly support the effort to establish Southland College Prep.

“In testimony before the Illinois State Board of Education in Springfield, he advocated for the establishment of a new first-rate public charter high school to serve students in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

“Linzey Jones is truly one of Southland College Prep’s founders,” Dr. Davis said.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a bachelor of arts degree, Judge Jones has a doctor of laws degree magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif.  In 1997, the College of Law named him a Distinguished Graduate.

Judge Jones was a member of Sidley Austin, LLP from 1982 to 2003. During the following seven years, until 2010, he was a partner at Pugh, Jones, Johnson and Quandt P.C., Chicago where he served corporate and public sector clients in personnel, labor and employment law matters.

In 2010, he was elected a judge of the Cook County Circuit Court and currently sits in the Bridgeview Courthouse, District 5.

A past president of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Judge Jones is a former member of the board of managers of the Chicago Bar Association, the board of directors of the Cook County Bar Association and the board of directors of the Leadership Council of Metropolitan Open Communities.

Among his numerous citations, Judge Jones has been recognized as a member of the State of Illinois’ Leading Lawyer Network and was named an Illinois Super Lawyer in 2005.

About Southland College Prep Charter High School

Southland College Prep opened in August, 2010. It is the only public charter high school in Chicago’s suburbs.

Admission to Southland is on a non-discriminatory basis with respect to race, ethnicity, disability and religious preference. Admission to the school is based on successful completion of elementary school and residence in District 227’s four elementary school districts which include: Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park and Tinley Park.

The first three year classes at Southland College Prep were selected by public lottery because applicants far exceeded available places. 

According to Dr. Davis, “Southland College Prep Charter High School offers a choice for students and a hope for the future.  Every child has a right to learn and can achieve the 21st century skills needed for success—to think critically and to problem solve,” she says.

For the current academic year, 350 students are enrolled in Southland’s first three academic years. By August, 2013, enrollment is scheduled to increase to approximately 500 students as set by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Dr. Davis’ conviction that “children can achieve their highest learning potential when given the opportunity in an encouraging, student-centered, academically challenging environment,” was a major factor in creating the new charter public high school for students in nine south suburbs. 

“Southland College Prep Charter High School is designed to prepare all of its graduates for academic success in college. They will graduate from a college of their choice,” Dr. Davis predicts.

The new school incorporates several intervention strategies to insure student success and has a team in place to provide all eligible students special education and related services, she added, 

Southland is located at 4601 West Sauk Trail Road, Richton Park, on eight acres in a three-story, 85,000 square foot, state-of-the art learning center with small class sizes, an extended nine- hour school day and a college prep curriculum which emphasizes foreign languages and the arts.

Southland’s students use 21st century classroom tools including an electronic portfolio of work and a blog for each subject area. Students engage in technology-based collaborative learning with other students, have access to video conferencing and technology assisted home-school communication to keep parents informed of progress.

Lifelong sports are offered at Southland. Students choose among cross country, track, volleyball, golf, tennis, swimming or bowling at nearby facilities. A basketball team is in formation.

Southland has a rigorous theatre arts program and its members compete in numerous regional, sectional and state speech tournaments.