RICHTON PARK, IL.—(ENEWSPF)–September 29, 2012– Judge Linzey D. Jones of the Circuit Court of Cook County was proclaimed tonight as “truly one of Southland College Prep’s founders,” by Dr. Blondean Davis, CEO of the only public charter high school in Chicago suburbs.
Judge Jones received the public charter high school’s inaugural “Award of Excellence” tonight at a Gala benefit at Southland College Prep Charter High School, 4601 Sauk Trail Road, Richton Park.
The benefit, attended by some 200 business, civic and elected officials, Illinois State Board of Education and local school board members, faculty, staff and friends, raised more than $35,000 that will fund Advance Placement classes in U.S. and World History, Human Geography Psychology, Biology and Spanish and other enrichment projects and programs.
A long-time advocate of public education, first as a member of the Park Forest-Chicago Heights school board and later as president of Olympia Field’s Village board from 1997 to 2010 when he organized the first ever municipally funded Education Commission, Judge Jones was honored for being a champion of quality education for all students and a friend of Southland college Prep.
The Commission brought residents, parents, students, educators and administrators to work collaboratively to improve student outcomes, Dr. Davis explained.
According to Dr. Davis, “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.
“He was a vigorous advocate with the Illinois State Board of Education for the establishment of a new first-rate public charter high school to serve students in the southwest suburbs of Chicago,” she said.
Now in its third year of operation, Southland College Prep has an enrollment of 374 students in its first three class years who were drawn by public lottery from Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Matteson, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, Richton Park and Tinley Park. By August, 2013 Southland is scheduled to reach its maximum enrollment of 500 students set by the Illinois State Board of Education.
The goal of the school, situated in a state-of-the-art technology-based learning center with small classes, an extended nine-hour school day and a college prep curriculum focused on foreign languages and the arts, is designed to prepare all of its graduates for academic success in college.
“Southland College Prep 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. They will graduate from a college of their choice,” Dr. Davis predicted.