Providence St. Mel

PARENT NEWSLETTER

Scroll down to read all of the PSM announcements and accomplishments, and then click on the links above (Important Dates and Reminders, Lower School News, etc.) for more information.

Parent-Teacher Conferences (3:30 - 7:00 on Friday, 9/21)

Welcome to our first Parent-Teacher conferences of the school year. Together with your help, we can provide the ideal learning environment for your child. We hope that our positive outlook is reflected in your son/daughter’s progress report. If not, this is the time to find out the reason and correct the situation. We have a fine faculty who are eager to help guide your child to a very successful school experience.

After picking up your son/daughter’s progress report at the front table, examine the grades. Pay special attention to teachers, counselors or administrators who have requested a conference. Locate those teachers in the appropriate rooms, and make sure you meet with each teacher before you leave for the day. Room locations are printed at the bottom of the report by department. Of course, feel free to meet with any of your son/daughter’s teachers or counselors.

Good Grades

At our first Honors Assembly, we celebrated the academic accomplishments of our students. At Providence St. Mel, we get excited about good grades! Encourage your child to keep his or her Grade Point Average (GPA) at or above 3.0. Please know that all parents are invited to attend our Honors Assemblies. We will celebrate student accomplishments during this quarter at our next assembly, on Tuesday, November 13 at 8 AM.

Photo by Melissa Famularo

Class of 2018 Scholarships and School Acceptance

Last year the Class of 2018 included 39 graduates and over 5.5 million dollars in college scholarship. Not surprising that the class average was a 25!

Students went to impressive schools like Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, University of Indiana, Kelly School of Business, Howard University, University of Illinois Urbana, and Lawrence University. See the image below for a complete list. If you came to the high school graduation last year, you heard us celebrate and congratulate Ms. Renee Kallok for working at PSM for 50 years. She will also be honored with the Ora Higgins Leadership Award on October 20 at the annual banquet.

Summer Opportunity of a Lifetime (SOAL)

Elementary students went to camps in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan, Minnesota. Middle School students went UCLA ( university of California Los Angeles, camps and Purdue University in Indiana. High School were at local hospitals Rush for the Medical Program, Oxbridge Program in Oxford, Barcelona, Cambridge and Lutheran Music Camps, San Antonio, Universities such as Purdue, Brown, UIC, University of Illinois Urbana, and Princeton University. For information on SOAL for the summer of 2019, see Ms. Christel Ward.

National Merit Scholar

Finally, about 1.6 million juniors from more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. Less than 1% are named as a National Merit Scholar.

Congratulations to Eric Imathui Jones for being a 2019 National Merit Semi-Finalist. Congratulations to his parents and the teachers who assisted in this tremendous honor.


ACT-SO Competition

Last spring, then PSM senior Justin Austin, and juniors LaNiece Dennis and Erik Imathiu-Jones won Gold medals in the regional NAACP ACT-SO competitions and advanced to the National Finals in San Antonio, Texas in July. At the National Competition, Erik won the Gold medal in Mathematics for his project on Mathematical foundations for Modelling the Controlled Fission of Ferrofluid Droplets and received an iPad 6 and a $2,000 cash prize. His advisor was our very own Dr. Carl Spight. Erik ALSO won the Gold medal in Physics for his Investigation of Magnetic Control of Ferrofluid Droplets in Applied Magnetic Fields and received an additional $2,000 cash prize. Erik was advised by Dr. Carl Spight and Dr. Joe Grange of Argonne National Laboratories. If students wish to participate in the Chicago Chapter of NAACP ACT-SO, see Mr. Ervin. ACT-SO has competitions in the areas of music, dance, art, humanities, mathematics, science, and culinary arts.

Faculty Honors

This past June, faculty member Adrienne Hawkins-Turner and her church where honored by the Cook County Board for their African American Awareness and Appreciation Juneteenth Parade. This proclamation was sponsored by Cook County board chair Ms. Toni Preckwinkle and also recognized Providence St. Mel school for its participation which included several PSM students and Mr. Adams. Mr. Adams was also honored and recognized for all he has done in this community. The parade was also recognized by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Students that wish to participate in the 2019 Juneteenth Parade, and earn community service hours, see Mrs. Turner.

All-State Theater

This past May and June there were auditions and call backs for the All-State theatre production of “In the Heights” which started rehearsals this summer, and will be performed at Illinois High School Theatre Fest this coming January. Richard Harrison auditioned and was selected for the cast. Congratulations!

National Spanish Exam

Aaliyah Bynum scored in the 95th percentile or higher on the National Spanish Exam which earned her a gold medal placement. Desmond Brown scored in the 85th percentile or higher on the National Spanish Exam, which earned him a silver medal placement. Good work!

Letters About Literature Contest

The following 8th graders participated in the national "Letters About Literature" contest sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress earlier this year. They placed and received recognition from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The following 8th graders won a certificate for their writing:

Honorable Mention Level: Madison Black, Ajene Cooks, Laila Givens, Mario Hoover, Jaden Mobley, Aiden Smith, Rachel Summers, and Caleb Wade

Semi-Finalist: Zyon Ewing-Hooks


ABC7 Weather Sketchers

Congratulations to the following students for having their artwork showcased on the Tracy Butler’s ABC7 Eyewitness News Weather Sketcher segment: Maya Johnson, Lauren Barnett, Myles Harrington, and Zoey Starr

Illinois History Fair

Last spring, Taylor Donald advanced her history website to the state finals of the Illinois History Fair.

IHSA State Track

Congratulations to senior, Sam Herenton, for finishing 7th in the state in the 400 Meter Dash at the IHSA State Track Meet at Eastern Illinois University last May. Congratulations also to Coach Brogan and Coach Pelzer. Sam made it a great day to be a Knight!


National Voter Registration Day

Wednesday, September 25th is National Voter Registration Day. Mrs. Turner is a Deputy Registrar and will register any students that will be 18 by the November 6th election date. This will be during 6th period advisory and after school between 3 and 4pm. This is also open to faculty and parents. Two forms of Identification, one with a photo, and proof of address are required to register.

Quarter 4 Announcements are below (from Friday, April 13, 2018)

College Acceptance

For the 40th year in a row, 100% of our senior class, the class of 2018, are accepted to four year colleges and universities. Congratulations senior class, Ms. Renee Kallok, and the entire faculty for this impressive accomplishment.

WTTW Documentary

Mike Leonard and his team have been taping students, teachers, classrooms, and activities since last years' graduation exercises in order to create a 60 minute documentary on Providence St. Mel to be shown on May 10 at 9 PM on WTTW. Plan to watch it so see the amazing accomplishments of PSM.

Poster Contest

Jada Andrews won first place in her grade level and overall for 2018 Organ/Tissue Donor Awareness Student Poster Contest for the state of Illinois.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and 3rd grader Jada Andrews pose with her winning poster.

Student Artists

The following students weather sketches were chosen and appeared on Tracy Butler ABC 7 Chicago Weather ABC7: Charles Starks, Erica Pope, Dion Nicosia-Stone, Myles Harrington, Paulie Cortez, Jordan Williams, and Kennedy Bosley.

A Talented Young Orator

On February 27th, 2nd grader Madison Kelly had the honor of participating in the 1st District Appellate Court of African American Justices Celebration of Black History as one the featured Talented Young Orators.

WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering)

Our students took place in the WYSE competition this spring. Erik Imathiu Jones and Justin Austin both received gold medals, and were then selected to attend the state competition on Thursday, April 19th.

At the regional competition, Bronze medals were granted to LaTreil Allen in Chemistry; Ty Townsend-Ford in English; Louis Hayag in English. Justin Austin received a Gold medal in Computer Science and a Bronze in Chemistry; John Bonds, III, received a Bronze medal in Computer Science; Ben Dobbins received a Bronze in Chemistry and Erik Imathiu-Jones, received a Gold medal in Math. Thank you to all the coaches who worked with our students! Thank you Dr. Spight, Dr. Van Beek, Mr. English and Ms. Stopka.

Science Awards

The following 7th graders received awards at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional competition at the Museum of Science and Industry. Robert Morgan III received the Gold Award, Laila Givens received the Silver Award, and Alika Nicosia-Stone received the Chicago Department of Water Reclamation Special Award.

Math Awards

On February 7th, several of our top 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students participated in the American Mathematics Competition. Our builder winners were: Third Place Nazeerah Muhammad, Second Place John Bonds, and First Place Eric Imathi-Jones.

ACT-SO National Competition

This past March, three of our students competed in the Regional competition of ACT-SO, for the DuPage County Chapter. John Bonds received an Honorable Mention in Chemistry, Justin Austin received a Silver medal in Computer Science and a Gold medal in Engineering. Erik Imathia-Jones received Gold medals in both Mathematics and Physics. Justin and Erik have advanced to the National Competition to be held in St Antonio, Texas in July. ACT-SO stands for Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics and is sponsored by the NAACP which stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The competitions holds contests in Mathematics, Science, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Entrepreneurship, Culinary Arts, and the Humanities. High School students that wish to compete in the Chicago ACT-SO competitions should see Mrs. Turner.

Music Accomplishments

On February 16th the following singers were chosen to perform the world premiere of a new choral piece as part of the American Choral Directors Association Chicago High School Honors Choir at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park: LaNiece Dennis, Malik Epps, Tai Epps, Jalen Fox, Kaitlyn Mathis, Richard Harrison, and Aiyannah Tasker-Lewis.

Our high school music students competed in the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest held on March 3 at Reavis High School. Providence-St. Mel received 12 Division I (Superior) ratings and 6 Division II (Excellent) ratings. Sophomore Richard Harrison earned a perfect score of 40 points for his vocal solo. Each judging room also awards a Best-of-the-day Award to the best performance they heard the whole day. Junior LaNiece Dennis won that award for her vocal room. Congratulations!!!

Our middle School music students competed in the IESA Solo and Ensemble Contest held on March 17 at Bradley Middle School. Providence St Mel MS musicians earned 12 Division I ratings and 4 Division II ratings. Several of the students received perfect scores from the judges. We also had two "Best-of-the-day" Awards, one for Jaiden Cox's vocal solo and for the 15 singers in the "Travelin Train" ensemble. That was two out of the three vocal rooms at the contest. Congratulations!!!

Basketball Success

Congratulations to our Lady Knights basketball team on an outstanding 20-4 season. Special recognition to Taqueia Brown and Taylor Donald for being named 1st Team All Conference in the Chicago Prep Conference.

Congratulations to our Knights basketball team on an outstanding season. The Knights won the Regional and Sectional Championships and reached the Elite 8 (State Quarterfinals). This was the first Sectional Championship in 4 years. We would like to acknowledge TJ Ervin, Deion Jackson, and Taeyon Neal for being named to the All Conference Team of the Chicago Catholic League. Deion Jackson was also named 2nd Team All State in Class 1A by the Associated Press.

Junior T J Ervin runs the ball up the court for the Knights.

Quarter 3 Announcements are below (from Friday, February 9, 2018)

Celebrating Our Teachers

Thank you to and congratulations to the faculty and staff, Jazz Band, Chamber Choir, Sister Act performers, Alexander Hamilton, Maya Danzy, and Robert Morgan for a wonderful job at the Providence St. Mel School Celebration Dinner at the Four Seasons on November 30. This year's Celebration program focused on our amazing faculty, who work hard to bring all of our students to the next level every day.

The Sister Act performers sang and danced a medley of songs from the musical. From left to right: Aiyannah Tasker-Lewis, Taylor Donald, Ar-Raheem Payne, Makayla Watts, Brianna McDonald, and Richard Harrison.

Superbowl Shoutout

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, you probably noticed our very own Eric Hendricks and three former students were featured on a CALL TO EXCELLENCE by serving others commercial for Dodge Ram Trucks. Great job Mr. Hendricks! Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlbY1tGARUA

Hamilton Performance

John Bonds III and Erik Imathiu-Jones were chosen to perform their piece on Benjamin Banneker before the matinee showing of Hamilton the Musical on Wednesday, February 7th.

All-Conference Athletes

Our Lady Knights Varsity Basketball team finished 2nd in the Chicago Prep Conference this season. We want to recognize Taylor Donald & Taquiea Brown for being selected to the All-Conference team as voted by the coaches.

Science Fair Winners

Our Science Fair was the best ever ,and the following winners will represent Providence St. Mel at the Chicago Regionals at the Museum of Science and Industry.

1st Place: Aiden Smith, 7th Grade

2nd Place: Robert Morgan, 7th Grade

3rd Place: Alika Nicosia-Stone, 7th Grade


The Science Fair Winners pose with their medals after the winners are announced. Aiden, Robert, and Alika hold their prizes in hand. Photo by Jim Rojahn.

Stock Market Game Results

Yet again Providence-St. Mel Middle School won first place at the Stock Market Game, Chicago Area Regionals. We finished first out of 65 other teams. We gave a presentation at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. The team consisted of seventh graders Laila Givens, Joesaya Henderson, and Niaja Williams.

LEGO Robotics

The Uptime Knights won the prestigious ‘Values Award’ at the all-day LEGO Robotics Regional in Zion, Illinois. Congratulations to Tony Brown, Quin’ Niah Chambers, Laila Givens, Lauren Givens, Joesaya Henderson, Niaja Williams, Gerald Davis, Akira Igess, Nevaeh Johnson-Scott, and Hannah Washington.

Lower School Artists

Congratulations to our Lower School Artists: Paulie Cortez and Jordan Williams! Paulie’s sketch appeared on Tracy Butler’s Weather report on ABC7 Eyewitness on Thursday, January 11 and Jordan’s sketch appeared on Friday, January 12.

ACT-SO Competition

Please note the correction from the Q1 Newsletter. We are pleased to announce that junior Erik Imathiu-Jones won a Silver medal at the NAACP National ACT-SO Competition, not Bronze.

Up and Coming for the STEM Department

Engineer’s week will run the entire week of February 19-24. All grade levels will participate in activities to make connections to Technology. Students in Grades 4-8 will receive STEM booklets in their science class.

During Quarter 4, students in grades Kindergarten-8th will participate in the ST Jude Math-A-Thon. This is an optional fundraising activity. Proceeds are designated for the children that depend on the life-saving healthcare provided by the hospital. The Math-A-Thon activities are based on Common Core Mathematics Standards and are great skills practice for the students. All students will receive packets. Participating students will following the guidelines for submission. There are also prizes!

Quarter 2 Announcements are below (from Friday, November 17, 2017)

Advanced Placement Accolades

Congratulations to our AP teachers and students - 85% of our students passed their AP exams, compared to 60% in the state of Illinois and 66% globally. If we keep working hard, we can achieve great things! Our average score was a 3.467 on our AP exams. All students who received a 3, 4, or 5 will receive college credit for their coursework.

Karinton Triplett, La'Treil Allen, and Maisa Muhammad got a 5 on their US History AP Exams.

Justin Austin, Jza Phri Jackson, and Ayimoni Muhammad received a 4 on their US History AP exams.

Kendall Allen, Crystal Lilly, Ben Dobbin, Jalen Fox, Jarvis Garrison, Louis Hayag, and Jade Miller each received a 3 on their US History AP exams.


Celebration Dinner

Our annual Celebration Dinner is at Four Seasons on November 30. We are doing a tribute to our tremendous teachers.


LOWER SCHOOL ARTISTS ON THE NEWS

We are excited to announce the names of the ABC7 News Weather Sketch Winners for the Fall. The artwork is shown during specific times during the weekday morning weather segments. Congratulations to the following young artists: Kennedy Bosley and Da’Miah Carter.


Writing Recognition

The following 8th graders participated in the national "Letters About Literature" contest sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress earlier this year. They placed and received recognition from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.The following 8th graders won a certificate for their writing:

Honorable Mention

Desean Brown

Titus Ervin

Jordan Green

Reece Johnson

Zaria Primer

Khristian Richmond

Semi-Finalists

Dakota Huff-Brand

Ogechi Onyewuchi


National Honors Society REQUIREMENTS

High School Students can be considered for admission to the National Honor Society in both the spring of their sophomore or junior year. To be considered as a candidate for NHS, a student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and achieve a composite ACT score of 23. In addition, candidates must display an ethic of service in their community, strong leadership qualities, and an exemplary character. All candidates meeting these requirements will receive an application in January of the sophomore year, complete an interview process, and undergo faculty and administrative review. Students who are not inducted as sophomores can reapply during their junior year if all requirements are met.

For a lower or middle school student to be considered as a candidate for the National Junior Honor Society, her or she must have a minimum GPA of at least 3.75. In addition, candidates must display an ethic of service in their community, strong leadership qualities, and an exemplary character. All candidates meeting these requirements will receive an application in January, complete an interview process, and undergo faculty and administrative review.

After being unducted into the NHS in April of 2017, sophomore Malissa Lindsey, seventh grader Tituse Ervin, and eighth graders Zaria Primer and Akhirah Muhammad recite the National Honors Society pledge. Photo by Nakeya Harris-Rosenthall.

Chicago Prep All Conference

After playing volleyball this season, Kadeja Love was selected as one of the best players in the conference. She will receive a medal for this achievement. Congratulations, Kadeja!


Music Achievements

Music Competitions

Each fall we send students to the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Music Competitions. Students who earn the highest scores are featured in a festival concert.

The Junior Music Festival, for grades 6-9, was held Saturday, November 4 and included the following PSM students:

In band – Dakota Huff-Brand

In choir – Ajene Cooks, Mario Hoover, Daniel Lee, Ogechi Onyewuchi, Aiden Smith, and Aiyanna Tasker-Lewis

The Senior Music Festival will be held on November 18 and includes the following PSM students:

In the senior choir – La Niece Dennis, Malik Epps, Tia Epps, Jalen Fox, and Kaitlyn Mathis. In the 9th and 10th grade honors choir – Jada Cooper, Richard Harrison, Ezekielus Starr III, and Aiyanna Tasker-Lewis.


Sister Act

Congratulations to the faculty, cast, stage crew, makeup artists, lighting crew, and others who participated in Sister Act. It was a great success!

Photo by James Martin

Science Fair

Attention students in grades 6-9. It’s Science Fair Time at PSM. All students in grades 6-8 will participate. Also, those current 9th graders that placed in their 8th Grade Science Fair will also compete. More information will be coming soon from your child’s science Teacher. Go KNIGHTS!

Aiden Smith explains his project, titled "Spotting a Stroke" during the 2017 PSM Science Fair. Photo by Brian Ward.

Quarter 1 Announcements are below (from Friday, September 22, 2017)

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES

Welcome to our first Parent-Teacher conferences of the school year. Together with your help, we can provide the ideal learning environment for your child. We hope that our positive outlook is reflected in your son/daughter’s progress report. If not, this is the time to find out the reason and correct the situation. We have a fine faculty who are eager to help guide your child to a very successful school experience.

After picking up your son/daughter’s progress report at the front table, examine the grades. Pay special attention to teachers, counselors or administrators who have requested a conference. Locate those teachers in the appropriate rooms, and make sure you meet with each teacher before you leave for the day. Room locations are printed at the bottom of the report by department. Of course, feel free to meet with any of your son/daughter’s teachers or counselors.

Students in grades 2 through 12 stand with their awards during our Honors Assembly on Tuesday morning.

GOOD GRADES

At our first Honors Assembly, we celebrated the academic accomplishments of our students. At Providence St. Mel, we get excited about good grades! Encourage your child to keep his or her Grade Point Average (GPA) at or above 3.0. Please know that all parents are invited to attend our Honors Assemblies. We will celebrate student accomplishments during this quarter at our next assembly, on Tuesday, November 14 at 8 AM.


SENIOR CHALLENGE

Graduates of last year’s senior class were accepted into impressive colleges with a amazing scholarship amounts. New York University, Macalister, Lawrence, Washington University, Grinnell, Dennison and University of Illinois at Urbana to name a few. There were 27 graduates, and we had almost 5 million dollars in scholarship money.

Class of 2018—we challenge you to reach to the highest goals and we expect greatness from you!


Oxbridge Academic Summer

Three PSM students studied in England this summer as a part of our SOAL (Summer Opportunity of A Lifetime) program. All three of them received A's in all of their courses. Great work!

John Bonds - Harvard Law Program

Malissa Lindsey - Cambridge

Tau Kennebrew - Cambridge


MUSIC EXCELLENCE

The music department of Providence St. Mel competed in the Illinois Elementary School Association’s State Music Solo and Ensemble Contest held on April 8 at Bradley Central Middle School. Providence St. Mel received 12 Division I (superior) ratings, including 6 perfect scores, and 2 Division II (excellent) ratings.

Senior Kai Bosley was part of the group of PSM students chosen to be a part of the Gilder Lehrman Hamilton Education Program last February, where her original vocal composition was selected to be performed on the Hamilton stage. From there she was the only performance asked to participate in the Gilder Lehrman Foundation Dinner. Then last May she was flown out to New York City to perform on Broadway to honor of the producer of Hamilton.

WRITING TALENT

Erik Imathiu-Jones won Finalist designation for the Pegasus Theater Young Playwrights Festival. He received recognition for his writing talent with his play entitled “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” which he submitted as a sophomore contestant. His play was one of ten to be considered by the judges as worthy to produce on stage.

CHICAGO STOCK MARKET GAME

Providence St. Mel won the City of Chicago Stock Market Game once again. We finished 1st out of a total of 200 teams. The winning team was Lawrence Henderson and Nasira Curry-Muhammad. They gave a short presentation at the awards ceremony which was held at the CBOE downtown.

SPANISH EXCELLENCE

Erik Imathiu-Jones achieved "Silver Award" for level 2 Spanish in the National Spanish Exam taken in April 2017

ACT-SO COMPETITION

Sophomore Erik Imathiu-Jones, Dr. Carl Spight, and junior Justin Austin pose at the state level 2017 ACT-SO competition. Both of them won gold medals at the state competition and went on to compete at the National level in Baltimore, MD this past July. Erik also won a Silver at the NAACP National ACT-SO Competition.