Dayanara Macedo, left, and Emily Tweedy from the school band Seven Miles belt out a tune at the assembly on Tuesday, June 11. at Evergreen Academy Middle School.

Evergreen Academy Celebrates Upcoming STEAM Program, Schools To Watch Redesignation

Published June 13, 2019

Evergreen Academy Middle School's status as a 2019 Illinois Horizon School to Watch and its upcoming STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program expansion received cheers and plaudits at the school's recognition ceremony on Tuesday, June 11. Principal Marian Strok led the ceremonies, also jumping in as a special guest performer on tambourine.

"These kids sold us," Strok said of the students' high performance that led to both the School to Watch redesignation and the STEAM program pick by Chicago Public Schools (CPS). "Only four schools in CPS got STEAM," she said.

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The STEAM program will lead immediately to two new faculty positions and $45,000 in additional funding for the 2019-2020 school year, Strok said.

She noted the interrelationship between the two awards, crediting Evergreen's strong existing arts program as a component of their ongoing School to Watch qualification that led to the pick by CPS. "Part of the reason we have STEAM I credit to Schools to Watch," she said.

The arts at Evergreen were on full display at the school ceremony with performances by Seven Miles and The Wild Tigers, two of the student bands that are part of the school's programming.

Illinois Horizon Schools to Watch State Director John Viano detailed how this was the third consecutive redesignation for Evergreen, a significant achievement, he said. "It's one thing to be good. It's harder to stay good."

Both Illinois 2nd District State Representative Theresa Mah and 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas attended the rally and spoke. Evergreen is especially close to Cardenas' heart, he said, since his daughter attends school there.

"We expect a lot from you guys as you put your mark on the world," Cardenas said.

"It's great to be at a school that is doing so well," Mah said, looking out over the student body. "It is inspiring to see such a sea of promise."

Thank you for your recognition of our excellent neighborhood school!

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