LAKEVIEW – Step aside, Lane Tech.
As Lake View High School finishes its first class to pursue four years of STEM education, the neighborhood school is losing its reputation as a substitute and is bursting into the limelight.
Of 285 senior graduates, 86 percent are heading to college – a 20 percent increase from 2013 and 2014 and above state and CPS averages, according to CPS data. Another 5% join the military, the school said.
As one of the five STEM Initiative Schools At CPS, Lake View students learn computer coding and build robots before they can even drive a car.
“We’ve tried to build that culture here to show them that we expect you to go to college if you come to Lake View,” Principal Scott Grens said. “And if that’s not for you, we’ll find a career that’s right for you.”
Seniors celebrated their successes and college plans at a decision day assembly last week. They also shared their hard-earned wisdom with Lake View’s new freshmen at a prep night a few days earlier called “Oh the Places You’ll Go.”
The sentiment rings true for the high school as well as its students. In November, the Lake View school quality score fell from the third highest of five marks to the second, as did Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has announced a multi-million dollar investment for the school.
Graduation rates have fallen from 82% to 89% in the past five years. Recent Lake View graduates have been accepted to Cornell, Purdue, and the University of Illinois. They have received a total of $ 12 million in scholarships so far this year – the highest total since the launch of the STEM program.
Seniors are ready to recognize their accomplishments before they graduate from Lake View High School. Owen Leon (second from left) received $ 617,000 in scholarship to attend the University of Illinois. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Corporate partnerships help students like Damian Medina land technology internships, gaining paid experience while testing potential careers.
The impact, said Grens, is enormous.
“They seem to have almost different beliefs about what they’re going to study and why, because they already did in high school,” he said. “They did it in a real job market, and it pays off in terms of exposure.”
It was Lake View’s STEM program that prompted Jack Luzadder to study biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin this fall.
Jack Luzadder (left) will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall. Seniors at Lake View High School donned their varsity attire for their Decision Day assembly on May 20. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Luzadder, 18, has built websites from scratch. During a robotics class, he helped program a robot to participate in a dance competition.
“I fell in love with the teachers,” Luzadder said. “The teachers have been great for the past four years.”
Like Luzadder, his senior colleague Owen Leon was not sold to Lake View in eighth grade. From Bell Elementary School, Leon applied to selectively enrolled schools like Lane Tech, leaving Lake View on the back burner “as a last resort.”
“I was a little pessimistic,” admitted Leon, 18, who will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall.
But between the racetrack and history lessons, Leon found Lake View to be a much better fit than he thought.
On decision day, Leon showed up in front of his classmates as a graduate to receive the most college scholarships – a whopping $ 617,000 coming largely from being awarded a scholarship. Evans for golf caddies.
Despite the specter of massive budget cuts next year, Grens said he believes Lake View will continue on the path to even greater success.
“We have discussed this scenario with all of our partners – we need more help than ever,” he said. “We welcome them more into the building, and it pays off. “
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