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Neighbors of DuPage

Westmont High School continues to thrive

In 2013, Lisa Hootman, Westmont High School science teacher, facilitated a garden project. Over the years it has been a popular activity for the high school students and an outdoor learning lab.

This year, the students have harvested about 500 pounds of produce from the garden and are hoping to reach 900 pounds by the end of the fall. They have donated 350 pounds of produce to the Peoples Resource Center to date.

In addition, Nate Chamberlain, Westmont High school science teacher, added a bee hive and formed a Bee Club. The students harvested 30 pounds of honey a few weeks ago which is an exceptional amount for a first year hive. They are planning to add two more hives in the spring. The local pollen and nectar sources appear to be plentiful, keeping our WHS bees happy.

Jack Baldermann named one of three finalistfor National Principal of the Year

Jack Baldermann, Westmont High School Principal, has been named one of three finalists for the 2018 National Association of Secondary School Principal Award. Jack has cultivated a culture of safety and compassion that has led to skyrocketing student achievement. His school was one of 500 nationwide that were chosen in 2015 by Newsweek for “Beating the Odds.” All African American and Latino students have graduated on time, four years in a row, and the number of under-represented AP scholars has increased by over 700%. Since 2015, the school has been the most improved regular high school in the nation on the Washington Post Challenge Index (and ranked top 1% in the state). The staff describe feeling supported by Baldermann, who has led them collaboratively in building ambitious, student-centered programs based on the school’s vision and S.M.A.R.T. goals. On top of faculty support and student success, Baldermann also believes in mentorship, having served as lead mentor to over 40 principals in 14 states. Additionally, in his 25 years as an administrator, 21 of the educators he hired and mentored for their first administrative position have gone on to become successful principals and superintendents. The winner will be named sometime in the fall.

Westmont High continues to achieve unprecedented success

Each year the Washington Post publishes the Challenge Index which ranks the most challenging high school in Illinois and nationally. This year the Washington Post ranked Westmont High School as the fourth most challenging high school in the State of Illinois, the highest ranking the high school has ever received. Nationally the high school ranks 191 out of 28,000 high schools, which puts Westmont in the top 1% of high schools in the country.

Westmont High School also boasts a 99% graduation rate. In the last four years, the graduation rate for African American students and Latino students has been 100%.