Personal Reflections | Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Personal Reflections

May 11, 2015

Dear IMSA Community,

I’m looking forward to our commencement on May 30th. Members of the Class of 2015 are experiencing special moments they’ll remember for the rest of their lives: commencement rehearsal, the senior banquet and then the big day on Saturday: graduation breakfast, commencement ceremony and the celebratory reception.

Part of what will make our celebration so memorable is the campus itself. Thanks to our groundskeepers for planting 450 flowers and mowing 56 acres of lawns. They’ve created a beautiful campus that will be the perfect background for the hundreds of photos that’ll be taken here this weekend.

The Principal’s Office has been preparing for months—and what will make this commencement truly great are the people involved. At the center of attention: 195 seniors who will participate in the commencement ceremony. There were 1,469 tickets mailed to our seniors’ families and they’ll be cheered on by over 100 faculty and staff. We are also looking forward to our commencement speaker, Dr. Jamie Jones, a scientist and social entrepreneur who connects technology to commercial opportunities in developing markets and creating a just world for the greater good.

This fall 45% of our seniors will matriculate at an Illinois college or university, with the largest numbers of IMSA freshmen attending the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and University of Illinois at Chicago this fall. I have a feeling we’ll hear much more from the Class of 2015 in the future. We’ve prepared them well to go into the world—let’s celebrate their accomplishments and potentials!

As we honor the Class of 2015, we also are gearing up for the Class of 2018, who just completed their placement exams. But before we welcome our incoming sophomores this August, we’re anticipating an amazing summer.

IMSA Professional Field Services will serve over 2,000 students and educators during the summer months. These programs will be held on our main campus in Aurora and at satellite sites throughout Illinois communities, such as Chicago, Springfield and the Metro-East area (Belleville).  For students, Summer@IMSA is offering 30 sessions for its 12 unique STEM enrichment programs—residential and day programs, as well as blended online learning experiences. Statewide Educator Initiatives has 33 professional learning experiences scheduled for teachers from Illinois and beyond, including IMSA Fusion, Golden Apple Scholars Summer Institute and Problem-Based Learning.

Thus, we celebrate “commencement,” a recognition of what is to come for the Class of 2015, the Class of 2018 and the younger students in our summer programs. IMSA continues to “ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.”


José M. Torres