Proviso High School District 209 candidates McDermott and Arbdella join forces

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By Elections Event Editor

Courtesy Donna S. Bast

Proviso High School District 209 Board of Education candidates Kevin R. McDermott and Arbdella "Della" Patterson are joining forces to reform Proviso High Schools.

Proviso's high schools were once among the State's top schools. Today, only the Proviso Math & Science Academy (PMSA) ranks among the top 50 public schools statewide while Proviso East and Proviso West languish with some of the worst test scores in the state. The current administration has had five years to correct this situation, but we are now almost exactly where we were five years ago.

To correct this situation, candidates McDermott and Patterson propose:

  • A new focus on curriculum, with special emphasis on bringing low performing students up to grade level
  • A new relationship with the Teachers' Union to help create a different culture of learning
  • New ways of measuring teacher effectiveness
  • Early intervention with troubled students
  • A reintroduction of vocational training, with emphasis on cooperative programs with Community Colleges
  • Greatly improved coordination with the elementary schools that send their graduates to Proviso to improve capability levels of entering students
  • Greater focus on the arts, which are necessary for opening up the creative energies of students
  • Full spectrum education that prepares students for standardized tests without sacrificing fundamental general education

Mr. McDermott is a current member of the Proviso District 209 Board of Education. First elected in 2009, Mr. McDermott has served as Finance Committee chair and has overseen two consecutive years of budget surpluses. Mr. McDermott has a Masters degree in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. He is an independent management consultant working with government, academic, and private sector organizations.

Ms. Patterson is also uniquely qualified to serve on the Proviso High School Board of Education. She has served the community in a variety of ways and understands the issues that are important to the teens and young adults of Proviso Township. She has a long history of civic and community service in Proviso District 209, Chicago, and Suburban Cook County. Ms. Patterson has worked in a number of capacities in the local educational system and is currently a self-employed Educational School Compliance Consultant.

"We are looking forward to the campaign and hearing from constituents about the issues that matter most to them regarding Proviso High Schools. If we work together, I am certain we can attain a bright future." said McDermott.

Ms. Patterson added, "There is so much unrealized potential in the Proviso High Schools. I am committed to making the necessary changes in policy and curriculum to unleash the talent and promise in our young people."

Mr. McDermott and Ms. Patterson have received individual endorsements from:

  • Rep. Danny K. Davis, U.S. Congress, 7th Dist
  • David Orr, Cook County Clerk
  • Karen Yarbrough, Cook County Recorder of Deeds
  • Henderson Yarbrough, Village President, Maywood
  • Sam Pulia, Village President, Westchester

Further information on the McDermott/Patterson campaign can be found at

Reader Comments

4 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Forest Parker  

Posted: March 15th, 2013 9:31 AM

Thank you for the link tot he video. I'm sure there are many others who couldn't or didn't make it to the forum but can now hear the candidates speak for themselves.

Citzens United in Forest Park  

Posted: March 14th, 2013 8:19 PM

The YouTube video of the March 13, 2013 Proviso HS district # 209 candidates forum is located at:

jerry from forest park  

Posted: March 14th, 2013 6:35 PM

Bob, I find your comment interesting, when I attended the forum held for the candidates on March 13 of this year, All of the candidates stated thier main goal was to inprove education at our 3 high schools. While I found that all of them spoke well I find that four of them are supported by Welsh turned me off. If they are elected it will be more of the same and people should think about that..

Bob Cox from Forest Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2013 6:45 PM

Ms Bast ,Your opening statements sounds biased towards the candidates represented. Both candidates are running to be elected to serve on the Board of Education and not really running to reform public education. It's a sublte difference but important. I served with Mr. McDermott on the teacher's contract negociations committee in 2010.Issues are more important than campaign rhetoric and general cause and effect assumptions that you mentioned are not necessaily valid.

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