The commitment of the Thornton administration and staff is reflected in the fact that in 2004 Thornton received the Silver Award for the Most Improved School in Illinois. Thornton’s 97.2 % rate for parental contact is higher than the state average of 96.1%. Napoleon Harris, Antwaan Randle El, Melvin Ely, and Rod Higgins are just a few of the Thornton graduates currently participating in professional sports. In 2008 four Thornton students were awarded Bill Gates Millennium scholarships, more than any other high school in Illinois. In business, science, entertainment, medicine, the arts and a host of other fields Thornton alumni throughout the nation are excelling in their chosen professions.
With the goal of increasing such notable accomplishments the Distinguished Speaker Series seeks to provide current students with the positive models of Thornton graduates who have achieved success in their careers. Alumni who are well established in their professions are invited to come back to speak with the students about their years at Thornton and about the choices and decisions they made that lead to their varied career successes. TALF believes that in hearing these distinguished alumni (and occasional non-Thornton special guests) talk about their paths to accomplishment the students will be encouraged to expand both their career and their life expectations.
Tom Dreesen ’57, Dan Ustian ’68, Morris “Butch” Stewart ’71, Lorna Propes ’62, William Brazley ’61, Victor Jackson ’65, Kamala Buckner ’68 Bob Perkins ’58, Greg Fletcher ’66 are some of our accomplished alumni who have been so generous of their time and their talent to come back to advise and inspire today’s Thornton students with their stories about their different paths to achievement. During the 2008-09 year we were fortunate to have Dr. Quincy Moore ’68, and Fred Bartlit ’50, speak with the students.
During the 2010-11 school year, the students have had the good fortune to hear from the following:
David Johnson, former Mayor of Harvey, class of 66
Bill Bielby, Professor at UIC, Sociology, class of 65
Jim Bush, Business owner, class of 62
John Rogers, CEO/Chairman of Board, Ariel Investments
Dr. Adam Murphy, Urologist, class of 1995
We invite our many other accomplished alumni to consider participating in our Distinguished Speaker Series, which is co0rdinated by LaMarr Thomas.