Graduation Day at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences is always a highlight of my year. It is a great pleasure to participate in the ceremonies honoring our graduating seniors. I have known many of these students since they were freshman and it tremendous to see their accomplishments at CHSAS and their opportunities for the future.
We were fortunate to have Philip Nelson, the President of the Illinois Farm Bureau as our commencement speaker. Mr. Nelson, a farmer from Seneca is the 14th President of the Illinois Farm Bureau and serves as its full-time executive officer. He is also president of the companies that make up Country Insurance & Financial Services, Illinois Agricultural Service Company, AgriVisor Services, Inc., and the IAA Foundation and is a member of the Coordinating Committee of GROWMARK, Inc. Mr. Nelson and his wife, Carmen, operate a fourth-generation grain and livestock farm near Seneca. The grain farm produces corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. The livestock operation includes hog operation and a cattle feedlot.
Greeting Mr. Nelson and thanking him for participating in the graduation ceremony are, (l-r) Rouhy Shalabi, Co-Chair of the CHSAS Advisory Board and Chicago Park District Commissioner; Marc Schulman, also a Co-Chair; Lucille Shaw, Master Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor; William Hook, CHSAS Principal; Mr. Nelson; David Gilligan, former CHSAS Principal and now Chief High
School Officer for the Chicago Public Schools; and Thomas McMahon, Local School Council Chair and parent of Michael McMahon, a graduating senior.
Welcoming Mr. Nelson to CHSAS are David Gilligan, former CHSAS Principal, who is now responsible for all Chicago Public High Schools as Chief High School Officer, Martha Hamilton, the long time Assistant Principal for CHSAS, who now serves as a Special Advisor to High School Programs for the Chicago Public Schools and Marc Schulman.
CHSAS is fortunate to have a strong partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau provides valuable resources and contacts for the school with the Illinois agriculture community, just donated a truck to the school for use on its farm and honored the school this year at its tribute
to former Speaker of the U.S. House, Dennis Hastert. Above, CHSAS Master Ag Teacher and FFA Advisor, Lucille Shaw, thanks Mr. Nelson for the strong support of the Illinois Farm Bureau.
CHSAS is unique in its organization because of the active Advisory Board that brings together representatives from industry, education, cultural and civic institutions and government; all interested in furthering education and career opportunities for CHSAS students. Above, CHSAS Advisory Board Co-Chairs, Marc Schulman and Rouhy Shalabi, thank Lucille Shaw, for her
commitment to the graduates and all the students at CHSAS.