This Blog debuted on June 14, 2004 with its first entries being about education; the speech by Catherine Bertini, the Under Secretary of the United Nations and Winner of the World Food Prize for graduation at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and my speech to the graduates of Kendall College, its last Spring commencement in Evanston.

Well it is three years later and we are still celebrating the achievement of the graduates at CHSAS. On Friday, June 8th, I was very fortunate to participate in the Commencement Exercises and the visit to the school by our commencement speaker, Troy R. Justesen, the Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education in the U.S. Department of Education. This was a great honor for CHSAS as Troy is the senior official for the National FFA and is responsible for career academies and community colleges providing counsel to the Secretary of Education.



Troy Justesen provided the graduates with an inspirational message of what is possible in your career. Troy is joined in the picture on the left by Advisory Board Co-Chair and Chicago Park District Commissioner Rouhy Shalabi, OVAE Chief of Staff William Knudsen, State Representative Mary Flowers, Principal David Gilligan and Eli’s Marc Schulman. In the picture on the right, Troy is joined by Shalabi, Knudsen, Schulman and CHSAS Master Ag Teacher Lucille Shaw.



The 114 graduates of the Class of 2007 celebrate the award of their diplomas.

State Representative Mary Flowers congratulates Shashona Brown on her graduation as one of the “Top Ten Scholars” in the Class of 2007 and being named by Mary to receive a General Assembly Award to attend the University of Illinois Chicago.


Marc Schulman congratulates Valedictorian Ryan Jameson for his achievements in school and as FFA Chapter President. Ryan will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the Fall and has received many scholarships including the prestigious Posse Leadership Scholarship and a National FFA Scholarship.


It was very important for Troy Justesen that he tour CHSAS and meet students and teachers in each of the five career paths. Troy was a member of the FFA in Utah and takes great pleasure in learning from students about their future career plans and how their experience at CHSAS helped shape those decisions. In the photos above, Troy takes a tour of the greenhouse with Principal David Gilligan to learn about the horticulture program; visits the CHSAS Farm with Dr. Joan White, veterinarian and head of the Animal Science curriculum; and learns about the Ag-Tech program from Dr. Robert Bush and Max Williquette, a senior in the Fall.

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