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Ron Port

The people I work with, the community and supporters; their dedication and motivation is humbling

Once I finished school, I knew it would be hard to get a job and figured I would be a server and subbing for another year or so. I applied everywhere, and for any job I was remotely qualified for. I went on a few interviews, but nothing really fit.

Then I heard from North Chicago. On the day of my interview, my sitter canceled. So I brought my daughter to the interview. At this point, I was thinking this interview could only be chalked up to practice for me, because there was no way I was getting hired. Much to my surprise I got hired.  I was scared to death! People kept telling me “You don’t want to start off in North Chicago.” I heard “You must have drawn the short end of the stick,” or “Do only one year there then go to a “better” district.” None of these thoughts ever crossed my mind. I was just scared because I was a new teacher, leaving a job I had for 12 years, where I had co-workers who were family not because of where I was going!

Since that first year, there’s not been a time where I’ve felt unsupported or that I do not have a “family” here. The people I work with, the community and supporters; their dedication and motivation is humbling. Then there are the students. I have such a close connection with them, I feel as if they are my own. Daily I see their faces, I see their desire to learn, and mostly I see change in them.  Change in the right direction for themselves, their families, and their community. I know what we are doing, where I see my students going, keeps me coming back every day.  With my “short end of the stick” in hand… I’m showing the outside world what d187 is really about, family!

-Janelle Buttera

This environment has allowed me to continue developing a vision of #equityliteracy

I am currently a masters student in Diversity and Equity in Education through University of Illinois in Champaign and I am teaching in North Chicago, where the free and reduced lunch is at 91%. Since my first placement in college, I began to develop a passion for understanding education in poverty and joining the fight for equity. When I saw the current inequity in North Chicago at my new teacher orientation last school year, district 187’s motto “on the move towards excellence,” and the heartfelt sincerety in the superintendent’s voice as he pointed to a graph comparing % free and reduced lunch to performance and said “we are working to be the outlier,” I thought this could very easily be the right place for me. I had no idea how loving my #nmsafamily would be or how much love our leader, @vicking02 would bring to our school. I have met some of my favorite people, students and educators, throughout this incredible 2-year journey. This environment has allowed me to continue developing a vision of #equityliteracy. Now I can say with undying confidence that I would #choosenmsa one thousand times over.

-Mallory Nasatir

I love my #NMSAfamily

My first year of teaching didn’t really go as planned. I had doubts about myself in the profession I always knew I wanted to do. I allowed the mind games to get to me, to the point that there were nights I couldn’t go to sleep before 3 am. Even with support from my family, I was still having an internal struggle.

But why did I come back? I had the opportunity for a second chance, a second time to prove to myself that I am a capable teacher and there’s a purpose for me. When I came back, I thought I would see several familiar faces. However, that wasn’t the case. There were new enthusiastic and motivated teachers. Our jobs aren’t easy, the students can be difficult and the work can be overwhelming. I wouldn’t trade what began as colleagues, turned friends, and became family for another experience or staff. It makes it easier to come to work because of the people. My friends still question me if I am happier than last year, and with certainty I tell them yes, I love my #NMSAfamily. This is the place I can continue to teach and continue to learn, this is why I #CHOOSENMSA.

-Randee Gertz

NMSA… A Family and a Warm, Positive Community

Prior to working at NMSA, I was a teaching assistant for two years at the middle school level in a different district. So to be honest when I applied to Neal Math and Science Academy it was because I was searching for a full time teaching position. When I was granted my opportunity as a seventh grade special education teacher at Neal Math and Science Academy I had a mixture of emotions. Anxious as a new teacher, excited for the adventure, and happy to be getting my own classroom!

Now the question is why do I choose to work here? It is simple. We have built a family and a warm, positive community. It is evident that our school district has its ups and downs but it makes it easier when there are people you work with that care about you as a person and a professional. When working with a staff where the energy is high, and the love is so real it makes work AMAZING!!  I have also found remarkable students that crave knowledge; they want to read, write, research, show, explore and dream.

When people ask me why do I teach at NMSA in North Chicago I have an easy answer to a big question. When you are surrounded by family and a community that shows love for learning and one another why be anywhere else?!

-Dan Faust

NCCP Robotics Team Awarded!

On Saturday, December 5th, the NCCP After School Program Robotics Team competed in the First Lego League Regional Qualifying Tournament at Lake Forest Country Day School in Lake Forest, IL. The group of six students that competed, had been practicing diligently since the beginning of October to plan, prepare and master the design of their robot.  The team programed their robot to complete various tasks and a series of verbal presentations. Their hard work paid off when they were recognized with the Project Award for Presentation, the first award of the day, in honor of their ability to clearly communicate the concepts behind their robot’s design!

[button link=”” color=”blue” window=”yes”]Robotics Club Newsletter[/button]


Parents4Student Success


RECOGNIZE and CELEBRATE the hard work and commitment of students, teachers, parents and community members.

There will be special awards, pizza and a special hands-on activity to remind us of how much we have GROWN this year.

Neal Math & Science Academy
Tuesday, May 5th
5:30 PM

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After School Program with NCCP

Registered Students can stay after school and receive a cold dinner, homework support and then participate in a variety of enrichment programs.


Registration Packets are available in the main office.

Saturday Enrichment

Saturday Enrichment

Hosted by NCCP


Activities include basketball, jewelry making, cooking, dance, soccer, snacks and much more!

S.O.A.R to Success

Together we will S.O.A.R…


Outstanding Attitude



at Neal Math and Science Academy!


“Create and maintain a safe and effective learning environment.”

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