Expanding Access to Advanced Placement

As president of the board of education for Illinois’ JS Morton High School District 201, Jeff Pesek effectively expanded access to advanced placement (AP) courses. Using the open-enrollment model, Jeff Pesek facilitated the introduction of pre-AP seminars and expanded course offerings that have made Morton 201 a statewide leader in Latino success in AP courses.

According to the College Board, advanced placement and other rigorous courses play a key role in preparing students for college success. Participation in these classes by minority and under-resourced students has improved measurably in recent years, yet statistics still show a marked inequality. In 2013, for example, 15 percent of graduating high school students were black, but only 9 percent took the AP exam. Similarly, in a cohort that included 48 percent of students from low-income families, only 28 percent took the exam.

Organizations such as Equal Opportunity Schools have undertaken the effort to reduce this disparity. A collaborative initiative known as Lead Higher, which includes the participation of EOS as well as groups such as the College Board and the International Baccalaureate Organization, aims to bring 100,000 new under-represented students into AP courses by 2018. Meanwhile, the College Board is working to encourage minority and low-income students to enroll in AP coursework through a number of programs, including the All In campaign, which identifies high-potential course candidates using standardized test scores.

ICE Webinars for Members

An educational professional, Jeff Pesek currently serves as the board of education president for J. Sterling Morton High School District 201, where he was an integral part in the establishment of the Morton Alumni Association, an updated alumni directory. Jeff Pesek has also presented at conferences for organizations such as Illinois Computing Educators (ICE).

ICE’s professional development committee offers educators a variety of hour-long webinars on the organization’s website. Known as the Wednesday Webinar Series, the educational courses are free for ICE members, who can also access webinars from previous years in the website’s archives.

Past webinars include Free Ed Tech Resources to Enhance Your Current Practice from education expert Anne Kasa and How to Impact Literacy in the Classroom with Storybird from instructional coach Megan Ryder. Integrated technology teacher Eric Hansen hosted a webinar about Google Classroom and how teachers can incorporate the app into their classroom activities. Other teachers include Vinnie Vrotny, the Kinkaid School’s director of technology, and Sue Gorman, an innovative learning consultant who teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Long-Term Support Initiatives at the Wounded Warrior Project

A longtime supporter of education, Jeffry Pesek currently serves as Board President with the JS Morton High School District 201. Outside of this work, he supports the efforts of the Wounded Warrior Project. Thanks to the contributions of Jeff Pesek and fellow donors, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) sponsors a broad range of long-term support initiatives for injured veteran returning home from combat.

The WWP Independence Program works primarily with veterans who have sustained moderate to severe neurological injuries, surrounding them with a full support team and developing highly customized treatment plans. Thanks to the Independence Program, many warriors have regained the ability to volunteer, advance their educations, and participate in social activities.

In the same vein, the WWP Long-Term Support Trust provides services such as transportation, home care, and life skill training to warriors who lose their caregivers. An advisory panel oversees all resource distribution requests and looks after all supplemental services and entitled benefits.

To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project, visit the official website at WoundedWarriorProject.org.