By: Hania Sambor, IMSA News section editor
IMSA’s 25th anniversary calls for a worldwide known celebration with an overview of aspiration. The Residence Halls, extra-curricular activities, faculty members, and the main building are all changing for this upcoming school year. The long list begins with the updates about our past beloved principal.
Perhaps the most drastic change for this upcoming year is the retirement of Dr. McLaren. We thank Dr. Eric McLaren for his 26 years of dedication at the Academy as first one of its original Resident Counselors and then its Principal. We wish to continue supporting his family through hard times while Dr. McLaren continues to battle ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Taking his duties as Principal will be Dr. Diana Sharp.
“Dr. Sharp brings a breadth and depth of experience to IMSA,” said IMSA President Dr. Glenn W. “Max” McGee. Dr. Sharp explains herself to be well qualified for her job as Principal and chief academic officer with her experience as assistant provost at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, IL. She has also been Interim Dean for Math and Sciences, Liberal Arts, Business and Social Sciences, and Resources for Learning Divisions among other responsibilities.
We welcome Dr. Sharp and other new faculty into the IMSA community with open arms. With Dr. Jim Victory from the history department retiring, the new faculty, including Kirsty Montgomery in the social studies department, have joined IMSA to serve as our first history professor to specialize in Asian Studies; in addition to Dr. Victory, Herr Stark from the Foreign Languages department also retired. We thank them for their services to IMSA and wish them all the best. are welcomed into our community, we thank and pay tribute to our retiring faculty including Herr Stark and Dr. Jim Victory.
The Residence Halls also continue to change with the new Pet Policy for the Resident Counselors. Dr. McGee states how “[He] likes to think students can go wherever they want to, full accessibility.” That statement sums up part of the reasoning for not allowing RC’s to have pets living in their apartments. New RCs will also be replacing the ones that chose to leave the campus due to this new rule and other various reasons.
If you have gotten the chance to explore the halls this year, then you may have noticed the renovations to 1502 and 1505s’ computer rooms. Both now office the new Area Coordinators, in place of the Hall Coordinators for each hall during the past years. Currently, the ACs take a collective role of the previous HCs. These control of the halls is split into two sections, one for 05 AC and one for 02 AC.
The Tuesday evening Sophomore classes, that are ever so well known on the campus as LEAD with the addition of EnACT this past year. However, it continues to expand Social Entrepreneurship and EVOLVE. The traditional LEAD classes are being condensed to educate the sophomores throughout first semester, while introducing the ideas that will be taught in the three electives second semester. The LEAD team hopes that allowing the students to have a choice for further education in leadership skills will bring individuality into the program. From the EnACT classes last year, three bills are being sponsored in the Illinois State Senate by the legislators that visited us in the beginning of last year. This is a celebratory achievement that sets high encouragement for next year EnACT classes.
Anyone on campus can see the changes coming to life this upcoming school year. The physical changes such as the recognition to co-founder Dr. Leon Lederman in the Science Wing for Creative Inquiry also represent the new students that will be able to explore the IMSA. Spiritual changes seen on the students’ and staff members’ faces when we entered the IMSA campus this fall for another celebratory and memorable school year will be the most documentable change ever for IMSA in 25 years.