Posted on May 31, 2019 · Posted in Academic News, Blog, General, News, Press Release

St. Laurence has finalized its roster of teachers who will be teaching International Baccalaureate (IB) courses beginning in 2021.

With nearly 70 years of teaching and 8 master’s degrees combined among them, these individuals will bring a wealth of experience to the IB students at St. Laurence. The teachers are:

  • Jennifer Biamonte (Clearing) – Language Acquisition
  • Jon Crotty (Mokena) – Individuals and Societies
  • Katie Kikos (Joliet) – Mathematics
  • Pete Lotus (New Lenox) – Theory of Knowledge
  • Melissa Small (Evergreen Park) – Studies in Language and Literature
  • Brian Wichert (Mokena) – Design Technology
  • Ellen Yopchick (Evergreen Park) – Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) & Extended Essay (EE) Coordinator
  • Nicole Yuede (Romeoville) – Experimental Sciences

As educators of the IB curriculum, these teachers will be tasked with encouraging critical thinking, self-reflection and dedication to lifelong learning and continuous improvement. As St. Laurence completes the appropriate steps toward becoming an Authorized IB World School, they will undergo training, certification and reviews from IB.

“We are truly blessed to have this accomplished group of educators launch our IB program,” said St. Laurence Principal Jim Muting. “Each of them has a proven ability to connect with our students, and through the interview process they all demonstrated a drive to provide the best educational experience possible for the students who select the rigorous IB curriculum.”

With an emphasis on challenging the status quo in education, St. Laurence has made consistent strides in academics that have reaped major benefits for their students in recent years. St. Laurence was the first STEM accredited school in Illinois and remains one of only two in the state. Since transitioning to a STEM curriculum, the school has witnessed significant milestones such as increasing the school average ACT score to 24 (a 4-point increase) and percentage of Illinois State Scholars to 18.5% (highest percentage since 1976). Additionally, the Class of 2019 earned over $137,000 in college scholarships per student, a new school record. These successes are due in large part to a shared goal of providing a transformative educational experience for students.

In March, St. Laurence announced it is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School, a process that takes two years to complete. In doing so, St. Laurence will join just 37 high schools in Illinois to offer the IB Diploma Program (DP), only 3 of which are Catholic schools. Additionally, St. Laurence remains the leader in academics among local schools and will be the only Catholic school in Chicago’s south side area to offer the IB Diploma Program.