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Thursday, March 7, 2013
Paul Adams III, founder and president of Providence St. Mel School, Chicago
In 1971, Paul Adams III was hired as director of guidance for Providence St. Mel School, a private Catholic high school in Chicago. One year later, he became the principal. When the Archdiocese of Chicago withdrew funding from the school in 1978, Adams spearheaded a national campaign to raise money for the school. Donations poured in from across the country, allowing Adams to transition Providence St. Mel into a not-for-profit independent school. Over the next two decades, Adams successfully transformed Providence St. Mel into a premier college preparatory learning institution for African American students. Under Adams' leadership, 100 percent of Providence St. Mel's graduating seniors are accepted to four-year colleges, with more than 50 percent today attending top-tier and Ivy League institutions. His talk will focus on the dynamics that have shaped his life and philosophy of education, as well as his views on how American education is failing our children.