The Founders of IMSA
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Dr. Leon Lederman

      As a physicist, researcher, university professor and laboratory administration, Leon Lederman has influenced the role of science in American life. At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, he became a leader in launching programs to encourage young people to pursue their scientific interests. His deep concern for the quality of science and mathematics education in Illinois, and his intense commitment to motivate students to pursue careers in science, led him to propose the concept of a unique high school for Illinois--a school that would inspire and challenge students of exceptional talent.

      Science represents the human need to understand the world in which we live. Because of Dr. Lederman's example and as a result of his energy, the Academy stands as a symbol of Illinois' faith in scientific progress. Through rational observation and with the resources of technology, the secrets of nature and the mystery of the universe will be revealed. The development of scientific vision among teachers and students serves to nurture the most precious resource given to humanity--the creative mind.

 
Gov. James R. Thompson

      The creation of a bold new institution and an innovative approach to improving mathematics and science education demands compelling leadership. As Governor, James R. Thompson promised the people of Illinois that their schools would become the best in the world. From his sense of responsibility to improve the quality of education for Illinois' young people, he established task forces, evaluated recommendations, proposed legislation and successfully urged passage of the Education Reform Act of 1985 which created the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. The following year, the Academy opened in fulfillment of this commitment to meet the need for citizens trained in science, mathematics and technology.

      Governor Thompson has described Illinois as blessed with creative and gifted students whose talents are the bright hope of the future, and he has worked to unite the State in providing an institution where exceptional students can develop their potential. As these young people graduate from the Academy, as teachers gather for workshops and training, and as innovative programs are developed and shared with schools throughout the State, the investment of his efforts will pay dividends through the 21st century.


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