By 1978 Chicago’s archdiocese had given up on Providence St. Mel, a poor-performing high school on Chicago’s west side.

The doors were closed but a campaign led by then-principal and current president, Paul Adams III, was successful in saving the school and incorporating it as an independent institution. A complete turnaround ensued in which a focus on getting students prepared for college took center stage.

Since then grades K-8 have been added, test scores consistently pushed upward, and an international travel program instituted.