Learn it your way…

Uniqueness is here…


The Academic Mastery Therapeutic School was founded in 2016 to serve Emotional Behavior Disorder (EBD) and Learning Disability (LD) students, Development Delayed (DD) and other Health Impairment (OH) students.

Academic Mastery provides individualized services in a special educational environment. A self-paced educational plan is designed for IEP students to meet state standards, as well as social-emotional standards.

Our goal is to help students improve their educational, emotional, social functioning, and to gain independence in a least restricted school setting. Academic Mastery creates a healthy climate and provides students with a sense of community, which encourages them to be successful. The multi-grade classrooms are structured with an engaging curriculum and a variety of approaches are utilized to provide instructions for individuals, small and large groups.

Each student’s academic abilities are assessed to identify strengths and needs. This is inclusive of identifying a student’s unique learning style while addressing both their social-
emotional and developmental needs.

Academic Mastery also incorporates hands-on S.T.E.A.M. activities across the curriculum, and emphasizes technology and project-based activities as an assessment tool.

AMA offers a five and half hour school day operating on a ten-month calendar. The Enrichment/Remedial Program is offered six weeks during the summer for four hours a day Monday-Friday for K-8th grade. The classroom is staffed with LBS1 Certified Special Education instructors and a paraprofessional is added when the numbers exceed five students.

Academic Mastery educational program allows students to engage, interact and assimilate in a setting that maximizes their academic and personal growth potential. An LBS1 highly qualified certified special education teacher, and related special support services are offered to further enhance each student’s experience. The collaboration and synergy of the LBS1 teacher and other professionals create an atmosphere that builds self-esteem through social emotional development. Positive behaviors are modeled within an inclusive and supported community that values intelligence, self-worth and uniqueness.

Our Mission & Values

Academic Mastery Therapeutic School is a therapeutic school for emotional/behavioral disability (EBD) and learning disabilities (LD) students. Academic Mastery values student’s uniqueness and encourages personal self- worth. We strive to improve overall emotional, social and academic performance. The school also addresses building character and strengthening students’ communication/ interpersonal skills.

Academic Mastery provides students with life-long problem solving skills and social assimilation tools to successfully manage life experiences as they prepare to reintegrate into a least restrictive environment.

picture of principaltaken by photo guy

Margaret Williams -Executive Director

Margaret Williams is an educator with over thirty years of experience in both the special and regular education. She has served as a teacher and administrator in both elementary and high school in the South Suburban School Districts. As an educator, she has been recognized for her outstanding performance with helping students meet their educational potential and has received recognition from the state of Illinois for increasing Annual Yearly Progress (AYP).

Administrator Williams is a true visionary, teacher, and instructional leader. She has worked diligently over the last two decades with many youth community programs and believes that our children are not just  our future but our future leaders. Thus, she has devoted her life and time to grow and nurture potential leaders.

Mrs. Williams developed this passion for learning while receiving her Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Michigan University.  She continued her education with a master’s degree in Elementary education from Governor State University, along with Learning Behavioral Specialist coursework from St. Francis University in Joliet, Il.

As an instructional leader, she has developed many outstanding teachers and staff due to her wealth of knowledge of the pedagogy of teaching and strategies that cause students to achieve educational goals.

Margaret Williams is the director of Academic Mastery Academy Therapeutic School, in Posen, Il. She has aspired to create a climate designed to assist  students in being respectful, to value their environment, and participate in experiences that can successfully help them contribute to society.

A.M.A. curriculum takes into consideration that all students can learn, but that some would benefit  greatly  in environments with slower pace learning and  exploit individual learning styles. As it relates to discipline, Mrs. Williams believes she  must  model the behavior and train students on the expectations of a scholar. It is her endeavor to have the students learning experiences transform them into lifelong learners.


Michael C. Williams -Principal

Michael C. Williams has a B.S. in Education and African-American Studies from Northern Illinois University. He has a M.S. in Special Education and a M.A. in Educational Administration from Chicago State University. His educational credentials include Superintendent of Schools, Director of Special Education, General Administration, as well as Standard and Special Education teaching certificates.

Mr. Williams has worked in several South Suburban schools districts as a high school history teacher, special education teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Director of Special Education and Director of Student Services. He is a past President of the Library Board of University Park. He also served as an adjunct instructor for Governor State University teaching Special Education Law.

Mr. Williams has served as an Educational Consultant for various school districts in the south suburbs of Chicago. Mr. Williams has served as a board member and a past President of the board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity Chicago South Suburbs. He is a past President of Theta Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and sits on the Executive Board of Theta Mu Lambda Charitable Foundation. He is the current President of the Chicago Area of College and Alumni Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha (CACAC).

In addition to above mentioned positions, Mr. Williams is a member of First Baptist Church in University Park and has served in many leadership positions including Associate Deacon Chair, Stewardship Chair, Chairman of the Trustees and Superintendent of Sunday School. In addition to the professional and leadership achievements, he is a photographer and enjoys playing chess, tennis, bicycling, roller skating and traveling.

Our Board of Directors

Dr. Monique Parker -President

Dr. Monique N. Matthews has a Doctorate Degree in Pharmacy (1995) from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.  She currently works for a group of independent pharmacies in the Chicago Areas.  She started out as a pharmacy technician for Walgreens in 1990 and then intern and graduated as a pharmacist with Walgreens in 1996.  She worked as a long term care Pharmacist for 2 years (2001-2003). Besides Pharmacy, she has worked part-time for over 6 years as LEADS/EMD Certified 911 Dispatcher on the weekends in Phoenix, Illinois.  Additionally, Dr. Matthews has worked as an alternative teacher in 1997-1998 in the areas of Science and Algebra(Richard Milburn High School).

James Parker – Secretary

James Parker has dual Master of Science degrees from Chicago State University.  One degree in Guidance and Counseling, and the second degree in General School Administration.  His Professional experience has been working in Chicago public Schools in education at Global Vision Academy,  Simeon Career Academy, and Senn Metropolitan Academy.  He holds a School Guidance Type 73, School Administration Type 75, and Teaching Type 9 certificate.  James has worked as a counselor, attendance coordinator, entrepreneurship coordinator, carpentry/cabinet making program, construction technology program, and curriculum program leader.  He has also developed off-site learning opportunities through a partnership that consists of Habitat for Humanity and Career for Youth.  James has also serves as a community activist.

Serita Williams-Emmons  -Board Member

Serita Williams-Emmons is a graduate of University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and received her Masters of Health Administration from Ohio University.  Serita is an energetic and proven healthcare professional who prides herself in ensuring that thriving and indigent populations are rendered the same care no matter their state of being.  She has worked in the healthcare field for over eight years in a vast array of administration positions, mostly priding herself in process improvements, thoroughly utilizing analytical and organizational skills to advance any associated organization or business.  In Serita’s spare time, she enjoys tutoring, running, and making a positive impact in various communities.

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