John H. Vanderpoel Humanities Academy

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Vanderpoel Humanities Academy is a nut free school.

Meet the Principal

Greetings VHA Tigers,


Our mission at Vanderpoel is to Value all Voices, align all resources to sustain the school’s focus on global humanity and pursue academic excellence for all who are committed to learning.  As you are making your decision about your child’s academic future, we want to remind you of why YOUR child(ren) are special to us!


Every teacher is committed to helping each child achieve their maximum potential.  We want Vanderpoel students to leave us for High School with a wealth of knowledge and experiences that equip them to be competent contributors to our global society.


This year we’ve increased students’ test scores, maintained almost 70% of our students being “on-track” for success over the past 3 marking periods and improved our climate and culture with the addition of our proactive and restorative redirection room.  Most recently, 13 of our young artists’ work have been displayed in area hospitals across the state of Illinois.


Vanderpoel students go on to be important contributors to our community. Many of our students make a point to return and give back by writing grants, sponsoring programs and volunteering their time.  One shining example is Ms. Dejah Powell, Vanderpoel Alum and recipient of over $30,000.00 in a grant to establish our community garden.


As we look forward to next year, I would like to share with you some of our new programming and partnerships.


  • Algebra 1 (HS Credit Option)
  • Advanced Literature, Drama and Speech (Middle School)
  • Focused Humanities programing including multi-cultural and African American Studies
  • Service-based alternatives to discipline
  • Expanded Arts and Music programming and partnerships with Studio One Dance Studio, Beverly Arts Center and Play in a Book
  • Partnership with Black & Well to promote physical and mental health and wellness yoga classes

At Vanderpoel, we see our small class sizes and highly talented team of educators as our greatest asset. We strive to make the learning process a positive and rewarding experience, while maintaining  a desire to develop the next generation of inquisitive and socially conscience citizens who will value lifelong learning and the pursuit of excellence.



Educationally Yours,


Kia Banks

Principal