Executive Director of Special Services
Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Thomas Porter
Welcome to the Pupil Personnel Services Department of Thornton Township High School District 205!
The Department of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) is ready for another school year and another chance to serve every student in District 205!
Our vision is for students to be placed in the least restrictive environment for all of their classes. Our mission is for all students to be enrolled in an institute of higher learning or a vocational program, enlisted in the military, or gainfully employed upon graduating from high school.
As the Executive Director of PPS, I oversee many vital school resources that give students the assistance they need to successfully complete their high school career. The department is responsible for the following District 205 divisions, programs, and initiatives:
- Special Education
- English learners
- Section 504 Plan Compliance
- Homeless liaison
- Foster care liaison
- Medical contracts
- IDEA and Title III Grants
- Discipline review
- Special Olympics
- Infant Care Center
Our department takes a holistic view of each student and we provide the resources and supportive services that they need. The District’s school psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists, and nurses are an integral part of the services that we offer. They utilize their expertise in the areas of physical, mental, and behavioral health and communication assistance to help our students feel supported, challenged, healthy, safe, and engaged.
Our entire staff is committed to going above and beyond to prepare students to be behaviorally and emotionally ready to achieve academically. In fact, the Illinois Education Association recognized the significant contributions of two members of our support staff by presenting them with the “Illinois Support Staff Person of the Year” award.
In addition to creating an academic environment that addresses their behavioral and emotional needs, we also offer students after-school activities that are enjoyable. For example, we have more than 15 forms of Special Olympic sports and we have teams that are designated for students with disabilities and those that are open to all District 205 students. These teams have been very successful and have earned several state titles. Our dedicated coaches have received the “Outstanding Coach” award from Region E of the Special Olympics of Illinois for their technical skills and personal commitment to the physical, social and psychological well being of the athletes.
During my career at District 205, I devoted 17 years to being a high school teacher. I was also a department chairperson, an area instructional leader, and served on countless committees. In August 2012, I began my current position which I find very rewarding because it intersects with every person in the District. I continuously strive to break down barriers to make the District a welcoming place for all students and their families. One way that I do this is by ensuring that our students do not encounter discrimination based on their protected status or because they or their family participate in state or federal entitlement programs.
I am in the midst of completing my dissertation in the area of disability studies. The additional knowledge and expertise that I have gained through this rigorous academic process will be used to benefit the students of District 205.
Thornridge Contact: 708-271-4460
Thornton Contact: 708-225-4010
Thornwood Contact: 708-225-4784