History & Campus Partnerships
Gary Comer College Prep Middle School is the only middle school campus of the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago, IL. We opened our doors in the fall of 2011 to a 6th grade class of 65 scholars. Today, we educate 300 scholars in grades 6 through 8. The middle school is a co-location with Paul Revere Elementary School in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood. Our mascot is “Gary” the Catamount and our school colors are green, white, and grey.
The most important thing to know about our school is that our vision is to “develop well-rounded and successful college graduates”. With our scholars only in middle school, our vision may seem a bit presumptuous, but we are 100% certain that each and every one of our scholars is on the road to and through the college of his/her choice. Our school is a community of teachers, families, and above all scholars, who are deeply committed to our vision and understand that it can only be realized through hard work.
Like all Noble campuses, GCMS is founded on three pillars: scholarship, discipline, and honor. To ensure that Gary Comer College Prep Middle School scholars are well on their way to becoming well-rounded and successful college graduates, our scholars will master a rigorous pre-college preparatory curriculum, develop the discipline necessary to succeed in their future endeavors, and learn to honor their community. We believe anything is possible with a strong sense of citizenship, self-control, a love of learning, and grit.
Our middle and high school are named after the late Gary Comer. Mr. Comer grew up in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. In 1963, he founded his own direct merchant company, Lands’ End. Under his leadership, Lands’ End was recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.”
In 1998, Mr. Comer re-connected with his roots and visited the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and saw firsthand the challenges the community faced. Mr. Comer’s singular curiosity and passion for helping others to build better lives led to the pursuit of numerous charitable endeavors, including the creation of the Comer Science and Education Foundation. The Foundation’s core mission — to improve urban education and the lives of children — was realized with the opening of the Gary Comer Youth Center in May 2006.
Today, the Gary Comer Youth Center, Gary Comer College Prep Middle School, and Gary Comer College Prep High School form an integrated campus providing a college preparatory curriculum, enrichment courses, and after school programing to Noble scholars. Through this collaboration we offer numerous courses such as taekwondo, piano, urban agriculture, modern dance, fitness, digital storytelling, culinary arts, and presentation skills.