School History & Mission


ITW David Speer Academy opened its doors in 2014 by welcoming 300 students as one of Noble Schools’ leading Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) high school campuses. Named after David Speer, the late Chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), our mission is to prepare students from historically disinvested communities for the rigors of college and future careers in STEAM-related fields.


Today, we serve more than 1000 students and our alumni. Through our long-standing partnership with ITW, each student is able to participate in Noble’s Summer of a Lifetime program to experience life on a college campus the summer before their junior year. As seniors, all Speer students have the opportunity to participate in a STEAM-focused internship at leading companies such as ITW and other Fortune 500 companies.


An insightful leader, inspiring mentor, and friend to many, David B. Speer touched countless lives. As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ITW, David successfully orchestrated ITW’s continued growth and expansion throughout the world. In addition to his strong management skills, David was equally respected and admired as a champion of public education and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in particular. ITW David Speer Academy serves to honor his legacy and build better futures for our students and alumni.

“It’s the values you display in your life that will inspire others to follow”
David Speer

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