Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Those Who Excel Winners: Tom Kelly and Jay Miller

Today we conclude our brief look at the individuals who have been chosen to receive Those Who Excel awards from the Illinois State Board of Education. They and other recipients from around the state will be honored at a banquet in Normal on October 25. Our final recipients are Assistant Director of Science Tom Kelly and Director of Special Education Jay Miller.

Tom Kelly – Award of Recognition – Classroom Teacher

Tom Kelly has taught every level of science at Stevenson since 1990, and this fall added the duties of assistant science director. As is the case with many people at SHS, titles and words fail to capture the impact Kelly has had on students and colleagues over the past 24 years. He typically arrives at school around 5 a.m. to prepare for the day and to be ready for the steady stream of students who stop by his classroom starting at 7. “Tom is the most energetic teacher I have ever seen in a classroom,” says Director of Science Steve Wood, one of many faculty members whom Kelly mentored.

Kelly has been a leader in showing other teachers effective uses of data and developing a curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. What really sets him apart, however, are the things that can’t be measured. It’s not uncommon for Kelly to spend time during class talking with students about everyday concerns, whether they be the transition from high school to college, to dealing with an event that has had an emotional impact on them.

While acknowledging that the content in his classes is important, Kelly says the most significant role he has as a teacher is in helping his students become good people who are compassionate, honest and teach others with respect. “I hold close to my heart the saying that, ‘People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel,’” he wrote in a letter to the Those Who Excel committee. “When students leave my class I want them to be aware that other people in this world need their help.”

Jay Miller – Award of Excellence – School Administrator

Jay Miller worked as a management consultant for many years before deciding to enter the field of special education. However, he was familiar with special education long before making it his career. His sister had significant disabilities while he was growing up, and Miller remembered the substandard facilities where his parents would take her for help.

Miller has worked at Stevenson since 1995, first as a program supervisor with the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), and as the school’s special education director since 2006. Since becoming director, Miller has worked to expand special education support systems and services for SHS students. His work has been so successful that after this school year, Stevenson will withdraw from SEDOL because it is able to educate all special education students within its walls. Miller’s commitment to parental involvement was emphasized by his founding of the Special Education Community Advisory Board, which has been recognized by the state for its efforts to discuss and address the perspectives and challenges facing parents of students with special needs.

“In his book Schools of Hope, Douglas Heath suggests that our schools need teachers and leaders who inspire their colleagues to look beyond themselves and imagine new and more enriching possibilities for our individual and collective lives,” Superintendent Eric Twadell wrote in his Those Who Excel nomination. “Jay Miller is one of those leaders.”

Skaters Compete in Midwest Regional Competition

Two students who are competitive ice skaters took part in the Upper Great Lakes Midwest Regional Championship October 5-8 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Freshman Taylor Morris won the Novice Ladies division (free skate), while junior Rudi Baruch was eighth among 36 competitors. In the short program, Morris was second and Baruch 11th. By finishing in the top four, Morris automatically moves on to the Midwest Sectional in Geneva next month. Joining her will be freshman Lindsay Weinstein, who received a bye from regionals due to her participation in an international competition. Weinstein will skate in the Pairs and Intermediate Ladies categories.

Another Day, Another Perfect ACT Score

Add one more senior to the list of those with perfect scores on the ACT. Yancheng Du earned a 36 on the exam given in September, making him the 19th member of the Class of 2015 to post a perfect ACT score.


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Tuesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Golf

Stevenson at IHSA Class 3A Lake Forest Sectional: Kamaren Sandhu and Jason Gohde earned berths in this weekend’s state tournament in Bloomington. Both will be going downstate for the first time. Sandhu shot a 2-over-par 74 and tied for fifth, 4 strokes behind the medalist from Lake Forest, and Gohde had a 75 and tied for eighth. SHS nearly qualified for state as a team. The Patriots tied for third with St. Charles East but lost a tiebreaker. This will be the fifth time in the past six seasons that at least one boys golfer from Stevenson has made the state tournament. – Official results | Sun-Times Media, Daily Herald

Girls Golf

Stevenson at IHSA Class AA Warren Sectional: At Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, Alexia Fidman finished her final seven holes and ended up with a round of 83, tying for 11th place and missing a state tournament berth by two strokes. – Official results

Boys Soccer

New Trier 1, Stevenson 0: Jeremy Klaber made 9 saves for the visiting Patriots (6-6-5). – Daily Herald

Football Team Remains No. 1 in Rankings

Stevenson remains No. 1 in this week’s three major prep football rankings. SHS was the top vote-getter in the statewide Associated Press Class 8A poll, and also sits atop the polls in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, which rank the best teams in the metropolitan area regardless of IHSA classification. The Patriots will play host to Mundelein in their Homecoming game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


Showcase Audition Sign-Ups Today and Thursday

Audition sign-ups for Showcase, the annual student variety/talent show sponsored by the PPA, will be held today and Thursday and October 21-23 during all lunch periods in the Wood Commons. What kinds of acts are the PPA looking for? Everything! Singers, dancers, bands, comedians, magicians, gymnasts, jugglers, “yo-yoers” or any other creative acts. Showcase acts must have a minimum of 3 performers unless the act is very “unique.” Seniors interested in auditioning to be emcees or Weekend Update anchors should also sign up during audition sign-ups.

Fill out this audition sign-up form and bring it to one of the sign-up days. If you need help finding a group, try the Showcase Facebook page or contact Lisa Weisner at or Edie Eiseman-Axe at

Showcase variety act auditions will be held December 4-8. Band auditions are set for December 6. Emcees/anchors auditions will be held December 2. Showcase 2015 will be held March 6-7. For more information on Showcase, visit

Blood Drive Sign-Ups This Week

Sign-ups for the National Honor Society’s upcoming blood drive will take place this week during lunch periods in both commons areas. The “Save a Life, Starve a Vampire” drive will be held Friday, October 24. To see what it takes to be a blood donor, click here.


The fencing team will have an informational meeting today in Room 2104 at 3:30. Please contact Coach Delgado at if you cannot attend.

The boys bowling team is having an informational meeting Thursday after school in Room 2113 from 3:30-4:15. If you can’t make the meeting, contact Coach Lapping in the West ILC in the math section.

An information meeting for girls gymnastics will take place Tuesday at 3:30 in the West Faculty Dining Room (1204). If you are unable to attend, contact Coach Harwood at


All juniors and parents, the college search process is officially underway! Plan to attend a most informative meeting on how to choose the college that’s right for you at 7 p.m. tonight in the Performing Arts Center. Mrs. Biemeret and Mr. Miller, Stevenson’s college counselors, will highlight and outline the steps students and parents should be taking this year to find the college that provides the greatest fit. Join the College/Career Center staff as they help juniors “Find the Fit.”

The following colleges will be visiting Stevenson next week: University of Southern California, Transylvania University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Eureka College, Landmark College, Reed College, Columbia University, Rhode Island School of Design, University of California-San Diego, University of Kansas, Beloit College, University of Toronto, Loyola University Chicago, Memphis College of Art, University of Notre Dame, Arizona State University, St. Lawrence University, Drake University, Villanova University, Central College, University of New Hampshire, Kent State University, Northern Illinois University, Furman University, Ripon College, University of Colorado, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Otterbein University, Lynn University, St. Ambrose University, Washington and Jefferson College, Wittenberg University, Baylor University, Hofstra University, Rice University, Maryland Institute College of Art and Macalester College.

A complete list of rep visits can be found on our Naviance site and is updated twice per week; students should get in the habit of checking Naviance and then arranging to secure a pass to visit with these reps. Procedures to sign-up: 1) Find the list of upcoming college visits on your Naviance page. 2) Sign-up for the specific college on Naviance. 3) Print the sign-up confirmation page. 4) Put your ID number on the page. 5) Have the page signed by your classroom teacher at least two days prior to the visit and bring it to the College/Career Center on the day of the visit. 6) Bring the signed page to the CCC on the day of the college visit. If the college visit occurs during your lunch or free hour, follow the same procedure, but no signature is necessary on the confirmation page.

Lewis University will be hosting its 10th annual Aviation Career Conference on Saturday, November 22. This is an opportunity for students to talk to professionals who work in the aviation industry. More information and registration can be obtained at


Interested in design or architecture as a career? Attend the Chicago Architecture and Design College Day, where more than 50 colleges and universities will be available to answer questions and provide information on their programs. The event will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harold Washington College, Lake Street and Wabash Avenue, in Chicago. Visit for registration and more information.

Save the date! The Career Fair is coming to Stevenson on November 5 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Forum/West Commons. Want to know which careers match up best with your interests? Curious as to which college or courses will be best for your career choice? Learn the answer to these questions and more by attending and talking to all types of professionals in all types of careers! More than 65 representatives from medicine, law, engineering, the arts, human resources, pharmacy, management, advertising, business ownership, entrepreneurship, fashion, finance, technology and many more!

Now accepting career shadow applications for 2014-15: Career shadows are available to students throughout the year. If you are interested in learning first hand about a specific career, please email Mrs. Willock at to set up an appointment.


FCCLA will meet today in Room 1406 from 3:30-5:30 to meet with Mrs. Lohrmann and Mrs. Backes about your FCCLA project to get started! If you are not able to meet please contact the sponsors ASAP to discuss.

Write Club meets today after school in Room 7018. The club features creative writing contests, poetry, fiction, college application essay help, and snacks.

Calling all seniors! Senior Class Board invites all seniors to help decorate for their last Homecoming. We will be decorating our East Hallway by Room 6000 today from 3:30-5:30 p.m. New members are always welcome. Service hours provided. Any questions? Contact Mrs. Jensen at or Mrs. Peterson at

The Speech and Drama Team meets at 3:45 today in the East ILC. Come and participate in one or more of 14 different events that span from humorous to dramatic acting, from prose and poetry to original speech writing, from impromptu and political speeches to radio broadcasts. New members, both experienced and inexperienced, are always welcome! Be a part of a friendly team where you’ll have fun and learn life-long, valuable communication skills!

Do you think you know what makes people insane? If you were on a jury could you determine who was sane or insane at the time of a crime? Please attend a joint meeting  of Psychology Club and Law Club in 7096 on Thursday at 3:45. All are welcome!

Pass on the Beat provides service through music to the community. Membership is open to all interested students. The club meets every Thursday after school in the Band Room, aka the Bat Cave.

Video Game Club meets on Thursdays from 3:45-5:30 in Room 6072.

Chess Club meets Thursday in Room 7022 from 3:30 to approximately 5 p.m.

Table Tennis meets Thursday in the Lower East Commons from 3:30-6:30.

Breakfast With Books will meet Tuesday from 7:45-8:25 a.m. in Room 1313 of the Lower ILC. Breakfast will be served. If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Dettling in the West ILC or email her at


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