Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

Stevenson, Give-A-Thon Honored in Lake Forest

Stevenson High School and its 34-year-old Give-A-Thon program were honored last week at the 12th annual Building Bridges Recognition Event sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Stevenson received the Agnes Kelliher Corporate Spirit Award, given annually by the Catholic Charities Lake County Board of Advisors to a corporation or organization whose support allows Catholic Charities to help those in need. The award is named after Agnes Kelliher, the first executive director of Catholic Charities in Lake County, serving from 1945-65. Stevenson is the first high school to receive the award, which was first given in 1998.

For the past 20 years, Stevenson has been one of the largest donors to the Catholic Charities Celebration of Giving Christmas Gift Program. Nearly 2,000 people each year are provided gifts that have been donated by SHS families, faculty and staff. About 50 students accompany a full semi-truck and trailer to Catholic Charities’ distribution site to unload bags of gifts as well as bicycles.

Accepting the award on behalf of Stevenson were National Honor Society sponsors Brett Erdmann and Maureen Albert, and Executive Board members Jenny Cao, Michelle Bae and Maddy Kim. The event was held at Trustmark corporate headquarters in Lake Forest.

Those Who Excel Winner: Dan Larsen

Several members of the Stevenson community are receiving Those Who Excel awards from the Illinois State Board of Education this month. Here is a brief article on one of the recipients, Dan Larsen, who was chosen for the Award of Merit in the Classroom Teacher category.

After a quarter century in the classroom, it would have been easy for Advanced Placement Government teacher Dan Larsen to start coasting toward retirement. Students loved him. Colleagues at SHS and around the country respected him. However, these words from Cicero haunted him: “The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.”

Larsen decided to reinvent his career. Moving away from the traditional “sage on the stage” lecture model, Larsen embraced the idea of the flipped classroom, in which collaborative learning among students takes place in small groups and the teacher becomes more of a “guide on the side.” The change was radical, but liberating.

“(I)n order for every student to experience success teachers must be willing to allow students to be creative in determining how to learn best,” he said. “This may be the most difficult transition in my career. I have always been a planner. I have always enjoyed being the master of my own curriculum. But there was the problem. It was about me. True learning is about the students.”

Technology has been a key tool in Larsen’s transformation, just as it has been throughout his career. Not long after his arrival in 1989, he became the first teacher at Stevenson to have a modem at home. In 2003, well before Khan Academy started, Larsen and colleague Andy Conneen created, posting civics education videos for students and teachers around the world to access. The videos at CitizenU, along with those of their annual “Cram for the Exam” appearances on C-SPAN, have had more than 1.5 million views. They also contributed daily civics videos as “The 2 Teachers” to CBS2 Chicago for three years.

Larsen’s innovative approach to civics education has been a hit with Stevenson students. Since joining the AP Government program in 1990, enrollment has grown from less than 40 students to more than 600. Some of them take an online version of the course, which Larsen developed. It’s the school’s first online course.

The newest phase of Larsen’s career has yielded great fruit: In the last five years, his students’ class discussions have led them to work with State Rep. Carol Sente on three pieces of legislation that have become law. Illinois 17-year-olds can now vote in primary elections if they turn 18 before the general election. They also can sign and distribute nominating petitions. And the state’s public universities now must grant credit to students for all AP exam scores of 3 or higher.

Several of Larsen’s students have gone into politics or work in civics-focused careers, including Jamie Smith (Class of 1995). Even though Larsen insists that she call him by his first name these days, Smith still refuses. She credits him with turning her from a “relatively disengaged” student into someone who ran to his class every day because she couldn’t wait to learn. Smith said she was afraid to take the AP American History class, because it was “for the really smart kids.” His response? “You can do it.” Smith said those words stuck with her, first at SHS, then at Kenyon College, and ultimately as a special assistant to President Barack Obama.

“Mr. Larsen taught me more than words can possibly express,” she said. “And what he showed me, day in and day out, is the power of a truly awesome teacher whose very belief in a student can significantly impact the direction of their life.”

Our week-long Those Who Excel profile series concludes Friday with the seven-member Technology Education Department, which won the highest honor, the Award of Excellence.

Junior Seeks to Help Low-Income Students

Junior Gabi Siegel is featured in the latest Pioneer Press “Shout Out” Q&A column. The percussionist and some of her classmates are trying to start a program that would provide free music lessons to low-income students at Waukegan schools.

Three S3DA Archery Team Fundraisers Planned

The new S3DA archery team has three fundraisers planned over the next couple of weeks. The team will have a fundraiser at Roti Modern Mediterranean, 1240 E. Route 45, in Vernon Hills from 4:30-8 p.m. Friday, at Jason’s Deli, 545 Lakeview Parkway, in Vernon Hills from 5-10 p.m. Monday, and at McAlister’s Deli, 99 E. Townline Road, in Vernon Hills from 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23.


Click here for today’s athletic schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 10 Varsity Results

Girls Field Hockey

Stevenson 2, Naperville North 1: The Patriots celebrated senior night in the stadium with a victory against Naperville North. Senior Emily Hersh scored both goals, one in each half. Senior Anna Fossier saved nine of 10 shots on goal. – NFHS Network Video

Boys Ice Hockey

Glenbrook South 4, Stevenson 0: In a rematch of last season’s state semifinal, the Titans beat the Patriots in Scholastic Hockey League action.

Girls Volleyball

Stevenson d. Warren, 25-21, 28-26: The host Patriots added another W to their undefeated conference record. They are now 18-9 overall and 6-0 in conference. Senior Sophie Sorenson led the team with nine kills followed by sophomore Makayla Uremovich who had six. Both junior Lilly Cozzi and senior Callie Grass contributed five kills a piece with Cozzi hitting .455. Three aces were served from Sorenson, junior Grace Tully and sophomore Emerson Kouri. Tully also connected on 64 of 65 sets with 19 assists. Ten players contributed to a well-balanced defense including junior Abby Keevins with 15 digs, Kouri with eight and Sorenson with seven. | Daily Herald

Allied Bowling

Stevenson d. Round Lake: The Patriots came out on top at the Brunswick Zone Hawthorn in their matchup against Round Lake. Tim Phelps had the highest score for SHS, a 123, with Telus Antus close behind at 122. Mark Brady rolled a 117. Allied bowlers also held their first “Bowling with the Stars” event.  They added another victory competing against some of their favorite staff members including: Dr. Andy Schroeder, Annette Sorkin, Trish Betthauser, Tami Napolitano, Yolanda Pilch, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Nicole Krippinger, Jenna Cataldi, Merle Kline, Genevieve Reznicek, Lauren Albert, Robby Burroughs, Doug Lillydahl, and Sarah Burja.

Golfers Prepare for State Tournament

Stevenson’s girls and boys golf teams will be competing in their Illinois High School Association state tournaments starting Friday. The Class 3A boys state tournament will be held at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington, while the Class 2A girls tournament takes place at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur. Jackson Bussell, Alexander Kim, William Fishbein, Mark Noonan, Conan Pan, and Jake Surane will represent the Patriot boys, while Joyce Bai, Kelly Dong, Emily Duan, Faith Wang, Julia Yoo, and Sophia Zhuang will wear the green and gold for the Patriot girls. Follow state tournament results at these links: Girls Results | Boys Results


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Sign Up for the NHS Blood Drive

Students who are age 17 or older, and weigh more than 110 pounds, are encouraged to participate in the National Honor Society blood drive on Friday, Oct. 26. The blood drive will take place in the Wrestling Room (Room 2111) from third through eighth periods. Students who participate can add the experience to their InnerView service resume. To register, and to download the required permission form, visit this link.

Setting the Record Straight on Marijuana Use

Everybody thinks students use marijuana regularly. Catalyst would like you to know that everybody is wrong. Watch this video for the truth.

Mandatory Meetings for All Student-Athletes

All student-athletes are required to attend one meeting led by the athletic director during the 2018-19 school year. There are eight possible dates; each occurs on a late-arrival day. The next meeting opportunity is from 9:45-10:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 in the West Auditorium. Topics to be covered include: expectations of and leadership opportunities for student-athletes; the Co-Curricular Code of Conduct; sportsmanship; sports health and nutrition; and Stevenson Athletics’ awards program. Attendance will be taken by scanning student IDs. The other dates this year are Nov. 8 and 29, Jan. 17, Feb. 14, March 14 and April 25.


Pass On the Beat will be performing in front of the Performing Arts Center at 7:45 a.m. Friday.


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