Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

Chess Team Tops Loaded Field at Evanston

The SHS chess team doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. Despite the graduation of several top players, the Patriots have served notice that they will be force to be reckoned with at the state tournament in February.

The Patriots won their first two North Suburban Chess League matches, against Glenbrook North and South, and on Sunday captured the Evanston Team Tournament, an event featuring the best teams in the Chicago area. Stevenson won all four of its matches, defeating Chicago Lane (68-0), Maine South (51.5-16.5) and Evanston (52.5-15.5), before topping 2019 state champion Whitney Young (60-8). Top Patriot players during the tournament included junior Ricky Wang, sophomore Fred Yuan, senior Adam Wallach and his brother, junior David Wallach, sophomore Ashley Yan, freshmen Ben Chen and Srihas Rao, juniors Ryan Yao and Vishnu Sadhu, and senior Gil Banuelos.

Stevenson has placed third at the IHSA state tournament in each of the past two years, and also has a pair of runner-up finishes during coach Vincent Springer’s six-year tenure.

Junior Reaches Semifinals in Florida Debate Tournament
Seven SHS students competed at the 36th annual Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament at the University of Florida last weekend, joining nearly 260 of their peers in Congressional Debate. Junior Michelle Velyunskiy progressed to the semifinal round. Stevenson’s other participants were senior Dylan Hu, juniors Krushank Bayyapu and James Xie, and sophomores Phil EdatPrachi Gyanmote and Anna Xie.

Four Students Attend Global Scholar Summit
Senior Emma Kubow, juniors Lindsey GrantEleni Angelos and Amelia Landau, and social studies teacher Melissa Fainman attended the third annual Illinois Global Scholar Summit and Global Dialogue at Naperville Central High School on Saturday.

The theme of this year’s summit was “The Power of Perspective.” Sessions addressed a variety of topics to improve social-emotional learning skills, including: communicating across differences, conflict resolution, restorative justice, artistic storytelling, identity and poetry across cultures, religious and cultural literacy, global immunizations, and more. Sessions were led by representatives from the U.S. State Department, the Longview Foundation, the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, World Chicago, and the Carson and the Iris Varner International Business Institute at Illinois State University.

Marijuana Q&A Event Nov. 14
Stevenson‘s Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, Dr. Cristina Cortesi, will share regular reflections during the school year in the Daily Digest. For more information on Dr. Cortesi and the substance abuse prevention program, visit her web page.

Marijuana commercialization is coming to Illinois on Jan. 1, and there are many unanswered questions. Consider attending the upcoming Catalyst/Stand Strong special event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in Room 2104. The evening will feature Dr. Susan Sirota, the lead pediatrician at Pediatric Partners, who has spoken across the country on the commercialization of marijuana and the impact vaping and marijuana use have on teens. Want to learn more before the event? Download and read the new Marijuana Parent Toolkit from the Stand Strong Coalition at https://www.standstrongcoalition.org/.

Retired Teacher Planning to Release Book
Retired SHS chemistry teacher Ron Urick talked recently with Chicago Sun-Times outdoors columnist Dale Bowman about bass fishing, his teaching career, and his upcoming book. Urick taught at Stevenson for 33 years, then came out of retirement to teach another decade at Chicagoland Jewish High School, now known as Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. He’s putting the finishing touches on “Teaching with Heart (Inspired Teaching –Stories, Pathways, and Strategies by a Five Decade Teacher and His Former Students).”


Monday’s Varsity Results

Girls Volleyball
Cary-Grove d. Stevenson, 25-18, 25-16: The second-seeded Trojans (31-9) claimed the IHSA Class 4A Warren Sectional semifinal over the third-seeded Patriots (23-15), advancing to the sectional championship match against top-seeded Libertyville on Wednesday. Sophomore Amanda Holsen led SHS with 15 kills and two service aces, and tied for the team lead with five digs. Junior Makayla Uremovich added five kills. Senior Grace Tully concluded her prep career with 23 assists on 51-of-51 setting. – Daily Herald

Fall ESPPA Award Nominations Open
Have you seen a Patriot student-athlete or team have a great game or a great season this fall? Is there a team manager or fan that deserves to be recognized? Nominations are now being taken for the Athletic Division’s Exceptional Stevenson Patriot Pride Award (ESPPA). Several categories are available. To make a nomination, fill out this form by Wednesday, Nov. 13. Winners will be recognized at the Fall Sports Awards Night on Monday, Nov. 18.

Quick Hits
Two more senior athletes have announced their college plans. Avery King will join the women’s basketball program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, while Jake Freed will continue his baseball career at Oberlin College.


PPA Bake Sale Wednesday Afternoon
The next Patriot Parent Association bake sale is Wednesday during seventh and eighth periods in the Wood Commons and Glass Commons. Doughnuts, muffins, cake, pies, Puppy Chow and more will be available for $1. Proceeds benefit all students and staff through PPA.


The Illinois High School Association filed an appeal Monday hoping to reverse a judge’s decision to let Chicago Public Schools athletes run in the state cross country meet. Cook County Judge Neil H. Cohen ruled Friday that all CPS cross-country teams should be allowed to run in the state sectionals, even though they missed the regional round due to the Chicago teachers strike. The teams competed and 13 runners and Mather’s cross-country team advanced to the state finals. Meanwhile, the IHSA said eight boys and five girls competing as individuals and the team from St. Viator in Arlington Heights will be in the state finals. They were bumped after the results of last week’s sectionals.

A new law ensuring all full-time teachers in Illinois will make at least $40,000 a year by 2023 will only affect a small portion of the state’s workforce. Fewer than 8,000 of the state’s 130,000 teachers make less than $40,000. But the law will make a significant impact in many small, rural southern Illinois districts, where schools receive less property tax money per student and pay out lower wages than in wealthier areas of the state.

Fenwick High School has fired its head football coach for violating school policy three years ago. The Oak Park school said Greg Nudo in 2016 allowed an assistant at practices and games who had not undergone a mandatory background check.


The Texas teen accused of killing 10 people at Santa Fe High School last year will be declared not competent to stand trial, his defense attorney said Monday. The teen was evaluated by three experts: one hired by the defense, an independent expert and one chosen by state prosecutors. All three agreed that the teen is not competent to stand trial.

Findings of a national survey reveal how far schools have come in making digital learning available to every student — and how far they still have to go to realize the full value of their investment. The Speak Up survey of more than 343,500 K-12 students, parents, teachers and administrators found that while students in a majority of schools are now given a mobile device to use in class, there are mixed signals about the value this adds to their learning.

The poor quality of student writing is a common lament among college professors. But how are elementary, middle and high school teachers supposed to teach it better? Unfortunately, this is an area where education research doesn’t offer educators clear advice. Compared to subjects such as math and reading, the amount of research on how to teach writing is tiny.

A widely used principal professional development program focusing on teacher and classroom observations, did not boost student achievement, improve school climate or increase the amount of time principals spend on instructional issues, according to an evaluation from the Institute for Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education.

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