Tuesday, March 10, 2020

SHS Third at State Academic Challenge
Stevenson earned a pair of third-place finishes at the annual Academic Challenge on Friday at Eastern Illinois University. SHS placed third in the 9/10 Division, and the 11/12 Division. The 9/10 roster included sophomore Spandan Goel, and freshmen Collin FanAndrey VlasovAadit JunejaBen Chen and Jack Chen. The 11/12 roster featured juniors Krishna PatelDoogyul LeePhyllis WangRichard BiAditi SinghSean LiLily Ma and Sophia Li. Academic Challenge is a test-based competition hosted by EIU’s physics department and pre-engineering program. Students solve real-world engineering problems using engineering, applied mathematics and science principles.

Conneen Featured in Daily Herald
Advanced Placement Government teacher Andrew Conneen, who has spent 22 of his 26 years in teaching at Stevenson, was featured by the Daily Herald on Monday. Conneen has helped to raise the profile of civics education not only at SHS, but around the country. He and retiring colleague Daniel Larsen helped write the “Suffrage at 17” law that allows 17-year-olds who turn 18 before a November general election to vote in the preceding primary. The pair also have been springtime fixtures on C-SPAN with their “Cram for the Exam” show aimed at students preparing to take the annual AP Government test.

Showcase, PPA-Sponsored Talent Show, Returns Saturday
Showcase, the annual student talent show sponsored by the Patriot Parent Association, will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Performing Arts Center. Reserved tickets are available for $10. You can purchase tickets online until noon Saturday through this link, or during all lunch periods via cash, check or student ID until noon Friday in the Wood Commons. Tickets will be $12 (cash only) at the door on Saturday.

Band Fundraisers Today and Thursday
The Band Parents Organization is holding fundraisers today and Thursday at two area restaurants. Today’s fundraiser runs from 4-8 p.m. at Panera, 447 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Vernon Hills. Thursday’s fundraiser takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Strawberry Field and Pancakes, 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Lincolnshire. Mention “SHS Band” when ordering at either location.

Marijuana’s Impact on the Teen Brain
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.

There have been numerous studies that demonstrate the harmful short- and long-term effects marijuana has on the teen brain. It can:

  • Impair thinking, memory, and learning functions.
  • Affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for learning.

It has also been linked to:

  • Reduction in IQ by an average of eight points.
  • Breathing problems and lung infections.
  • Mental illness including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.

For more information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse , click here.


Boys Basketball Sectional Semifinal Tonight
Two lengthy winning streaks are on the line when Stevenson takes on Zion-Benton in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A Prospect Sectional semifinals at 6 o’clock tonight at Prospect High School. Mundelein (29-4) faces Prospect (14-15) in the second semifinal at 7:30. The winners of tonight’s semifinals will play for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday.

The top-seeded Patriots (27-4) have won 10 straight games, while the fifth-seeded Zee-Bees (21-10) bring a six-game winning streak into the contest. The two schools have met twice already this season, with SHS capturing both games: 57-44 on Dec. 13 in the Sports Center, and 61-51 on Feb. 1 in Zion.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $6 at the Patriot Superstore during lunch periods today. (Admission to the Stevenson game does not cover the second semifinal between Mundelein and Prospect.)

Will RJ Holmes Be Dunking in Atlanta? You Decide
Final-round voting for senior RJ Holmes in the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship begins at noon today at www.highschoolslam.com. RJ is matched against Kobe Jones of South Granville High School in Creedmoor, N.C. Voting ends at noon Tuesday, March 17. The winner of the final round will join several other peers in Atlanta, home of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, for a live dunking competition next month. RJ talked about his dunking prowess with Pioneer Press correspondent Bob Narang.

Two Named Semper Fidelis Finalists
Two SHS student-athletes are among 13 Illinois finalists in the 2020 Semper Fidelis All-American competition sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Haley Barnes and Jason Jagielo, both juniors, were among thousands of applicants for the honor, which rewards 11th-grade students who have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale), are active in community service and at least one team sport, and who hold a student or community leadership position. Haley is a member of the SHS girls basketball team, while Jason is on the baseball team. Semper Fidelis All-Americans will be named in the coming weeks; those selected will be recognized for their achievements July 9-13 at the Battles Won Academy in Washington, D.C.

The Palumbo Family Foundation, a local foundation offering scholarships to local high school seniors and college undergraduates, is accepting applications for 2020 until March 31. Last year, a Stevenson student received a $10,000 scholarship from the foundation. Approximately $125,000 in scholarships will be awarded this year. Apply online at www.palumbofoundation.org.


No students or other employees have tested positive so far for the new coronavirus at Chicago’s Vaughn Occupational High School, where a classroom assistant is hospitalized with the illness. However, two of the four new cases reported in Chicago on Monday are relatives of the Vaughn classroom assistant, state officials announced. Those two people — a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 70s — are not employees of Chicago Public Schools.

The chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee says that a task force set up last year to provide proposals for reforming the state’s property tax system was unable reach a consensus. State Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside, made his comment Friday in response to criticism leveled by House Republicans who complained the task force never issued a final report, which was due Jan. 1.


As more schools across the United States close their doors because of the coronavirus, they are confronted with a dilemma in weighing whether to shut down and move classes online, which could leave behind the many students who don’t have computers, home internet access or parents with flexible work schedules. The deep technological and wealth gap that exists nationwide between poor and affluent students has made the coronavirus outbreak even more challenging for school officials, who are wrestling with not only health and safety decisions but also questions about the ethics of school closures.

One year after the “Varsity Blues” scandal raised questions about fairness in college admissions, six leaders of some of the country’s most selective colleges say they, too, have questions. They take responsibility for some of the public’s mistrust of higher education. But they also say Americans’ obsession with being the best in all avenues of life is partially to blame.

An increasing number of black students in the U.S. say they are being penalized by schools for their hair styles. The problem lies in the policies, experts say, which don’t necessarily take into account an increasingly diverse student body, to the detriment of mostly black and biracial schoolchildren.

Two Kent State students shot and wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, have been selected as commencement speakers at the university this spring. Both students went on to careers in education after the tragedy.

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