Friday, Mar. 10, 2023

Day Dives In
Studies, Researches To Do Autistic Lead Character In Winter Play Justice 

By day, he is…well, a Day, Alex Day ~ a junior here at Stevenson who moves through his classes and socializes with his friends just like any other student.

But after school, Day isn’t a Day, he’s not Alex, he isn’t himself at all. He hasn’t been for months.

Day has been “in character,” practically since the school year began.

“I love it,” Day said. “I have so much fun.”

Day won the role of “Gaston” in Stevenson’s fall musical, “Beauty And The Beast.”

He moved from that straight into the role of “Christopher,” the lead in Stevenson’s winter play, “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time,” which is running this weekend with a show TONIGHT, two shows TOMORROW and a show on SUNDAY ~ all in the Black Box Theatre.

Day has been acting since he was in second grade and got the role of “Thunderbolt” in “101 Dalmatians Junior.” He has had many roles since. 

But no role has ever challenged Day like “Christopher,” no role has ever required so much research and studying and off-stage work.

“Christopher” is a 15-year-old boy with autism who discovers his neighbor’s dead dog and stumbles upon one mystery after another as he tries to investigate the incident. Day felt a huge responsibility to do “Christopher” justice, to get this role just right. And that meant understanding everything he could about autism.

“I don’t have autism, no one in my family does, so I was a little nervous to take this on,” Day said. “But some of my friends (have autism), and some of the people on the cast and crew do, so it was really important to me to talk to them, to watch them, so that I could make the story and the character as authentic as possible.”

Day also did his research at home by reading about autism and by watching shows about autism or shows that feature autistic characters. He studied shows such as “Atypical” and “Good Doctor” and “Love On The Spectrum” closely.

The entire cast and crew also attended a presentation by one of Stevenson’s counselors who works with Special Education students and has expertise with autism.

“I think my research adds a lot to ‘Christopher’…it makes him a more real character, a real person,’” said Day, who has incorporated his own sounds and mannerisms that he learned through studying and observations that lend depth and layers to “Christopher.” “I have found with ‘Christopher,’ and this might not be true of everyone in this situation, but with him, there is always a reaction to everything, however large or small. Whether that’s a sound reaction or a physical reaction. I’ve been playing a lot with sound reactions. And eye contact. What ‘Christopher’ does is that he’ll be talking to you but he’ll be looking past you, or staring down. Or maybe he looks at your nose bridge rather than looking you in the eye.”

There are other things that make “Christopher” different, such as his extraordinary aptitude with math and numbers and facts and organization.

“There might be this idea that ‘Christopher’ has some disadvantages by having autism, but in many ways, he has a lot of advantages, too,” Day said. “He’s extremely smart. When there’s a question, he needs to find an answer. I admire that perseverance about him. He also loves space, and the free-thinking of space gives ‘Christopher’ two sides, which is a super cool thing to see in the show.

“I’m really excited for people to see this show because I feel like it breaks the stigma of what people might know about autism. I think the show will help people walk away with a lot of new information, mostly that at the end of the day, people with autism are no different than us. Their brains might work a little differently, but they are just people like us.”

Day says that “Christopher” is like him in that he is a little more reserved, more quiet and introverted.

“Gaston” in “Beauty And The Beast” pushed Day in a way that challenged his everyday personality.

“‘Gaston’ pushed me out of my shell because I’m a little shy,” Day said. “‘Gaston’ has a lot of egotistical confidence, a very macho man where ‘It’s all about me.’ It’s fun playing new and different roles and I think both ‘Gaston’ and ‘Christopher’ have pushed me in different ways and I’m grateful for that and it’s cool to get a chance to play characters like that.”

Day, who wants to be involved in theater in college, is all in when it comes to being on stage, and the feeling he gets from performing for others. It’s a rush, he says.

“Getting to be in a show and seeing people afterwards, and seeing them walking away with a smile, and knowing that they are taking away a good message, that’s so great,” Day said. “That’s what I really love about this, the experience of knowing that what you’re doing is impacting people in a positive way.”

Music Master
Mendoza Hits Just The Right Mix For Sounds Of Winter Play

There’s more than inspiring and engaging acting that highlights Stevenson’s winter play, “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time,”, which runs four shows over the weekend in the Black Box Theatre.

Music is also a big part of the play, and senior Amanda Mendoza produced a vast majority of it. She researched sounds and melded them together to create full-length songs that tell as much of the story of the production as the dialogue itself.

NOTE: A full video interview with Mendoza, complete with samplings of her songs, a look at her background and her recommendations for classes to take at Stevenson that teach all things Music Production, can be accessed by clicking the link on her photo to the above left, or by checking out Stevenson’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Scenes From The Winter Band Concert

Students from Honor, Advanced Symphonic, Symphonic, Concert and Freshman Bands wrapped their two-night spectacular musical experience last night.

The repertoire included a grand mix of core band literature with up-and-coming musical selections.

For a full gallery of photos from the concert, please click here.

Photos: Joel Lerner. 

Percussion Ensemble Makes Solid Debut At Festival

Members of Stevenson’s Percussion Ensemble made their debut performance of the year last weekend alongside 10 other schools from the area in the 17th Annual Elk Grove Percussion Festival.

High energy was brought for the Ensemble’s performance of “Mayhem,” by Daniel Montoya Jr, which will be performed at its concert next month.The students were given valuable feedback from Northern Illinois University Professor Ben Wahlund, a prominent name in the percussion community. The students were also treated to a masterclass focusing on the upcoming wave of electronics in the percussive arts, led by University of Kentucky Professor Adam Hopper.

Members of the Ensemble are pictured above from left to right: senior Eric Mahn, junior Lorenzo Bertoldo, sophomore Saiswaroop Vignesh, freshman Luke Steiner, junior Alex Heltzer, junior Daniela Flemenbaum, junior Anu Peddada and senior Nijaa Nishanth.

Stevenson Students Aim To Be Good Influence On Young Kids

Snow hit Aptakisic Junior High last week in the form of Stevenson’s Snowflake Program.

There were 40 students from Stevenson involved in Stevenson PeerTheater and Catalyst who helped facilitate the 5th Annual Snowflake Program for seventh grade students at Aptakisic Junior High.

Students involved in these co-curricular clubs provide education to young students about the risks of substance use for teenagers. They also promote positive decision-making by leading small groups and performing skits.

Bullseye! Archery Team Qualifies For Upcoming State Tournament!

Stevenson’s Archery Team continues to be on point, and has secured a spot in the upcoming NASP Illinois State Tournament.

Along the road this season, Stevenson picked up a fifth-place finish at the Armstrong-Potomac Cupid Classic, a first-place trophy at the Rise of the Phoenix STEM Academy Tournament and a fifth-place finish at last weekend’s Centennial Tournament, where Evan Lin and Josh Peterson both shot perfect rounds (a score of 50)!

The Top 5 archers at the Centennial Tournament were:
Olivia Gancarz 284 (16 bullseyes). She is ranked 14th in the state.
Arshdeep Saini 279 (13 bullseyes). He is ranked 30th in the state
Evan Lin 279 (13 bullseyes). He is ranked 30th in the state.
Joseph Jung 270 (12 bullseyes). He is ranked 39th in the state.
Ella Gutin 267 (11 bullseyes). She is ranked 88th in the state.

Takeover Time: Yoon To Take Over IG Account For “KM For Kenya!”

For a behind-the-scenes look at TOMORROW’s Kilometers For Kenya Fundraiser, check out Stevenson’s main Instagram account as senior Brian Yoon takes the controls.

KM For Kenya is a fundraising event sponsored by National Honor Society that will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. tomorrow in the Fieldhouse as teams walk and run around the track. Each lap completed will be a donation towards the Angaza Center in Kenya.

Yoon is on the executive board for NHS.

“I have been a part of NHS since my junior year and I am most excited to see the strategy teams use during the event,” Yoon said. “Another thing I am super excited for is the Stevenson Combine, which is a re-creation of the NFL combine.”

NOTE: As part of the KM For Kenya Fundraiser, National Honor Society is hosting an all day event TODAY at both the Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire Culver’s locations. 

From orders placed today, 25 percent of proceeds will be donated back to National Honor Society. Please mention Stevenson NHS and Kilometers For Kenya when ordering.

Complete PROM Guest Forms; PROM Tix Go On Sale MONDAY!

Just a friendly reminder to get ahead of the curve and get your PROM Guest Forms turned in because tickets for the PROM on April 15 will go LIVE ON MONDAY!!

If you want to attend Prom with a guest who does not go to Stevenson, you MUST fill out the guest form by MARCH 28.

TODAY: Girls Water Polo Hosting Frosty FRIDAY!!

Support the Girls Water Polo Team and buy a Wendy’s Chocolate or Vanilla Frosty TODAY!

Frostys will be sold for $3 each starting at the beginning of eighth period until 4 p.m. in two locations ~ on the West Side, outside the Patriot School Store; on East Side, outside the Performing Arts Center.

Deadline Is TODAY For Armed Services Test Permission Slip

Interested in the military?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test will be offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in the military next Thursday, March 16.

Students who would like to take this exam MUST return a signed permission slip to the College Career Center by TODAY.

Click here to learn more or sign the permission slip.

Travel The World With Stevenson! Required Zoom Coming Up!

For those adventurers who would like to see new places and discover new cultures, Stevenson has a cool international travel program available to students.

Travel opportunities for 2024 include: the Dominican Republic, Japan, Iceland and Europe!

To learn more about the program and to register, interested families must attend a Zoom meeting at 6:30 p.m. on MARCH 16.

NOTE: Families MUST register here in advance to receive the Zoom link.


NOW THROUGH APRIL 28: Apply for these post-secondary scholarships with deadlines ranging from now through April 28.

TODAY ~ Deadline For Odyssey Logo Contest Submission: Submissions will be accepted through TODAY. Prize is $150! More information about Odyssey on the website.

MARCH 15 ~ CLC Field Trip: Juniors and Seniors interested in visiting the College of Lake County are encouraged to pick up field trip permission slips in the College Career Center for a second opportunity to visit the CLC Grayslake and Southlake Campuses on Wednesday, March 15.

MARCH 15 ~ Applications Due For LAW DAY and TRAUMA CENTER DAY: Stevenson will be participating in both Lake County Law Day and Advocate Condell Trauma Center Day next month and applications to participate are due next week on WEDNESDAY, March 15. Lake County Law Day will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 21 at the Lake County Court House. Condell’s Trauma Center Day is from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 28 at Advocate Condell Medical Center. Sign up here for Law Day. Sign up here for Trauma Center Day. 

MARCH 22 ~ Applications Due For Senior Service Recognition: Senior Service Recognition was conceived to showcase outstanding community service efforts by Stevenson students. Online applications are due for seniors on March. 22Visit this link for the online application. For more information on senior service recognition, contact Ms. Zabrin at 847-415-4184 or

NOW THROUGH APRIL ~ Project Cutlery: Green Team is concerned about plastic utensil use at Stevenson. The club has organized a raffle running now through April for students who submit a photo of the reusable utensil they use at Stevenson through this form. Those submissions are entered for a chance to WIN a solar-powered portable charger! There will be THREE randomly selected winners who will be notified in April. Submitted photos MUST show use AT STEVENSON in order to be considered.

MARCH 22 ~ Submissions For Wit Due: The WIT Staff is calling for submissions to this year’s magazine! The deadline for submissions is March 22. Please e-mail Mr. Zagorski at with any questions.


Seniors: Get out your calendars…you’re probably going to want to “save these dates” as these are the top “Senior Send-Off” events at Stevenson…and you won’t want to miss them! Also included are deadlines for permission slips, early-bird ticketing, etc. We will provide more detailed information here as it becomes available. Stay tuned! Note: The “Seniors: Class Of 2023” page on the Stevenson website will also be updated with all of this information as it becomes available. 


** Please note that Prom is for Seniors AND Juniors!
APRIL 28 ~ Senior Sunrise
MAY 25 ~ Senior Class Party
MAY 26 ~ Graduation


MARCH 28 ~ Prom Guest Form Deadline: If you want to attend Prom on April 15 with a guest who does not go to Stevenson, you MUST fill out the guest form by MARCH 28. 

MARCH 31 ~ Party Time, Seniors…Early-Bird Ticket Deadline: Tickets for the “The Senior Class Party,” which is a two-hour boat cruise on Lake Michigan May 25, are available. The early-bird price for tickets ($40 apiece) is good until MARCH 31, and after that tickets will increase to $45 apiece. To complete the transaction, put your Student ID in the Promo Code. For more information, please check out the Feb. 7 Daily Digest.
Sports Results

Boys Gymnastics: The Patriots (3-0) traveled to Mundelein to take on North Suburban Conference opponents Lake Zurich, Libertyville and Mundelein and won with a high score of 146.40. Stevenson dominated the floor exercise with Elliott Haskell (9.00) tying for first, Eli Haskell (8.80) placing third and Santi Gonzalez and Thor Mace tying for fourth with an 8.70. The Haskells came in first and second on the pommel horse with an 8.20 and 8.00, respectively. Mace finished third on the still rings with an 8.00 and the Patriots finished out the top 7. On the vault, Elliott Haskell placed second with a 9.00. Eli Haskell and Mace tied for third on the parallel bars with an 8.10 and Mace placed first on the horizontal bar with an 8.70. In the all-around, Elliott Haskell finished first with a 49.20 and Mace tied for second place with a 48.80. Next up for the Patriots is an Invite at Hinsdale Central at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 17.

Boys Water Polo: Stevenson hosted Conant and won 22-3 to start the season with a big victory. The Patriots had 15 different players with either 1 goal or 1 assist in the game. Armaan Gill had 6 saves and allowed only one goal. Garrett Timmons had 7 saves and both goalies added a steal. Kunal Rajadhyax led the team with 4 goals and 3 assists. Max LaPointe-St. GeorgesJason Zhao and Olin Kusevskis added 3 goals apiece in addition to 3 steals apiece. Dylan Kreimer and Jack Curtin both added 2 goals, while Andrew MossmanJack OsmondTeddy Chui, Jayden Tsai, and Armeet Gill all added 1 goal each. The Patriots will play tomorrow when they host a Quad against Whitney Young, Fremd and Lyons Township starting at 1 p.m.

Girls Water Polo: Stevenson (1-0) traveled to Conant High School to take on the Cougars and won 23-6. Katie Delaney had 6 blocked shots in goal, while Belle Cloeter had 4 assists and Olivia Spieth had 5 steals. Both Becca Stone and Sophia Berger led the team with goals at 4 apiece. The next Invite for Stevenson is tomorrow against St. Charles North, Lincoln Way East and Lyons Township beginning at 8 a.m.
Sports Reminders

ONGOING: Register for Summer Sports Camp: For freshmen through seniors. Summer Sports Camp brochure, which is also located on the athletics webpage. Register here for Summer Sports Camp. Register early to make sure you are cleared to participate on the first day of camp.

MARCH 13 ~ Boys Track Deadline: The last day to join Boys Track & Field is March 13. No exceptions. Register.

MARCH 15 ~ Deadline For Athletic Hall Of Fame Nominations: Nominations for the Stevenson Athletics Hall of Fame are now being accepted.  Nominate an athlete, coach, staff member or supporter who through their commitment, sacrifice, and dedication to the Stevenson Athletic Program have brought pride and distinction to our school community. Deadline to submit is March 15. Nomination Form

MARCH 15 ~ Be The Best You Can Be: Andy Isaacson will discuss ways to “Be The Best Athlete You Can Be” in his presentation on MARCH 15 in the RECITAL HALL (Room 4100) during the lunch periods (4, 5 and 6). Bring your lunch and the athletic department will provide dessert!

MARCH 16 ~ Mandatory Student-Athlete Meeting: If you have not attended the mandatory student-athlete meeting, there is one coming up next week on Thursday, March 16. The meeting will run from 9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and will be held in the LITTLE THEATER.
Mark your calendars for these events and see the Stevenson Calendar for details on these and future programs.

Mar. 10: ISA Testing
Mar. 10-12: Winter Play: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mar. 10: NHS Blood Drive
Mar. 10: Girls Water Polo ~ Frosty Friday! 
Mar. 11: NHS Kilometers For Kenya
Mar. 13: Stevenson Family Engagement ~ “Let’s Talk About Self Advocacy”
Mar. 13: FAN ~ “Drama Free: A Guide To Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships”
Mar. 15: PPA Bake Sale
Mar. 15: Sports Boosters
Mar. 15: Stevenson Family Engagement ~ “Wellbeing For Your Teen”
Mar. 16: Chamber Guitar Concert
Mar. 16: Late Arrival
Mar. 16: FAN ~ “Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way”
Mar. 17: ISA Testing Makeup

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