Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

Winter Dance Concert Tickets On Sale

Tickets are on sale for the Winter Dance Concert, which will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7 in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $6 and can be ordered online.

Retired Teacher Co-Authors Bard Book
Retired Communication Arts teacher Mary Christel is the co-author of “Bring on the Bard: Active Drama Approaches for Shakespeare’s Diverse Student Readers,” published recently by the National Council of Teachers of English. The book, co-written with Kevin Long of Harper College, introduces the “Folio” technique to secondary level teachers who want to help students understand and play with Shakespeare’s language.

Folio technique refers to the individual “cue scripts” Shakespeare wrote for actors who hadn’t read the entire play but had to perform on the fly with almost no rehearsal. The authors contend that the Folio technique helps students to discover the clues the Bard built into his works that shed light on the characters’ text, context and subtext.

The book is suffused with the experiences of current and former Stevenson teachers and students. Communication Arts teachers Jen Arias, Laura Brown, Jacquie Cullen, Stephen Heller and Noel Johnston shared their experiences teaching Shakespeare, as did former teacher and current Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Mark Onuscheck. Retired SHS teachers Cynthia Burrows and Chris Heckel-Oliver also discussed their experiences, as did 1994 graduate and current English Language Arts teacher Rita Göndöcs. Two current students, seniors Dziyana Balakir and Abby Sokol, and 2019 graduates Hailey Keenan and Laura Thornburg shared their experiences of reading and performing Shakespeare’s work.


Tuesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Bowling
Stevenson 3,029, Mundelein 2,712: The Patriots swept all three games at Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein, improving to 3-0 on the season in conference and regular-season matches. Juniors Ryan Lerman and Nicholas Sternes led SHS with series scores of 645 and 641, respectively. Ryan rolled a high game of 236, while Nicholas’ top game was 222. Classmate Luke Snider added a 565 series, which included a 221 game. Ryan Grabiner, also a junior, had the high game of the day for Stevenson, a 237, and posted a two-game score of 429. Freshman Ender Starr bowled two games, 206 and 199, and junior Joey Gluck had a 192 and 152.


Senior Yearbook Portrait Deadline Next Week
Seniors (and any other student graduating in 2020) must have their yearbook portrait taken by Visual Image Photography by Wednesday, Nov. 27 if they want it to appear in the Ambassador yearbook. Schedule an appointment online at


In Illinois, it’s legal for school employees to seclude students in a separate space — to put them in “isolated timeout” — if the students pose a safety threat to themselves or others. Yet every school day, workers isolate children for reasons that violate the law, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois has found.

Antioch Elementary District 34 and its superintendent, Jay Marino, are parting ways. The school board Tuesday night was expected to approve a “mutual separation agreement” with Marino, who is serving in his sixth school year in that role. Marino has been on leave for an undisclosed reason since Nov. 1.

Classes are canceled at Marion High School today so that the facility can be professionally inspected for bedbugs. The infestation is thought to be contained to two adjacent classrooms. Prior to official notification from the district, speculation on Facebook led parents to pull “several hundred” students out of school on Tuesday, according to the superintendent.

Parents of students at a northern Illinois elementary school are angry after an older student led an experiment that asked their children to open child-proof medicine bottles. A junior high school student worked with some kindergarteners and first-graders at Leland Elementary School in LaSalle County as part of a science fair project. Parents believe they should have been notified in advance.


At least 147 Indiana school districts canceled classes Tuesday as thousands of teachers traveled to the state capital for “Red for Ed Action Day,” demanding better pay and more funding for public schools.

A series of racist incidents at Syracuse University has roiled the private school, with officials confronted by student sit-ins and harsh critiques from faculty members and federal agents crawling the campus. The incidents, which began less than two weeks ago, have included racist graffiti, swastikas and hate speech hurled at black and Asian students.

Education advocates in Texas are challenging a plan to replace the elected Houston school board with a state-appointed one. The decision follows the release of a report detailing Wheatley High School’s poor performance and the board’s alleged wrongdoing. The Houston Independent School District is suing the state, arguing that the takeover would disenfranchise black and Hispanic voters.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

Philadelphia Schools Among Today’s Visitors

Nearly 70 representatives from 10 educational institutions in seven states are on campus today for the latest Site Visit for Educators program. The city of Philadelphia’s school district is sending eight ambassadors. Other schools and districts represented today include:

Site visit registration fees go to the Stevenson Foundation, to support its programs.

Guitar Concert Thursday Night
The Fine Arts Division will hold its first-semester guitar concert at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Performing Arts Center. Admission is free. The concert will be livestreamed on the Fine Arts Division’s Vimeo page.

Recent Alumni Invited Back to SHS
All members of Stevenson’s Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 are invited to attend the Alumni Lounge anytime between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Enjoy a bite to eat with SHS teachers and reconnect with former classmates. Food and beverages will be provided. Click here to RSVP.

New Stage for Retired Teacher
Retired theater teacher Cynthia Burrows is embarking on a new career: Helping people improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Burrows is enrolled in the personal training program at Harper College, and talked about her new passion in this Q&A.

1970s Marijuana vs. Today’s Version
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.

Did you know that today’s marijuana has more than 40 times the concentration of THC levels compared to what was used in the 1970s? Because of this, we need to understand that this is a completely different drug. Discuss the following facts with your teen:

  • Published research on young people ages 10-25 shows differences in the brain’s reward system between users and non-users. Teens who smoked had significant abnormalities in the areas of the brain linked to emotion, motivation, and decision making.
  • There may be long-term memory loss in adulthood due to teen smoking. Heavy use of marijuana as a teen can result in a 6-point IQ loss in adulthood. This is the same amount of loss that lead poisoning causes.
  • Teens who frequently smoked pot, especially young men, were less likely to hold full-time jobs as adults, get married, or finish their education.

For more information on the impact of today’s marijuana on the teen brain, click here.


Monday’s Varsity Results

Girls Basketball
Stevenson 58, Barrington 47: Sophomore Simone Sawyer scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Patriots past the host Fillies in the season-opening game for both teams. Simone scored 16 points in the first half as SHS built a 37-29 halftime lead. Eva Bardic, also a sophomore, added 16 points and junior Nikki Ware chipped in with 10. Senior Avery King scored the team’s other seven points. Stevenson used a 13-1 run late in the first half, and a 14-0 run near the end of the third quarter to blunt Barrington’s comeback efforts. The Patriots sank 16 of 22 free throw attempts in the game, and went 7-of-12 in the fourth quarter. – Daily Herald | News-Sun: Top 5 Teams, 15 Players in the Area



A statewide program helping female high school students learn about cybersecurity and potential jobs in the field begins accepting registration next month. Registration for the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology’s free Girls Go CyberStart program opens Dec. 2. The online program begins Jan. 13, and students can access it from home or school. No previous experience with cybersecurity or IT is required. The program includes lessons about cryptography, password cracking and digital forensics. For more information, visit


The Intramural Basketball League meeting will take place from 7:45-8:15 a.m. Monday in the Student Activities Office. Team packets will be distributed at the meeting. If you have questions, contact Mr. Wellington at


Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire would get more classrooms, safety improvements and other upgrades as part of a proposed $8 million expansion and renovation. The plan calls for a one-story, 1,800-square-foot addition near the front of the existing building on Riverwoods Road.

East St. Louis, one of the country’s poorest cities, has been labeled the worst-performing school district in the nation. Only 73% of students graduate high school — compared to 89% in Illinois and 93% just across the river in Missouri. Community leaders hope that improving early childhood education will reverse the city’s fortunes.

A children’s author whose scheduled appearance at a Wheaton elementary school was abruptly canceled last month has accepted an invitation to speak about her book Wednesday at Glenbard West High School.

A Naperville Central student’s racist Craigslist post has raised concerns within the school community. The post featured a picture of an African American student in class with the heading “Slave for Sale (NAPERVILLE).” School administrators said they took swift and appropriate steps to address the situation as soon as they were made aware of the post.

Zion-Benton Township High School is looking into what it would cost to build a new pool after bids for renovating the existing pool came in higher than expected. The construction bids came in around $7.3 million, higher than the $5.9 million originally estimated. A decision on whether to build a new pool will take at least two to three months.


The most-regretted college majors are English, communications, biological sciences and law, according to ZipRecruiter’s survey of more than 5,000 college graduates who were looking for a job. The least-regretted majors focused on computer science, business, engineering and health administration.

Teachers in three states have sued their former school after being disciplined for refusing to use the preferred names or pronouns of transgender students. The lawsuits also raise the question of whose rights take precedence when transgender students’ demands for recognition and respect clash with teachers’ personal beliefs. All of the teachers say they were forced to choose between keeping their jobs or acting in a way that conflicted with their religious views.

Monday, Nov. 18, 2019

Debate Team Takes Top Honor at Lyons

Stevenson won first place in the Large School Sweepstakes competition at the third Illinois Congressional Debate Association tournament of the year held Saturday at Lyons Township High School.

Several students left with awards and recognitions. Junior Alex Zhou received a First Place Quality Speaker award, and also earned first place in his varsity chamber. Five others also took top honors in their varsity chamber: juniors Aditi SinghJames XieRishika Chikoti and Michelle Velyunskiy, and sophomore Anna Xie. Anna also earned a Third Place Quality Speaker award, and James and senior Sunny Gandhi received Best Presiding Officer nominations.

Junior Jeanette Han was second in her varsity chamber, while Sunny and sophomores Aditi Ambravan and Udit Mehta were third in their chambers. In the junior varsity competition, three freshmen were awarded first place in their chamber: Michael KirylauLarry Han and Aditya Ramesh.

Chess Team Wins West Chicago Invitational
The SHS chess team cruised to the West Chicago Invitational championship on Saturday. The Patriots won their four matches handily, defeating Hinsdale Central (45.5-22.5), Naperville North (68-0), Neuqua Valley (42-26) and Naperville Central (51-17). Stevenson’s players were seniors Adam Wallach and Gil Banuelos; juniors Ricky WangDavid WallachJack Chen and Ryan Yao; sophomore Fred Yuan; and freshmen Rohit GuhaSrihas RaoStella Pashyan and Vishnu Sadhu.

Scholastic Bowl Players Finish 1-3 at New Trier
Senior Govind Prabhakar finished first and junior Arjun Nageswaran tied for third among 128 competitors from 30 schools at Scobol Solo 2019, a Scholastic Bowl tournament held Saturday at New Trier High School.

Govind was the outright winner of the Religion and Mythology category, and tied for first in three other events: U.S. History, European History, and Current Events. Arjun also tied for first in European History and in British Literature. Senior David Holmquist tied his teammates for first in European History, and also tied for top honors in World History and Military History. Also tying for first place were sophomore Anish Arora in U.S. Literature, and freshman Arunabh Ganguli in European and World Literature.

Aadit Juneja was the top freshman and Anmol Dash tied for highest sophomore finisher. Junior Allen Guo also competed for Stevenson.

Junior Honored by Chicago Journalists Association
Junior Lily Jiang received honorable mention in the sports writing category at the 80th annual Chicago Journalists Association awards dinner on Friday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Lily was a finalist in the 2019 Sarah Brown Boyden Awards, which honored journalistic work over the past year in 18 categories.

Lily was chosen as a nominee for two pieces she wrote for Long Grove Living magazine. “Catching National Titles and Pokémon” covered the game-playing success of the sister-brother duo of senior Alyssa Smith and sophomore Evan Smith. “Stevenson’s Varsity Patriettes Team A National Success,” meanwhile, provided a summary of the squad’s award-filled 2018-19 season, which included a sectional championship, second-place finish at state, and eighth-place effort at nationals.

Lily is the in-depth editor for the Statesman, Stevenson’s student newspaper, and has been a junior writer for Long Grove Living since fifth grade. She was accompanied at the awards luncheon by Harvey Stein, the magazine’s publisher.


Saturday’s Varsity Results

Girls Swimming and Diving
Stevenson at IHSA Deerfield Sectional: SHS won its eighth sectional championship in program history, winning 10 of 12 events and qualifying 11 Patriots for this weekend’s state meet at New Trier High School. Stevenson posted a team score of 316, far ahead of runner-up Buffalo Grove, which had 199, and 10 other schools. Junior Alex Eastmond and sophomore Claudia Rzeznik each won two events and were part of first-place relays. Alex captured the 100-yard freestyle (51.85) and 100-yard backstroke (56.33), while Claudia claimed the 50-yard freestyle (23.79) and 100-yard butterfly (55.55). Alex swam in two victorious relays: the 200-medley (1:44.93) with juniors Elizabeth Cao and Jessica Nyborg, and freshman Milena Busma, and the 400 free relay (3:31.34) with seniors Maddy O’Donnell and Lucy Stevens, and freshman Abby Collins. Claudia swam in the 200 freestyle relay (1:36.13) with Maddy, Jessica and freshman Isabelle Gattone. Stevenson’s other individual sectional champions were Elizabeth in the 200 individual medley (2:07.20), Jessica in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.24), and sophomore Shreeya Sinha in 1-meter diving (451.00). Maddy also qualified for state in two events with her second-place showings in the 200 free (1:53.27) and in 100 free (52.42). Elizabeth heads to state after a runner-up finish in the 100 back (57.74), and Jessica finished third in the 100 fly (56.83) to qualify in that event. Also qualifying for state was sophomore Katie Makarska, who placed fourth in the 50 free (24.04). – Official Results | State Qualifiers

Competitive Dance
Stevenson at Andrew Invitational: In Tinley Park, the varsity finished second and third in the 3A division, which numbered 21 teams.

Boys Bowling
Stevenson at Lake Park Invitational: At Stardust Bowl in Addison, junior Nicholas Sternes finished fifth out of 250 bowlers with a six-game series score of 1,335 that included the Patriots’ top game of the day, a 266. Classmate Ryan Lerman was the only other SHS bowler to roll six games, finishing with a 1,106 series and a high game of 243. Junior Ryan Grabiner had a five-game series of 913 (high game of 225) while fellow junior Joey Gluck added an 890 (200) in five games. Freshman Ender Starr had the second-highest game of the day for Stevenson, a 254, en route to a four-game series score of 845. Junior Luke Snider shot a 502 in three games, while junior Josh Lerner added a 166 game. In the team standings, Stevenson finished 13th out of 43 teams with a pin total of 5,757.

Stevenson at Homewood-Flossmoor Tournament: The Patriot girls and boys squads each won four of five matches in their season opener. The girls defeated University Lab School (27-0), Homewood-Flossmoor (18-9), Marian Catholic (24-3) and Gwendolyn Brooks (24-3), and lost to Culver Military Academy (17-10). The boys defeated University Lab School (25-2), Homewood-Flossmoor (23-4), Marian Catholic (23-4) and Gwendolyn Brooks (23-4), and fell to Culver (15-12).

Friday’s Varsity Results

Boys Ice Hockey
York 4, Stevenson 1: Junior Liam Jones scored the Patriot goal at Addison Ice Rink. Senior goalie Ben Newmark had 19 saves.



Animal Welfare Club will meet from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 6110, the multipurpose room in the new East Building addition. Stevenson’s Social Studies director’s assistant, Jacqueline Gray, will bring her in-training therapy dog, Kayla. She will talk about the process of becoming a therapy dog and Kayla’s experiences.

The next Breakfast with Books Club meeting is at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday in the upper ILC. The club will have its yearbook photo taken during the meeting. All students are welcome; the only requirement is a love for reading!


The Ski and Snowboard Club information meeting will be held during the activity period on Wednesday. The parent information meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25 in the Recital Hall. Contact Mr. Wellington at or Mr. Johanssen at for more information.


The Sommer Foundation is awarding scholarships ranging from $3,000-$5,000 for college-bound seniors who have experienced the death of a parent. Applicants must be able to display strong academic promise, positive co-curricular or work experience, contributions through community or school service, and financial need. Applications are due by March 6. For more information, visit


The city and Chicago Public Schools have enough cash to pay for the first year of a new contract with teachers, which was ratified late Friday by the union. But for the next four years of the deal, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the school district are counting on money that’s not guaranteed to be there.

A Cook County judge on Sunday denied bail for a Morton College student accused of having a large cache of assault-style weapons, handguns and ammunition inside his vehicle parked at the suburban college on the same day last week that a teenager went on a deadly shooting spree at his high school in California.

The Illinois State Board of Education has greatly expanded its Illinois Virtual Course Program. The program now offers 840 virtual courses that are available to middle and high school students, and includes core, elective, Advanced Placement, and credit recovery options. The new course catalog expands Illinois’ virtual course offerings by 775 classes. School districts can begin accessing courses now, with instruction available to begin as early as Jan. 1.

A fire that started in a classroom at May Whitney Elementary School in Lake Zurich early this morning has been extinguished, but caused school officials to close the school for the day. Lake Zurich Fire Chief John Malcolm said no injuries were reported in the blaze that is being blamed on an electrical malfunction in a second-floor classroom.


The number of foreign students coming to U.S. colleges and universities continued to fall last year, according to a new report. An annual report from the Institute of International Education found that the number of newly enrolled international students dipped by 1% in fall 2018 compared to the year before. It follows decreases of 7% and 3% in the previous two years, which were the first downturns in more than a decade.

Half of Indiana’s public school students will be out of classrooms Tuesday while thousands of teachers from across the state rally at the Statehouse to demand better pay. It’s an unprecedented move from Indiana’s teachers, who have spent the last several years watching their counterparts in other states and cities striking, walking out and marching their way toward higher salaries and better working and learning conditions.

Friday, Nov. 15, 2019

Blue Ribbon Award Ceremony Today in D.C.

Stevenson will officially receive its fifth National Blue Ribbon Schools Award from the U.S. Department of Education today during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Stevenson is one of only six schools in the country to receive the honor five times. Stevenson also earned Blue Ribbon awards in 1987, 1991, 1998 and 2002.

SHS is one of 362 schools — 312 public and 50 private — recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. Among the other Blue Ribbon winners are two sender schools: Ivy Hall Elementary School in District 96 and Hawthorn Elementary School South in District 73.

Representing the school in our nation’s capital will be Principal Troy Gobble and Social Studies teacher (and Stevenson alumna) Jenessa Gerber.

A livestream of the Blue Ribbon Schools recognition luncheon and presentation of awards begins at 10:30 a.m. Central Time on the Department of Education’s website.

Getting a Taste of High School Life
Eighth-graders from Stevenson’s sender schools came to the Performing Arts Center on Thursday to watch the dress rehearsal for the fall musical, “Chicago (High School Edition).” The show opens to the public tonight and runs through Sunday. Curtain times are 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12. Online ticket sales are open until one hour before each show. Tickets also will be sold at the door.

Varsity CS:GO Team Remains Unbeaten
The fifth week of the eSports season brought three victories in six matches. The varsity Counter-Strike: GO (Global Offensive) team remained unbeaten with a 16-11 win over Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas. The junior varsity Overwatch squad posted a 3-0 win over its rival from North Dakota, and the JV CS:GO team received a forfeit from its scheduled competitor in Texas.


Thursday’s Varsity Results

Boys Bowling
Stevenson 3,214, Lake Zurich 2,777: The Patriots (2-0 overall and conference) rolled the 12th-highest three-game series in school history to beat the Bears at Bowlero in Deer Park. Leading the way for SHS was junior Nicholas Sternes, who had the highest series (735) and game (277) for either team. Ryan Grabiner, also a junior, shot a 622 series with a high game of 241, and freshman Ender Starr added a 602 series and best game of 223. The other six games were split evenly between three bowlers: juniors Ryan Lerman (449, 237), Joey Gluck (438, 234) and Josh Lerner (368, 190). SHS opened the match with a team score of 1,123, followed by games of 1,069 and 1,022.

Two Named to Daily Herald All-Area Girls Volleyball Team
Two members of Stevenson’s regional champion girls volleyball squad were named to the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area Girls Volleyball Team today: Senior Grace Tully and sophomore Amanda Holsen. Grace, the Patriots’ setter, dished out 842 assists in 38 matches, while adding 183 digs, 50 aces and 41 blocks. Amanda recorded the second-highest number of kills in program history (451), while adding 252 digs and 55 aces. Seniors Lily Cozzi and Abby Keevins, and juniors Emerson Kouri and Makayla Uremovich, earned honorable mention.

Boys Basketball Team Embracing High Expectations
Returning starters Matt KaznikovR.J. Holmes and Matthew Ambrose and John Ittounas are part of a strong senior nucleus that has created high expectations for the boys basketball team. The Patriots went 27-6 last season, the fourth-highest win total in school history, and won conference, regional and sectional championships. Chicago Sun-Times writer Michael O’Brien came to campus Monday to talk with head coach Pat Ambrose and some of his players.

New Statesman Video Series Features Crow in First Episode
Head girls volleyball coach Tim Crow is the feature of the first Patriot Portrait, a new video segment on the Statesman’s website that spotlights SHS teachers and students. In the inaugural Patriot Portrait, Crow talks about his 500th career win on Sept. 23 and his 18 years as Stevenson’s head coach. The first episode was produced by Managing Editor of Web Christie Lee, In-Depth Coordinator Lily Jiang, and staff reporter Pooja Jain. Christie is a senior, while Lily and Pooja are juniors. Click here to watch the video.


Mr. SHS Application Packets Now Available
Mr. SHS application packets are now available in Student Activities. The deadline for sign up is Friday, Dec. 13.

Looking for a Free Car Wash?
Waterway Carwash in Vernon Hills is offering free car washes to all students who show their school ID on Saturdays and Sundays in November. Waterway is just minutes north of Stevenson, at 860 S. Milwaukee Ave., in the former Peacock gas station.


The Breakfast with Books Club is meeting at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday in the upper ILC. The club will have its yearbook photo taken during the meeting. All students are welcome; the only requirement is a love for reading!


The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board voted Thursday night to give transgender students unrestricted access to locker rooms and restrooms at its five schools. The board voted 5-2 to approve the new procedure. It replaces one that set up privacy stalls for transgender students. The new procedure requires transgender students to work out special arrangements with the district in such cases.

A video has surfaced showing a large brawl at Andrew High School on Wednesday that followed a series of racist incidents. Muslim students said a fight occurred inside the school after a classmate desecrated a Quran. However, school district officials said the Quran was not destroyed or damaged.

Waukegan District 60 is asking a Lake County judge to throw out a lawsuit challenging its purchase of a former bank building in downtown Waukegan. The lawsuit argues that the $700,000 purchase of the former First Midwest Bank violates state law, required voter approval and is a “misuse and a frivolous use of taxpayers dollars.”

A Waukegan High School student was hospitalized after being stabbed by another student Thursday in one of the restrooms at the school’s Washington campus, according to Waukegan School District 60 officials. The other student involved, believed to be the one who did the stabbing, was also taken to a hospital for treatment.


A boy described as bright, quiet and “normal” pulled a gun from his backpack on his 16th birthday and opened fire at his southern California high school before saving the last bullet for himself, authorities said. The shooting that killed two teenagers and wounded three others Thursday at Saugus High School in a Los Angeles suburb took just 16 seconds and left the attacker hospitalized in critical condition with a head wound, authorities said.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday extolled the potential benefits of microcredentials and other alternatives to traditional degrees, calling on the higher education sector to innovate and look to inexpensive programs for college students. Her remarks were made to corporate leaders at an event run by The Conference Board, a public policy and economic think tank.

Some college campuses are moonlighting as wedding venues to bring in extra revenue during a time of widespread budgetary woes. Prices range from $300 to $3,000. Yet price isn’t necessarily the main factor. For many couples, a school might hold personal significance if they met in their college days. Sometimes, colleges are chosen because they offer beautiful venues near or in a major city.

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

Teachers’ Second Book Published

Communication Arts teachers Dawn Forde and Andrew Bouque have published a new book, their second in the past two years. “Inquiry Paths to Literacy Learning: A Guide for Elementary and Secondary School Educators,” which they co-edited with three faculty members from Northern Illinois University, was published recently by Rowman and Littlefield. “Inquiry Paths” offers English language arts teachers several models and considerations for how to design and implement inquiry-based teaching and learning. Forde and Bouque also are featured writers for the book in addition to being co-editors. Bouque contributed one chapter, while Forde and SHS Social Studies teacher Peter Anderson collaborated on another. Forde and Anderson co-teach the American Studies class at Stevenson. The book also is available on Amazon, as is their first book, “Raise Your Voices: Inquiry, Discussion, and Literacy Learning.”

Serving A Net Gain for Down Syndrome
Two Stevenson students are featured in this Daily Herald article about the Buddy Up Tennis program, which gives young people with Down syndrome an opportunity to play the game. Junior Raj Sachar, who plays on the SHS boys tennis team, is a regular volunteer in the program. “It’s a way for me to give back in tennis,” he told the paper. “Plus, my uncle has Down syndrome. It makes me feel good to be here.” One of the program participants is sophomore Gile Pomponi. “I want to hit some balls,” he said. “I like to play tennis.” Another Patriot tennis player, senior Kiran Mohan, also volunteers in the program.

“Eating to Succeed” Canceled
Tonight’s Parent Engagement Series presentation, “Eating to Succeed,” has been canceled due to the presenter’s illness.


Wednesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Ice Hockey
Stevenson 4, New Trier Green 3: The Patriots scored three goals in the third period to rally past the top-ranked Trevians at Twin Rinks Ice Pavilion. SHS (11-9-1) won its third consecutive game while handing New Trier (21-3-1) its first loss of the season at the hands of an Illinois team. Junior Liam Jones scored the game-winning goal during a power play with 1:43 remaining, off an assist from senior Brett Stokes. Liam’s goal came about two minutes after senior Emmett Baker tied the game at 3-3. Brett assisted on the tying goal. Freshman Davis Jegers started the third-period push with a goal at the 14-minute mark, helped by senior Andrew Slivka. The Patriots dominated the third period, outshooting New Trier, 21-7. The first SHS goal came in the second period, from sophomore Rafael Biedron off an assist from freshman Dylan Jette, which cut a two-goal deficit in half. Senior goalie Jeremy Riback made 24 saves. With the victory, Stevenson improved to 7-3 in the Scholastic Hockey League. The Trevians are 10-1 in the SHL. – Boxscore

Athletes Announce College Plans During Signing Ceremony
Seven senior student-athletes announced their college choices during a National Letter of Intent Day ceremony Wednesday afternoon in the Wood Commons. The honored athletes were:

  • Matthew Ambrose (boys basketball) – University of Indianapolis
  • A.J. Carollo (boys swimming) – St. Thomas University (Minn.)
  • Gina Kondos (girls tennis) – University of Iowa
  • Ben Niesman (boys lacrosse) – Hofstra University
  • Justin Ross (boys volleyball) – Loyola University Chicago
  • Kilian Weber (girls lacrosse) – Central Michigan University
  • Grace Wingfield (girls soccer) – Northern Illinois University

Also, three SHS students who participate in club sports but not on Stevenson teams signed letters of intent on Wednesday:

  • Allie Kirby (girls soccer) – Fairfield University
  • Mikey Kogan (boys gymnastics) – University of Iowa
  • Tyler Selvaggi (boys gymnastics) – University of Oklahoma


Audition Workshops for Two Plays Coming Soon
Audition workshops for the freshman-sophomore play, and for the winter play, take place this month. Attending these workshops is strongly recommended prior to participating in auditions. The audition workshop for the freshman-sophomore play, “Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” will be held after school Thursday, Nov. 21. Click here for more information and to sign up for auditions. The audition workshop for the winter play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” will be held Monday, Nov. 25. Click here for more information and to sign up for auditions.


Facing pressure from critics for canceling an author’s visit, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 officials are confirming they called off the event based on both the book’s LGBTQ content and a breakdown in procedures over notifying parents. Superintendent Jeff Schuler acknowledged for the first time that stories about gender identity in “Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change,” caused concern.

A University of Illinois policy requiring National Public Radio-member station reporters to disclose information about sources who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted is coming under fire from media organizations and free-speech advocates, who say the rule will have a chilling effect on reporting about sexual misconduct. An investigation published in August by NPR Illinois and the nonprofit outlet ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network found that the UI had repeatedly protected the reputations of professors who had been accused of sexual misconduct.

The student journalists at Northwestern University’s student newspaper have come under fire twice in the past week. First the Daily Northwestern was roundly criticized by fellow students angered by how the paper covered last week’s appearance by former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an event that spurred tense protests at the Evanston campus. Then, in an attempt to mend fences, the student editorial staff published a mea culpa on Sunday that has drawn the ire of journalists appalled that the students would apologize for what seemed to be basic journalistic practices.


Three universities and a health care institution are sharing a gift of more than $1 billion that’s one of the largest in the history of higher education, they announced Wednesday. Receiving $260 million apiece will be Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California, and the Cleveland Clinic. The institutions are free to use the money as they see fit. The gifts come from this year’s sale of the Lord Corp. to Parker-Hannifin Corp for $3.68 billion.

Teachers in Little Rock, Ark., are striking for the first time in more than three decades over the state’s control of the local school system and a panel’s decision to strip their union’s collective bargaining rights. Arkansas has run the school district since 2015, when it was taken over because of low scores at several schools.

Two private school administrators and a teacher are facing criminal charges in the death of a 13-year-old autistic student who was restrained for nearly two hours, prosecutors in northern California said.

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019

College Night for Junior Families Next Week

All juniors and their parents and guardians are invited to the College Career Center’s annual College Night for Junior Families program from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the Performing Arts Center.

The night is a kickoff to the college search-and-selection process for students in the Class of 2021. Postsecondary Counselors Sara English and Dan Miller will discuss how to choose a college, how a college chooses its students, and the overall timeline for the search and application process over the next 18 months. The presentation will be using a web-based program called Pear Deck, so juniors and their families are encouraged to bring their SHS iPads or an electronic device connected to a Gmail address. This will allow families to easily view the slides.

A special session for parents and guardians of students with IEP/504 plans will take place before the main presentation. The special session will run from 6:30-6:50 p.m. in Room 6110, on the first floor of the new East Building addition.

Sophomore to Play for Team USA In British Squash Open
Sophomore Joy Qu, one of the top-ranked junior squash athletes in the country, has been selected to play for Team USA at the British Junior Squash Open in January. The British Junior Open is considered to be the most prestigious junior event in the world. Joy is one of five players from her age division chosen for the team. This marks the third time in her career that Joy has earned a Team USA selection. She is ranked No. 1 in the girls 17-and-under category in U.S. squash. Joy also is a standout in the classroom, earning a 2018-19 US Squash Scholar Athlete Award for achieving a 3.5 or higher grade-point average.

Late Arrival Day Thursday
Thursday is a late arrival day for Stevenson. Classes will begin at 10:30 a.m., and buses will start their routes at 9:20. Click here to see the late-arrival bell schedule.


Tuesday’s Varsity Results

Boys Bowling
Stevenson 2,947, Libertyville 2,867: Junior Ryan Grabiner rolled a career-high 712 series to lead the Patriots (1-0) past the Wildcats, 2,947-2,867, in their conference opener at Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein. In addition to posting the highest series of the match, Ryan also had the best individual game for SHS, a 246. Junior Ryan Lerman shot a 642 series that included a high game of 226, and classmate Nick Sternes added a 609 series and high game of 215. Stevenson’s other bowlers also were juniors: Joey Gluck (583, 204) and Josh Lerner (401, 152). The Patriots won the first two games by 102 pins, then held off a late Libertyville charge to claim the match.

Quick Hits
University of Notre Dame freshman women’s soccer player Kiki Van Zanten (Class of 2019) and her teammates have made the NCAA tournament. The Irish, who had a 10-7-2 record in the regular season, will play host to Saint Louis on Sunday. Van Zanten has played in 18 of the team’s 19 games, scoring three goals. … Sophomore girls volleyball player Amanda Holsen had 451 kills this season, the second-highest total in program history. Only 2017 graduate Jori Radtke, who now plays for Clemson University, had more (552). Amanda will serve as the nucleus of the 2020 Patriots, and will be joined by junior libero Emerson Kouri and junior right side hitter Makayla Uremovich, whom head coach Tim Crow said may move to setter to replace the graduating Grace Tully. … Several senior student-athletes will announce their college plans during a signing ceremony at 2:40 today in the Wood Commons.


S-Factor Auditions Next Week
Auditions for Kiva’s annual singing competition are coming up next week. Friday is the last day to sign up at S-Factor is sponsored by Kiva.


The College of Lake County will host its third annual Transition Night and Office for Students with Disabilities open house from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at its Grayslake campus. The evening will feature a presentation about navigating higher education with a disability, as well as information about support systems available at CLC.

The Paramount Tall Club of Chicago is offering a $750 scholarship for Chicago-area graduating seniors who plan to attend a two-year or four-year college in the fall and meet the minimum height requirement of 5 feet, 10 inches for females and 6 feet, 2 inches for males. Applicants also must display strong academic achievement, involvement in school activities, volunteer work, and personal achievement. The recipient also will be considered for a $1,000 scholarship at an international level. The application is due by Feb. 10. Visit this link for more information.


Student-athletes who are freshmen, transfers or upperclassmen in athletics for the first time are required to attend one 30-minute meeting led by the athletic director during the 2019-20 school year. Meetings will be held on late-arrival days. The next opportunity is from 9:45-10:15 a.m. Thursday 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 Illinois High School Association has ended its appeal of a Cook County judge’s decision to allow Chicago Public Schools athletes to run in the state cross-country meet. The IHSA filed the appeal Nov. 4, but the appellate court decided not to rule immediately, clearing the way for the students to run last Saturday.

A vision itinerant and orientation and mobility specialist in Huntley School District 158 has been named the 2019 Teacher of the Year by the Braille Institute, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss.

The College of Lake County has named Dr. Sheldon Walcher as dean of its Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts division. He previously served as associate dean of humanities, social sciences and the library at Kankakee Community College.

A biology teacher at Pontiac High School is among 31 nominees worldwide for the Indianapolis Prize, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of the animal conservation world. Paul Ritter was nominated for his work with high school students on reintroducing alligator snapping turtles to their historic home range, among other accomplishments. The grand prize for the award, given by the Indianapolis Zoo, is $250,000.


Although most young Americans believe in the value of higher education, many still consider a high school diploma alone to be enough for success, according to a survey of 2,573 teens and young adults. More than half of Americans ages 13 through 29 see college as a path to economic success, but about 4 in 10 believe a bachelor’s degree prepares people only somewhat well, or even poorly, for today’s economy, the survey found.

Federal data show that more than 9 in 10 educators spend an average of nearly $500 a year on classroom supplies, but a Washington Post review revealed that the problem is deeper, with teachers going to great lengths to secure resources for their classrooms.

Faced with the deaths of nine students since Aug. 24University of Southern California administrators are engaged in a delicate balancing act as they notify students, attempt to quell rumors, offer mental health resources and also try to avoid triggering students who may be in the midst of a mental health crisis. Officials have confirmed that three students this year died by suicide. In some cases, the cause of death is undetermined; in others, families did not want details disclosed, they said.

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019

Pertussis at Stevenson: It’s Not Over

Pertussis persists at SHS, more than a month after the first cases were reported. Two new cases were reported Monday, raising the number of cases since late September to 35.

The illness is hanging on due to two factors, according to the school’s nursing staff:

  • Although pertussis is also known as “whooping cough,” the coughing coming from a student’s mouth may not have a “whooping” sound. Parents and guardians whose students have a persistent cough may assume it’s not pertussis without the whooping sound, and are not seeking medical attention.
  • Some area doctors have misdiagnosed the illness, or have refused to conduct pertussis testing. Stevenson’s nurses and the Lake County Health Department have been working with local medical offices to raise awareness.

There also is concern that parents have let their guard down in the wake of a recent visit to Stevenson by Centers for Disease Control researchers. The researchers’ work is not connected to treating infected students. Rather, the researchers are conducting a study to test the hypothesis that pertussis-prevention vaccines used since the late 1990s have lost their effectiveness. The majority of Stevenson students diagnosed with pertussis had received the recommended vaccines.

Parents and guardians whose students have a persistent cough are urged to seek medical attention immediately. They should tell their medical provider that pertussis cases have been reported at Stevenson. This letter from the Lake County Health Department provides more guidance. For more information, contact the SHS nursing staff at

Alumna Appears on WGN Morning Show
2010 alumna Donna Lee, a story artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios who worked on “Frozen 2,” was interviewed on the WGN Morning News Monday morning. She talked about her journey from Stevenson to Disney, and even drew a sketch of Elsa the Snow Queen. “Frozen 2” opens in theaters on Nov. 22. Lee was in Chicago to participate in DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artist Series Monday night.

How to Raise Compassionate Kids
No parent wants to raise a jerk, but it’s not enough to just hope for the best. Parents have to put in the work if they don’t want their child to fit into anyone’s definition of the term. Join Social Emotional Learning Coordinator Molly Gosline for the next parent breakfast meeting, “Raising Compassionate Kids,” from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Monday in the District 125 Administration Center. She’ll discuss what people need to be happy and successful in today’s world (without becoming a jerk), and offer ideas on what parents can do to prepare their kids for a world of rapid change. She’ll be joined by Parent Engagement Coordinator Mara Grujanac.

For tips on raising nutritionally sound students, come to the Parent Engagement Series session on “Eating to Succeed” at 7 p.m. Thursday in the West Auditorium. The program will feature 2010 alumnus Alex StollerRegistration is requested.

Band Fundraiser Thursday Morning
The Band Parents Organization is holding a breakfast fundraiser from 6:30-11 a.m. Thursday at Strawberry Field Pancakes and Cafe, 410 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Lincolnshire. Mention “Stevenson Band” when ordering, and 20% of the sale will go to the band program. Thursday is a late arrival day.


JV Girls Swim Team Wins Conference Title
The junior varsity girls swimming and diving team captured the North Suburban Conference championship last weekend. SHS easily outdistanced runner-up Lake Forest, 335-272, and five other schools. Stevenson won nine of 12 events and set JV conference records in four of them.

Freshman Anna Ryaguzova won two events and was part of two first-place relays. She set a new conference mark in the 200-yard individual medley (2:17.31), and also was part of the record-setting 200-yard medley relay (1:54.54) with juniors Brianna Liu and Anna Gates, and senior Hanna Cloeter. Anna also touched first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.04), and swam a leg in the 200 free relay (1:43.58) with Hanna, sophomore Sana Arvind and freshman Elizaveta Kolbunova.

Junior Maria Mossakowski also won two events, the 200 free (2:02.86) and 500 free (5:32.77), and swam in the victorious 400 free relay (3:49.72) with Brianna, Elizaveta and Sana. Stevenson’s other JV conference records were set by Brianna in the 100 backstroke (1:01.12) and sophomore Nora Kowalski in 1-meter diving (347.40).

Football Alumni Part of Major Big 10 Storylines
Three Stevenson football alumni were part of three significant Big 10 stories on Saturday:


FMP Information Meetings During Lunch Periods Friday
The Freshman Mentor Program will host informational meetings for potential new members on Friday. The meetings will be held during every half-period lunch in the Recital Hall. All are welcome.


The Consumers Cooperative Association is offering 15 $2,000 scholarships for families that have been a member of the Consumer Credit Union for a minimum of one year in good standing. Seniors must plan on attending an accredited two- or four-year school. Applications are due by Dec. 31. Interested seniors can find more information at this link.


All 25,000 Chicago Teachers Union members will vote in secret ballots Thursday and Friday to accept or reject the tentative contract agreement reached the last week of October with Chicago Public Schools. Unlike the strike authorization vote, contract ratification needs only a simple majority. If members accept the deal, the strike — which at this point has only been suspended — is officially over. But what happens if they reject it?

As Chicago’s test scores have flattened, fewer schools are earning the city’s top rating, according to data released Friday for 2018-2019. Only 146 schools received a Level 1-plus compared to 185 the year prior.

The controversy that rocked Lake Park High School over a volunteer football coach could have been avoided at several points if the head coach and two top administrators followed the school’s accepted practices for conducting background checks, Superintendent Lynn Panega said Friday.

First-generation students make up about half of all college students, but only 27% complete a bachelor’s degree in four years — about half the national average for all students. North Central College in Naperville has seen extraordinary success with its Cardinal First program, which helps first-gen students adjust to college life. For students who started in the program in 2015, 81% graduated in May 2019 — earning their degree in four years.

The U.S. Department of Education last week announced it was canceling the student loan debt for people in Illinois who attended the now-shuttered Illinois Institute of Art. The Chicago and Schaumburg campuses — not related to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago — were among dozens that were closed throughout the U.S. last December.


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today over whether the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should continue. The key question isn’t about the program’s merits but whether the Trump administration two years ago tried to end it in the right way. The program allows young immigrants brought illegally ​to the U.S. as children certain protections from deportation as well as permission to work. Nearly 700,000 people, often referred to as “Dreamers,” are enrolled in the program.

The head of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents has broken decades of precedent by appointing a search committee for the next UW System president that does not include any faculty members or academic staff. The nine-member committee is the smallest in number and least diverse presidential search committee going back at least to the early 1990s.

A federal program to bolster science, mathematics and engineering at minority-serving colleges has been caught in a partisan tug of war in the Senate, where inaction and gridlock are starting to have real-world consequences. Stuck in the Senate’s morass is $255 million a year that both parties want to give historically black colleges, tribal colleges and higher education institutions that serve Hispanic students to help bolster science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — over the next two years.