Stevenson candidates excited about student performance, social skills program
The candidates for the Stevenson High School District 125 board say they're excited about the Lincolnshire school's emphasis on social and emotional skills as well as students' continued academic excellence.
Five people are competing for four seats with 4-year terms in the April 2 election: incumbents Heena Agrawal, Terry Moons, Amy Neault and David Weisberg and newcomer Manish "Bobby" Tuli.
The candidates were asked what excites them about the school during a joint interview with the Daily Herald.
Neault, of Kildeer, said she's excited about Stevenson's social-emotional learning program. It's an approach to classroom curriculum that aims to help students develop positive relationships with other people while also promoting self care and mental health.
Stevenson started implementing those techniques about 2005, but efforts really intensified in recent years, a school spokesman said.
Neault called it an important initiative.
"The value is immense," Neault said. "And Stevenson is certainly leading the charge on that."
Moons, of Lincolnshire, is a fan of the social-emotional learning program, too. She also called Stevenson a "lighthouse school" that attracts interest from educators around the world who want to implement some of the programs in place here.
"It's exciting to be in that school," Moons said.
Tuli, of Vernon Hills, touted Stevenson's continued academic excellence. Consistently ranked among the best public high schools in the state and nation, Stevenson has won the national Blue Ribbon Award four times and was Illinois' top-ranked open-enrollment public high school on U.S. News and World Report's prestigious 2018 list, among other accolades.
"I moved into the area in 2008 ... and really moved here just for the schools," said Tuli, whose oldest child is a 2018 Stevenson graduate. "Clearly we stand out."
Weisberg, of Long Grove, likes that Stevenson offers many educational and extracurricular opportunities for its roughly 4,300 students. He's also excited about the school's successes.
"When you look at any of the metrics that high schools use to measure themselves, we're really high across the board," Weisberg said.
Agrawal, of Lake Forest, said she's excited about the level of care shown toward students, among other aspects of life at Stevenson.
Her son is a freshman at Stevenson, and she was concerned he would get "lost in the crowd." But the support he's received has been strong "right from day one," she said.
Agrawal singled out the school's counselors, teachers and freshman mentors for praise.
Stevenson serves parts or all of Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Prairie View, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Hawthorn Woods, Indian Creek, Kildeer, Lake Forest, Lake Zurich, Mettawa, Mundelein, Riverwoods, Vernon Hills and Wheeling.