Kerry Lester

  • Phone(847) 427-4603
  • Emailklester@dailyherald.com
  • Twitter

Kerry Lester is a columnist and senior writer who focuses on the people who make the suburbs unique.

Lester, formerly the Daily Herald's political editor, returned to the paper in 2015 after several years with the Associated Press.

In her years as a reporter, Lester has netted a number of statewide and national scoops, including the first sit-down interview with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk following his 2012 stroke, one-on-one interviews with presidential candidates, and breakthrough reports on the state budget crisis and power struggle in Illinois' newly divided government.

She is proudest of a four-year project looking into a 2008 knife attack on an Elgin High School teacher from the perspectives of the teacher, the student who committed the crime, and the school district. Her subsequent investigation into school safety practices led to a 2012 change in state law.

Lester has received awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the Chicago Journalists Association and the Inland Press Association. She appears frequently on local and national television and radio programs and has moderated a number of political debates.

A native of Des Plaines, Lester is a proud graduate of St. Viator High School, Villanova University and The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, where briefly working for a newspaper deepened her commitment to community journalism.

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Illinois considering offering SAT to high school juniors

Nov 25 2015 | 10:27 am - The state of Illinois is closing in on a deal to give high school juniors the SAT college entrance exam next spring, potentially ending decades of regional preference for the ACT exam.

Lester: Duchossois fights horse slaughter rule, irks Jane Byrne's daughter

Nov 23 2015 | 10:08 am - Arlington Park Chairman Dick Duchossois' objection to some parts of a proposal to protect horses from being sent to slaughterhouses led Illinois Racing Board member Kathy Byrne (daughter of former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne) to walk out of a meeting...

Eileen Quinn, mother of former Gov., dies at 98

Nov 21 2015 | 5:09 pm - Eileen Quinn, a longtime Hinsdale resident and the mother of former Gov. Pat Quinn, died early Saturday at the age of 98.

Arlington Hts. police launch ‘Befriend a Badge’ trading card program

Nov 21 2015 | 8:19 pm - Arlington Heights-area youngsters got a chance to nab autographs for their trading cards from men in uniform — but in lieu of batting averages and on-base percentages, these cards emphasized the value of local law enforcement.

Elgin man and woman charged with home invasion, kidnapping

Nov 21 2015 | 7:13 pm - An Elgin man and woman couple were arrested and charged with home invasion and kidnapping following a Wednesday incident in which a child was taken, police said.

Suburban farms provide options for fresh, local holiday meals

Nov 19 2015 | 3:39 pm - Those seeking to create farm-to-table holiday dinners don’t need to leave the friendly confines of the suburbs to stock their cupboards. Farmers in McHenry and DeKalb counties are on hand to provide locally raised poultry, beef, pork and...

Lester: Bill to pay families after police officer suicides meets demise

Nov 19 2015 | 5:29 am - A bill that passed in the Illinois Senate would have compensated families of police officers who killed themselves on the job, like in the case of Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. But in the weeks after Gliniewicz staged his suicide...

Lester: Are medical marijuana users risking a DUI?

Nov 16 2015 | 9:56 am - Illinois has given 3,300 people licenses to use medical marijuana, but it hasn’t set a threshold at which it considers them safe to drive. That means it is now up to a police officer to decide if someone with a medical marijuana license seems...

Lester: Transgender policies today’s new frontier for schools

Nov 12 2015 | 5:30 am - A suburban school leader says the debate over transgender students is akin to the school desegregation battles of the 1960s, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Law could strip Gliniewicz family of survivor benefits

Nov 09 2015 | 10:21 am - A state law passed last year could enable the Illinois attorney general to strip pension benefits from the family of the late Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz.

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