Editorial

Kerry Lester

Columnist
  • 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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One brother a protégé of Dennis Hastert, another a victim

Apr 27 2016 | 8:18 pm - Facing a potential term in federal prison, U.S. Speaker Dennis Hastert made one of his last attempts to trade on what was once an abundance of political influence by asking a powerful protégé for a letter of support. It backfired.

Brother of Tom Cross says he was Hastert victim

Apr 27 2016 | 8:24 pm - The younger brother of a political protégé of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert has identified himself as a victim of sexual abuse. Scott Cross, known in prosecutors’ court filings as “Individual D” has taken the...

Quotes from Hastert’s sentencing

Apr 27 2016 | 4:25 pm - “The rise of Dennis Hastert took decades, the fall occurred in day.” And other quotes from Hastert’s sentencing hearing.

Lester: Immigrant mom cheers daughter’s selection as Illinois’ top school counselor

Apr 25 2016 | 10:24 am - Gabriela Medina’s selection as Illinois High School Counselor of the Year is a realization of the “American Dream” for her mother, Balbina Hernandez, an Elk Grove High School cafeteria worker who left Mexico at 17 to give her...

Streamwood students, volunteers pitch in for annual Comcast Cares Day

Apr 23 2016 | 5:33 pm - Streamwood High School got a facelift Saturday, as more than 300 students and volunteers took part in the school’s third annual Comcast Cares Day.

North Aurora pastor charged with child sex abuse

Apr 24 2016 | 4:17 pm - A North Aurora pastor who is listed on the Illinois sex offender registry now faces a new charge of child sex abuse from Kane County prosecutors.

Police response in Arlington Heights ends peacefully

Apr 23 2016 | 6:13 pm - Police from as far away as North Riverside and Wilmette mobilized about noon Saturday in response to a report of a person with a gun in a dwelling near South Middle School in Arlington Heights.

Lester: 1,500 Arlington backstretch workers could be displaced

Apr 21 2016 | 12:07 am - More than 1,500 backstretch workers at Arlington Park could be displaced if a deal isn’t struck with a group representing owners and trainers, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Judge denies horsemen’s motion for restraining order against Arlington Park

Apr 21 2016 | 7:28 pm - A federal judge denied the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen Association’s request for a temporary restraining order preventing Arlington Park from negotiating with rival horsemen’s group.

Local chefs say fresh ingredients key to Passover spread

Apr 20 2016 | 10:37 am - The Jewish holiday of Passover is associated with some austerity, but area chefs have a number of tips for putting together an upscale kosher celebration.

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