Kerry Lester

  • Phone(847) 427-4603
  • Emailklester@dailyherald.com
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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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Lester: New Sox announcer gives hope to others with cerebral palsy

May 29 2016 | 10:02 pm - Lifelong White Sox fans Grace and Sam Brandon of Schaumburg had already warmed to Jason Benetti, the team’s new home game announcer. Then the twins saw him at Sox Fest and discovered he had cerebral palsy, the disorder that has affected both...

Elgin activist says lynching mural could open good dialogue

May 26 2016 | 12:28 am - Lifelong Elgin resident and civil rights activist Ernie Broadnax says the discovery that a mural in town depicts a crowd at a lynching could be an opportunity for a dialog on race and local history, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Keeping it simple the key to fabulous grilled fish

May 24 2016 | 2:31 pm - Owners of two well-reknowned local fish markets say there’s no reason to fear grilling fish. They say keeping things simple can assure a successful outcome every time.

Lester: Where will suburban homeless go after Journeys cuts?

May 23 2016 | 10:34 am - Many homeless people in the Northwest suburbs spend their days at Journeys’ Hope Center in Palatine, a program that aims to help them get back on their feet. But federal funding cuts could end that, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Summer road races step off soon. Is one right for you?

May 22 2016 | 9:54 am - One of the surest signs of summer is the plethora of road races popping up throughout Cook, Kane, Lake and DuPage counties. Here's advice for finding one that's right for you.

Clinton comes home: Library, Pickwick Theatre among Park Ridge stops

May 19 2016 | 8:55 pm - Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hit her teenage haunts — the public library and the Pickwick Theatre — during a visit to her hometown of Park Ridge. At up to $2,700 a ticket, her fundraiser was meant to boost her...

Clinton stop came as surprise for Park Ridge mayor

May 19 2016 | 12:41 am - Park Ridge Mayor Marty Maloney tells columnist Kerry Lester he only learned about Hillary Clinton’s planned fundraiser today in her hometown as he was tucking into a plate of chicken and waffles about a week ago at The Pick Restaurant, site...

Lester: Breuder awarded unemployment, but College of DuPage is fighting it

May 15 2016 | 10:24 pm - Ousted College of DuPage President Robert Breuder has been awarded unemployment benefits, but COD is appealing that decision in what is already proving to be a lengthy and contentious legal battle, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Lester: Youth inmates in St. Charles left out of special ed plan

May 11 2016 | 11:02 pm - A suburban special education group backs out of a plan to help educate teen inmates because of fears taxpayers could be left on the hook for the deal, columnist Kerry Lester writes.

Lester: Suburban schools left holding bag for college entrance exams

May 23 2016 | 1:30 pm - SAT? ACT? Both? Suburban school districts settled on a variety of alternatives this year after Illinois told them to switch to the SAT college entrance exam for high school juniors, but didn’t offer funding for the change, columnist Kerry...

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