The success of Stevenson High School


Francisca Cronk

Staff from Verrado High enjoy a break while visiting Stevenson school.

Josue Gil, Staff Writer

A few of our teachers here at Verrado were invited to go on a trip to Chicago to check out a well-known successful high school. Stevenson high school is a school that is ranked in the top three best schools in the entire state of Illinois. It is also in the top three for best teachers and known as one of the best places to teach. Our teachers visited the school in an attempt to discover and learn what it is that makes the school so successful.

I interviewed one of our teachers, Mrs.Cronk, who teaches Spanish 1-2, as well as AP Spanish, to see how her experience was during the trip. She said, “My experience at Stevenson H.S was very positive. All the sessions I attended were very interesting and informative”. 

She mentioned that they have a system known as “Think Positive- Not Punitive”. The way this system works is that the students at Stevenson earn privileges for exhibiting appropriate behavior. What this means is that students are given opportunities to earn privileges such as a 50-minute lunch period along with other perks as long as they have appropriate behavior. However, if they have poor behavior, students will be placed in a session where they will learn how to establish behavioral expectations. Essentially the reason this works and the reason it’s effective is that it’s similar to a method most students grew up with as kids. For example, as kids, if we wanted to go somewhere, like out with friends, we first had to prove to our parents that we were responsible and were on good behavior to give us our freedom. 

They also have a program known as “What about me?” which is a program that allows students to collaborate in activities which also works because it allows students to work together and as a group so they can help each other to succeed in any activity. 

A third method that Stevenson H.S uses is called the freshman advisory program, which was created for the incoming freshman to guide them for their future years in high school and which is in my opinion probably one of the most important programs they have. The reason I say that is because while in high school, everyone mainly pays and gives all the attention to the seniors, and I’m not saying that the seniors shouldn’t have the spotlight either, but I’m saying that the attention should be distributed fairly and that is what this program offers. The program keeps the younger ones in mind because they know that they are the ones who are going to be the ones representing the school’s future. And nowadays, I feel like freshmen need this program because it’s a big and different transition from middle school to high school. I feel like this program would both prepare and help the freshman mature for the four years of high school. 

As a result, the trip was one that surely changed the perspective of how teachers view high school. It showed them how a different teaching method managed to make a school successful and hopefully will influence the Vipers.