When Great Isn’t Good Enough: How Two Nationally Recognized High Schools Are Evolving to Keep Their Edge


Kevin Havens
Wight & Company

Eric Twadell Dr.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School District 125

Paul Sally Dr.,
New Trier Township High School District 203

Sue Lara


1.5 Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:

Institutions that successfully become, and then remain visionary across decades and through multiple generations of leadership are rare. How do they accomplish it?     Explore how two nationally recognized, consistently high-achieving high schools have responded to the challenge of “upping their game” in order to continue to position their students for success in a rapidly evolving world.   Join leaders from New Trier High School and Adlai E. Stevenson High School to discover what they’re focused on today to ensure that their students are prepared for tomorrow, and how they’ve recently aligned their facilities – from core classrooms, fine arts, and library areas to social spaces and dining facilities – to support their vision. Explore how traditional STEM thinking is being reinvented, how interdisciplinary instruction is evolving, how dining and learning are converging, and much more. Then, learn how these concepts can be applied in different kinds of school environments.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand why established high-achieving school districts need to evolve to remain successful;
  • Explore approaches high-performing schools are using to prepare their students to thrive
  • Understand how these facilities can support their educational objectives;
  • Learn how facility improvements can shape educational program changes, and vice versa
Primary Competency:

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Primary Domain:

Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

Secondary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.