James Steward, Principal Hidden Lake High School
  •  Dear Hidden Lake Students and Parents,


    Welcome Back

    I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful and relaxing summer.  I hope it will bring you back relaxed, recharged, and ready to start a new school year.  I am proud that you have selected Hidden Lake as your school and you wish to be part of our learning community.  I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your child on his/her pathway to graduation.

    With a very positive and productive year behind us, I am looking forward to another incredible and productive school year.  Our accomplished and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child’s education.  Our enthusiastic office team is working with registering families, ordering materials for teachers and the school, and supporting me with managing the building. Our hard working and thorough custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facilities at our campus while accommodating the Boys and Girls Club.  We are indeed vibrant community with the common goals of doing the right thing for students and promoting excellence in learning.

    New Staff

    We had several staff retire or take a new position. I would like to welcome three new staff members to our instructional team.  Taking on the role of Social Studies teacher is Doug Kurzawski.  Doug comes to us from Lockwood, IL .  He is an avid hockey player and is looking forward to making a difference for students here at Hidden Lake.  Kacie Fitzgerald is joining Dr. Garcia in the teaching role of Westminster Virtual Academy.  The Virtual Academy has also moved to the media center from the basement.  We look forward to this team making strides in assisting our online learners on their pathway to graduation.  Finally, joining our staff in the role of Physical Education/Health instructor is Kerry Denison.  Kerry comes to us from Westminster High School and has joined us to extend his passion for kids. 

    Programs & Facilities

    The Boys and Girls Club is expanding!  We will house a new program to service middle school students in the old Westminster Virtual Academy space combined with a District program, Alternatives to Expulsion/Suspension in the opposite space on our bottom floor.  These programs will assist in making a difference for the younger students while providing respite and options for the middle schools in the District.  The creation and placement of the program means that our Westminster Virtual Academy moved to the media center located in the middle of the top floor. 

    As part of a comprehensive district-wide safety and security review, a recommendation that additional surveillance cameras be added to our schools to better monitor ingress and egress. Installation of interior and exterior cameras was completed over the course of last year and the summer enhancing our ability to record who is on our campus at all times.  This is also in collaboration with the new Safety and Security department at the District level. Our campus monitors are now security officers and will be monitoring the campus and building to provide improved security. 

    Student Scheduling & Courses

    Careful consideration was given to your students’ needs and pathway to graduation. Course offerings and classes were balanced to maintain lower class sizes while offering comprehensive options for completing high school.  Mrs. Snyder and I spent a great deal of time reviewing your child’s needs to assure a schedule was created to assist your child in meeting their goals for the school year.  


    Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping him or her understand that they may not receive the courses in the order they wish.  As a side note, it was determined that English IV is no longer available online, as the course therein did not meet the District and Building expectations for completing high school.  All students will complete their English IV course in a land-based format, unless individually determined that a different option is needed.  ALL of our staff works hard to make school a positive experience for ALL students. Hidden Lake is eagerly looking forward to enriching your child’s life.

    Thank you to all who are helping prepare for the new school year. Your commitment to insuring that Hidden Lake remains a distinguished and effective school is awe-inspiring. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families again. It remains an honor and privilege to serve as your principal.  Please stop by and say hello. Together, I know we will make this school one of inspiration with a family environment for all children.


    Warmest Regards,


     James Steward Signature

    James Steward, Principal