STEPHANIE KNEISLER was raised in South Barrington, where her parents still live today. She moved back to Barrington with husband Adam about 7 years ago. Now, they adore living in our family-friendly community with their two sons, Ben (5) and James (1). When Kneisler is not focused on a passion project—like becoming a first-time children’s author and publishing The Dinosaur Who Could Not Roar: The Tale of a Speech Delayed T-rex (available February 2020) she works full-time as the Director of Business Communications for Zebra Technologies where she leads all global employee and executive communications. Kneisler has dedicated her career to telling compelling stories in a unique way, so she feels that taking on a children’s book isn’t too far of a stretch for her. Here are a few of this storyteller’s favorite lasts:
Last reason you decided to write this children’s book? I wanted to celebrate the successful end of our son’s (Ben) speech delay in a meaningful way, and thank those people who got him to where he is today, many of whom worked with Ben at the Barrington 220’s Early Learning Center (ELC). Writing a book that I could dedicate to those important people and donate to the ELC, while paying homage to Ben’s love of dinosaurs and using my writing skills just seemed like too much fun not to do!
Last amazing event provided at Barrington 220’s ELC that made you thankful for the organization? There is actually a great one coming up that anyone in the community can attend. On Friday, March 13, from 5:00-7:30 pm, the ELC PTO will host a Book Bash open house, which is a celebration of reading featuring fun activities for the entire family, food, raffles, and more. I’m honored to have my book featured at the event and will do a reading for kids of all ages. I love how inclusive the ELC is by opening its doors to our entire community.
Last moment that made you know your story is an important one to tell? I recently reconnected with an old college friend who has a son Ben’s age, and once I shared I was writing this book, she became overwhelmed with emotion telling me her son has a severe speech delay she doesn’t often speak about. She said that being able to read this book to her son (reading helps with speech delays, by the way) will help him not feel so different and reinforces that love is a universal language. To be able to move her even before she saw the book told me that other families need this message as much as we did when we were going through that challenging time in our lives.
Last community event that made you grateful to live in our community? From strolling on the Spring Wine Walk to attending the Barrington Junior Women’s Club fashion show in November to meeting Cynthia Rowley at a Barrington White House event last year, Barrington never ceases to amaze me with the breadth and depth of what it offers its residents. But I’m most grateful for my street where I’m literally surrounded by an incredible tribe of hardworking, supportive moms. It’s rarity to live in a community that continually builds you up and serves as a safe place from the stressors of the world around us.
Last family vacation that you’ll remember for a long time? Every summer, we take a trip up to Madison, Wisconsin, where Adam and I went to college (Go Badgers!). Enjoying the beautiful town where we fell in love as we now share that love with our boys leaves a lasting mark on our hearts and memories. When we are in Madison, our stress melts away and we can truly focus on each other… and on the cheese curds and Spotted Cow. It’s a simple trip to a simple place, but it will always be a special spot for us.