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Skokie Unveils Artwork by Niles North Sophomore

Leo M standing next to truck

Niles North High School student Leo Malatesta created winning artwork for the Skokie Refuse Truck Youth Art Contest. More than two dozen students in grades 5-12 submitted original artwork to illustrate the theme “Reducing Waste.” This first-ever contest is part of the Village of Skokie’s Environmental Sustainability Plan goal.

The public voted on two designs, one by a middle school student and one by a high school student. The middle school winner is Max Babakhani, an 8th grader at McCracken Middle School.

On May 9, Skokie Mayor Van Dusen and Niles North art teacher Melissa Connell joined family members, school administrators and Public Works staff to congratulate Leo for his exceptional work.

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Niles North Junior Receives National Writing Award

NCTE Award 2024

Asmaa Khan (left) is congratulated by English teacher Ashley Amelianovich.

Niles North High School student Asmaa Khan has been selected for a 2024 Achievement Award in Writing, given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Asmaa was recognized with a designation of ”Excellent” in the program open to high school juniors.  

This year, schools nominated 633 students. From the United States, students were nominated from 44 states, as well as Guam and Washington, D.C. Internationally, teachers nominated students from Canada, Greece, Jordan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.  Two to three independent judges evaluated each submission holistically on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style. 

The Achievement Awards in Writing, established in 1957, are designed to encourage high school students in their writing and to publicly recognize some of the best student writers in the country. For more information about the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing, see http://www.ncte.org/awards/achievement-awards-in-writing/.

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DECA Students Finish Strong in Spring 2024

Students from the Niles North High School DECA Chapter competed in multiple spring events, finishing a very successful competitive season at the Illinois Career Development Conference (IL-CDC) in March 2024 and the DECA International Career Development Conference

(ICDC) in April 2024. Below are the highlights of this year’s accomplishments. Over 1,800 students competed at the state level and over 19,000 students attended ICDC. 

DECA Anaheim 2024

Individual Awards at ICDC in Anaheim

  • Top 20 Finalist in Accounting Applications Series – Shrey Dalal
  • Top 20 Finalists in Project Mgt. Financial Literacy – Eya Carmela Dalangin and Mohammad Makda
  • Top 10 Finalist in the Financial Cluster Exam in Financial Consulting Event – Jack Jaminski
  • Top 10 Finalist in Role Play in Principles of Business Management – Avery Ermel
  • Top 20% Competency in their events – Meera Sahrawat, Farah Tawfik, Paul Fuja, Brandon Nguyen, Stacey Nguyen, Mark Marcos, Ali Merchant, Cesar Vargas
  • Leadership Academy Graduates – Aarav Jain, Destiny Hatfield, Edessa Khamis, Yuvika Patel, Maxwell Rappaport, and Armana Rizwi
DECA students in Rosemont 2024

IL-CDC in Rosemont, IL 

  • State Champion – Shrey Dalal in Accounting Applications Series
  • State Champion – Meera Sahrawat in Financial Consulting Event
  • State Champion – Avery Ermel in Principles of Business Management
  • 2nd Place – Jack Jaminski in Financial Consulting Event; Shrey Dalal and Farah Tawfik in Financial Operations Research
  • 3rd Place – Mohammad Makda and Eya Carmela Dalangin in Project Management Financial Literacy; Paul Fuja, Brandon Nguyen, Stacey Nguyen in Sales Project; Mark Maros, Ali Merchant, Cesar Vargas in Integrated Marketing Product
  • 4th Place – Destiny Hatfield, Edessa Khamis, Yuvika Patel in Franchise Business Plan
  • Students Earning More Than One Medal/Trophy – Shrey Dalal, Aarav Jain, Rishi Malhotra, Meera Sahrawat
  • IFME Scholarship Finalist – Meera Sahrawat

Top 10 Medals – 46 students earned in both Written Events and Career Cluster Role Plays

Students earning at least one competency level in a cluster event – All 61 students in attendance

Chapter Awards at IL-CDC at IL-CDC in Rosemont

Community Service Campaign & Promotional Campaign – Thrive Level (only nine in the state) iConnect GOLD Level (fewer than 10 in the state)

Outstanding Advisor Award at IL-CDC in Rosemont

Jean Attig, Kara Mielke, Nick Pahl, Sara Torres (fewer than 20 in the state)

Niles North DECA is a co-curricular organization which serves over 95 students as an integral part of the classroom instructional program in the Business Education Department. Niles North DECA chapter activities contribute substantially to the primary purpose of school to develop well-educated citizens who have self-confidence, self-esteem, leadership ability, and an understanding of the American Free Enterprise System. Niles North DECA is sponsored by Jean Attig, Kara Mielke, Nick Pahl, and Sara Torres.

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Marlon Felton Named Niles North Principal

Marlon Felton

Marlon Felton has been named the principal of Niles North High School, starting July 1, 2024. The Niles Township High School Board of Education approved his appointment at their May 7, 2024 meeting. 

Marlon brings more than 20 years of experience at District 219 to his new role, demonstrating a passion for education and a commitment to creating a school culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion. Marlon has worked in various leadership roles at District 219 and he is a proud member of the Niles North staff, earning strong support of the North community. He has served as a teacher, head coach, Dean of Students, and most recently, as Assistant Principal of Operations. 

“What set Marlon apart in his interviews was not just his knowledge of Niles North, but his love for the school and what it stands for,” remarked D219 Superintendent Tom Moore. “Marlon Felton is a good man who never asks anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself, and he is ready to take his next step as a leader.”

Marlon is a passionate advocate for students and he is dedicated to clearing paths as they fully explore possibilities. He looks forward to working collaboratively with students, staff, parents, and the community to ensure that every student at Niles North High School has the opportunity to thrive. 

“We are fortunate to have Marlon as our next principal, and our entire leadership team will do all that we can to support him, and ensure his success,” Superintendent Moore added. “This is a great day, not just for Marlon, but for Niles North.”

Marlon holds a Master’s degree in Education Leadership from Concordia University Chicago and a Bachelor’s in Special Education from Northern Illinois University Dekalb.

Congratulations to Marlon Felton! His continued leadership will foster a culture of learning and growth at Niles North High School!

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Jody Trapani Named Director of K-8 Mathematics

Jody Trapani

Jody Trapani has been named the Director of K-8 Mathematics for the Collaborative for Curriculum (CFC). The Niles Township High School Board of Education approved her appointment at their May 7, 2024 meeting. 

Jody has served in several roles in District 219 since 2006, spending the majority of her career as a math teacher at Niles North and then serving as a PAR (Peer Assistance and Review) Consulting Teacher for three years. Her work with first and second year teachers in this role inspired her to pursue a degree in educational leadership.  This year, Jody had the opportunity to serve as the Interim Student Activities Director and Interim K-8 Math Director.

Jody has developed a deep love for the students and families as well as the professional community of staff, teachers and administrators in the district. Her commitment to education stems from her belief in lifelong learning and fostering that same love of learning in students and adults.  

Jody Trapani holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an English Language Learner endorsement from National Louis University. Additionally, she has a Master of Arts in both Curriculum and Instruction as well as Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago. 

Jody is happily married for the past 17 years to her husband Pete and a proud mother to Brianna (12) and Alaina (11).  She enjoys all things water including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and boating.  In her spare time, she loves to volunteer for her local park district as a parent leader and coach.

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Page Powell Named Assistant Principal for Student Services at Niles West

Page Powell

Page Powell has been named Assistant Principal for Student Services at Niles West High School, starting July 1, 2024. The Niles Township High School Board of Education approved her appointment at their May 7, 2024 meeting.

Page is returning to Niles West where she was a paraeducator in the Special Education Department and then taught at both Niles West and Niles North before becoming the Special Education Coordinator, Assistant Director and Director of Special Education at Niles North.  She then went to Evanston Township High School to serve as the Assistant Director of Special Education before moving on to Maine East High School where she has been the Department Chair for Special Education for the last six years.  

Page Powell earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Iowa, Master’s in Special Education and an Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from National-Loui. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Diversity and Equity in Education at the University of Illinois.  

Outside of work, Page enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters in Chicago and hiking throughout our National Parks. 

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Alicia Cabrera-Prado Named Director of World Languages

Alicia Cabrera-Prado
Alicia Cabrera-Prado has been named Director of World Languages at Niles North and Niles West High Schools.  The Niles Township High School Board of Education approved her appointment at their May 7, 2024 meeting.

Alicia’s research interests include Dual Language teacher training and study abroad programs, Cultural Sustaining Pedagogies, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), and Dynamic Bilingualism. She previously worked in education as a National Board-Certified high school Heritage Spanish teacher, a department chair for World Languages, and an assistant principal of a dual language school.  

Alicia Cabrera-Prado earned her PhD in Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership with a focus on Global Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2023. 

Alicia is an avid traveler, having visited over 50 countries with her husband and two sons. 

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Niles West Student Honored with the Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Niles West High School junior Yohanna Endashaw has been named the Chicago-region winner of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. The award program recognizes and rewards high school students who, through their volunteer activities, have undertaken significant efforts to advance racial equity and understanding in their schools or communities.

Endashaw was selected for her exceptional leadership and contributions to her school community. She volunteers as a Red Cross Blood Donor Advocate and Diversity Drive Advocate and she led a team of her peers to create Uplifting Health, an organization that helps address health disparities in underserved populations.

During the school day, Endashaw also serves as a Freshman Homeroom Mentor Leader and Literacy Center tutor. Through these roles, she helps new students feel acclimated to the Niles West building and helps a diverse student population get the support they need to meet their academic goals.

Niles West counselor Carla Green and Niles West Principal Jeremy Christian introduced Endashaw at a Chicago reception on April 1, 2024. “Yohanna represents the best of Niles West High School,” said Green, who submitted the student’s recommendation letter. “She is an outstanding leader who cares a great deal about contributing to our school community and improving the lives of others.”

In March Endashaw was also named the 2024 Illinois State Poetry Out Loud Champion at the Illinois State Contest. “She uses her poetry as a means for the expression of her perspective as a young African-American woman and to share the writing of Black poets with fellow students,” Green added. Endashaw will advance to the National Contest in Washington, DC in May.

As part of the Princeton Prize recognition, Endashaw receives a cash prize and will participate in a Symposium on Race at Princeton University on April 25-27. Endashaw will meet and join students from across the country to engage in meaningful conversations about race relations and racial justice work.

The Princeton Prize in Race Relations is run by more than 400 Princeton alumni volunteers who are dedicated to addressing issues of racial inequity and developing better racial understanding. Visit The Princeton Prize in Race Relations website for more information.

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Niles West Students Awarded Tuition Scholarships and Showcase Work in Art Exhibits

Niles West High School students in the Visual Arts Department received a combined $2.56 million dollars in tuition scholarships, the second highest amount of scholarship offers in the state of Illinois this year. The students will compete on Sunday, April 21 at the 2024 Illinois High School Art Exhibition (IHSAE), bringing together some of the best student artists in the state to celebrate the power of art.

More than 100 Illinois high schools will be represented at the exhibition hosted by Art ConnectED. The IHSAE offers unique programs for high school art students and teachers. 

The Northern Regional Exhibition is one of Illinois’ largest and most influential student art exhibitions. Each year, over 150 high schools from across the state participate in this juried exhibition with the top entries in each category awarded prizes and recognition. This unique showcase celebrates artistic expression, achievement, and provides talented young artists with the opportunity to represent their school at a state level. The students representing Niles West in this exhibition are:

  • Stephanie Avram, Painting
  • Rachele Gedin, Design
  • Ajax Hinklin, Mixed Media
  • Brandy Nguyen, Pottery
  • Audrey Taylor, Digital Photography
  • Dana Wang, Sculpture

The Senior Scholarship Exhibition will exhibit some 350+ senior artworks and recognize scholarship offers totaling over $75 million dollars on top of other prestigious awards. The students representing Niles West in this exhibition are:

  • Mary Al-bazi
  • Stephanie Avram
  • Sophie Cordis
  • Summer de la Cruz
  • Rachele Gedin
  • Delaney Gin
  • Nora Graham
  • Felicity Iovescu
  • Brandon Lee
  • Ezra Odeke
  • Soha Rattani
  • Emma Schieffer
  • Molly Schuller
  • Nominfin Shinebayar
  • Seb Stoeterau
  • Dana Wang
  • Grace Zientarski