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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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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. 

Niles North students advancing to the State Round of the National History Day competition

National History Day Competition!

Congratulations to the following Niles North students for advancing to the State Round of the National History Day competition! This group of talented students advanced from the regional competition and have the opportunity to move forward to the national competition in June. Good luck to all!

Niles North students advancing to the State Round of the National History Day competition


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Niles North Student Journalists Earn Awards at Local Contest

Niles North High School students received recognition at the annual Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) contest and conference. High school journalists were celebrated at NISPA’s annual gathering at the College of DuPage on March 15, 2024. 

Congratulations to the following students:

  • Sam Dababneh – Review Writing, Blue Ribbon
  • Penelope Roewe – Opinion Writing, Blue Ribbon
  • James Prizant – Sports Feature Writing, Honorable Mention
  • Henry Rothenbach – News Writing, Honorable Mention
  • Penelope Roewe and Griffin Larson-Erf, -Profile Writing, Honorable Mention
  • Aiden Stanciu – Breaking News, Honorable Mention 

The North Star News (www.northstarnews.org) also received a Silver Certificate in the Website Contest.

NISPA is dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments and education of high school journalists throughout Northern Illinois. For more information, visit https://nispaonline.org/.

FCCLA Sectional Competition Results

The following students recently competed in our FCCLA Section 5 Leadership Competition on Friday, February 9, 2024 at Harper College in Palatine, IL. Students competed in one of 28 national STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition) and Proficiency events. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has over 190,000 members and over 6,500 chapters from 50 state associations, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The organization has involved more than ten million youth since its founding in 1945.

45 Niles North students earned 10 Most Outstanding Medals, 21 Gold medals, 12 Silver medals, and 2 Bronze medals. Thirty-Four of these students have qualified and will advance to the Illinois Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Competition on April 11 & 12, 2024 in Springfield, IL. The Niles North FCCLA sponsors are Amy Koda, Julie Lear, Leah Steinfeld, and Mike Swaitkiewcz. We are proud of all of our FCCLA Members and congratulate all the State Qualifiers!

In the Early Childhood Education events, Jessie Byron and Camille Claudon, Elyssa Heredia and Lindsey Klaus, Bella Matarelli and Ahmed Syed, Denna Pritzker and Alison Patyk earned a Gold medal in the Children’s Literature Presentation Team. Riha Jaweed and Mehek Bhurya earned a Silver medal in the Children’s Literature Presentation Team. Tabitha Scott earned a Most Outstanding medal in Personal Child Care Provider Individual. Oyinkansola Ajana earned a Most Outstanding Medal in the Educational Toy Event.


North Early Childhood Education FCCLA Members

Back Row:(L- R) Elyssa Heredia, Ahmed Syed, Alison Patyk, Denna Pritzker, Oyinkansola Ajana, Makaila Manirat

Front Row: (L-R) Lindsey Klaus, Riha Jaweed, Mehek Bhurya, Bella Matarelli, and Mehek Bhurya

In Culinary Arts events, Kenan Kopic earned a Most Outstanding Medal in Salads. Ivan Shalaev, Kiefer Copon, Raymond Costales, Louise Blades, Ryan Zdeenran earned Gold medals in Salads.

Maxwell Racela earned a Silver Medal in Salads. Colin Sucherman earned Most Outstanding in Charcuterie board. Mohamed Alsaleh earned a gold medal in Charcuterie Board. The Team of Dylan Sopanarat, Abbas Alofeidi, and Saifullah Tahir earned a Most Outstanding Medal In the Food Truck Design Team Event. Layla Shannon earned a Most Outstanding Medal In the Food Truck Design Individual Event. The teams of Alejandro Halter, Ava Parsell and Nela Hanic, Alexandra Discepolo earned a Silver Medal In the Food Truck Design Team Event.

In the STAR culinary competition at Dupage College Ryan Zdentan and Ivan Shalaev earned a Silver Medal and both qualified to advance to the State Level. Louise Blades earned a Silver Medal in the STAR Baking and Pastry Competition and Qualified to advance to the State level.

In Fashion Events, Jola Adebiyi earned a Gold medal in Fashion Apparel Display Presentation Individual. Grace Marcos earned a Silver Medal in Fashion Apparel Display Presentation Individual. Sophia Gordon and Emma Husnic earned Silver Medals in Fashion Apparel Display Presentation Team. Janat Rana and Grace Michaels earned bronze Medals in Fashion Apparel Display Presentation Team. Yasmine Sumagin and Lily Vanaelst earned a Most Outstanding Gold Medal for Professional Career Image. Penelope Roewe and Mary Ishak earned a Gold Medal for Professional Career Image and Makaila Manirat earned a Silver Medal for Professional Career Image. Zainab Ali, Ruby Loza, Gia Yfantis and Cassandra Molina earned a Gold Medal in Fashion Construction. Presley Sarpong earned a Silver Medal in Fashion Construction.

Congratulations to all of our amazing Niles North students!