Hi D219 community! Please join us in congratulating our 2022 Niles West Distinguished Alumni Award Winner, Michelle Mekky! Read below to get a deeper look into Michelle:
Niles West graduate Michelle Mekky is a veteran broadcast journalist, public relations executive, Chicago-area business leader, Forbes writer and sought-after speaker. After a 20-year career as a TV news producer/writer and PR executive, she founded her own PR agency, Mekky Media Relations, in 2016. She started the company at her dining room table on her own, with little money and only one client. In just five years, she has led Mekky Media to record-breaking growth and revenue, delivering powerful publicity for businesses and nonprofits around the country and internationally. The company’s successful trajectory was especially significant in 2021 – Michelle doubled the client roster and size of her team (now made up of 12 PR pros). Fueled by Michelle’s drive, hard work, creativity, connections and strategic leadership, Mekky Media has become a seven-figure business serving clients that range from startups to industry leaders. Michelle also has established herself as a Forbes writer and speaker who addresses topics like leadership, entrepreneurship, workplace wellness, overcoming challenges and her cancer journey. She is part of the prestigious Forbes Agency Council and International Public Relations Network (IPRN). Michelle is a mentor to many young people, and an innovator in workplace culture and flexible staffing models. Michelle is also an ovarian cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2015 and feels incredibly blessed to have made a full recovery. This has inspired her energetic and grateful approach to life, as well as her desire to give back. She is a spokesperson for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and board member for Triage Cancer, and Mekky Media is a leader in representing nonprofits and elevating their messages and missions. Michelle and her company have been widely recognized. In 2021 alone, awards included Gold/Silver Stevie Awards, Ragan’s Workplace Wellness Award, Expertise PR’s Best PR Firms in Chicago listing, and the Ragan and PR Daily Communicator of the Year Award. Michelle also has been named a PR News Top Women in PR Honoree and Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Entrepreneur. Michelle says she discovered her passion for storytelling at Niles West, when students told her they connected with a school paper story she wrote about the impact of her grandma’s death. She was encouraged by her teachers to continue writing, with Mr. Orr convincing her to join the newspaper. Mr. Sweeney assigned a project of creating a video featuring book characters, which sparked her interest in TV journalism. Michelle won the English Department Award her senior year. She then headed to Northwestern University, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the Medill School of Journalism. She worked her way through college and was proud to be the first in her family to obtain a degree.
Michelle still lives in the area (Mount Prospect) and is a proud Niles West graduate, often sharing how her high school experience helped her discover her passions and gave her a strong work ethic. She would be the perfect selection for the Niles West Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Join us on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 for our Niles Township College Fair! Students can pre-register HERE!
Dear West Families,
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Mar 23, 2022 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Strategies for Navigating School Anxiety and Avoidance
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
February 24, 2022
Mr. Thomas Moore, Superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools in West Hartford, Connecticut, will assume the role of Superintendent of Niles Township High School District 219 in July after the District 219 Board of Education approved the contract at tonight’s Special Board meeting. The Superintendent search was a result of the retirement of current superintendent, Dr. Steven Isoye.
Moore brings significant experience and leadership in education. Moore started his teaching career in West Hartford Public Schools in 1996 as a history and social studies teacher. He was promoted to Department Supervisor in 2005, became the Conard High School principal in 2007, and the Assistant Superintendent of Administration in 2010.
In 2014, Moore was named Superintendent of the district and oversees all levels with 9400 students, 1700 staff members, and 17 school sites in a diverse community that values education. The school district is represented by 76 different home languages.
Moore was recently honored at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education as the 2022 Connecticut Superintendent of the Year. The criteria for Superintendent of the Year are leadership, communication, professionalism, and community involvement. Additionally, Moore is currently serving as the Vice-Chair for the College Board of Trustees.
His selection is the culmination of a months-long national search process by the Board of Education, assisted by Hazard, Young, Attea, & Associates (HYA), that produced 34 applicants from diverse geographic and professional backgrounds, including 11 from outside of Illinois.
“I am thrilled to be the next superintendent of District 219. Truthfully, I never imagined leaving West Hartford, and never had applied anywhere else. When I learned about District 219, however, and was told about the community, and how much I would love the students and families there, I became intrigued. It takes a very special place for me to leave New England behind, but my family is so excited to begin this next challenge with all of you. I am passionate about what we owe our future generations in this country, and I will work tirelessly so that District 219 will always be an example of what is right, and what is possible, in American public education.” – Mr. Thomas Moore
“I am thrilled that Tom chose us. I am confident his demonstrated leadership skills and passion to serve all students will guide his success at District 219.” – Ms. Naema Abraham, D219 Board President
Moore is the youngest of seven children, whose father modeled a strong work ethic after serving as a plumber for many years. His wife, Tara, is also an educator who is currently teaching kindergarten. Moore and his wife have two children. Jack is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill and his daughter, Fallon, is finishing her second year at the University of Virginia. The couple will be relocating to the Chicago area this summer.