Board Names Dr. Karen Ritter New Niles West Principal

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Board Names Dr. Karen Ritter New Niles West Principal

By Sarah Waters, Staff Writer

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At a special meeting Monday night, the District 219 School Board approved Dr. Karen M. Ritter as Niles West’s new principal, effective beginning July 1.

Six board members voted to hire Dr. Ritter, while one, Joe Nowik, abstained.

“Dr. Ritter is highly qualified. Our administration supports her, the board supports her, and we’re looking forward to having her leadership at Niles West,” board member Rich Evonitz said following Dr. Ritter’s approval.

Director of community relations Jim Szczepaniak informed staff of the development in an email this morning.

“Ritter is currently the Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, a position she has held since 2012. In that role she leads the school’s Equity Team, which has nearly eliminated opportunity and achievement gaps in the Advanced Placement (AP) program and has more than doubled AP program participation in four years while maintaining the AP success rate,” Szczepaniak wrote.

Before her current position, Dr. Ritter was the Assistant Principal of Instruction at Mather High School for five years. She earned her Doctorate of Education in Administration & Supervision-Superintendent Endorsement from Loyola University Chicago. She began her career teaching French at Taft High School in 1996, where she remained until 2007.


A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Brian Novak abstained from the vote, when in fact he voted “yes.” Joseph Nowik abstained on procedural issues.