Niles West picks new principal
Updated: March 15, 2013 1:06PM
Familiar faces will take on new roles at District 219 next school year, beginning with Jason Ness’ promotion to principal of Niles West High School.
The Board of Education approved Ness’ transfer from assistant principal of student services, as well as the hire of other staff, following a closed session meeting Feb. 11.
“It’s really hard to put into words, but it’s very humbling,” Ness said of the appointment.
In addition to preparing students to be career and college ready upon graduation, Ness, a clinical psychologist, said he looks forward to addressing children’s social and emotional needs related to character development, communication, and stress regulation to build life skills.
“Those non-cognitive skills are equally important in my mind,” he said.
Ness joined the district in 1999 as a school psychologist at Niles North High School. Prior to assuming the assistant principal post in 2009, he spent two years overseeing Niles Central.
Ness’ three-year contract comes with a base salary of $170,000, representing an approximate bump of $30,500 in his current earnings. He succeeds Kaine Osburn, who accepted a new job as deputy superintendent of Naperville Community School District 203, on July 1.
Board members accepted Osburn’s resignation and thanked him for the various roles he held during a 14-year tenure with the district.
“I can’t tell you how valuable you were in helping us make decisions on some of the things we needed to (decide) in the collective bargaining process,” said Board President Robert Silverman.
“It is really with great, great pride that we let you go,” added Superintendent Nanciann Gatta.
Special ed teachers move up
Two special education coordinators will move into assistant director roles in the 2013-14 school year to assist with teacher evaluations.
Edward Pieczynski of Niles West and Page Powell of Niles North will earn $95,000 a year and report to their schools’ respective special education directors.
The district eliminated the special education coordinator position, which was in the union bargaining unit, as part of the last annual review, Szczepaniak said.
Another administrative change reflected by new staffing is the reorganization of English, reading and history courses under a new humanities department. Sanlida Cheng and Tony Bradburn will oversee the transition for Niles West and Niles North, respectively. Both currently serve as the schools’ directors of English and reading.
Cheng’s base salary will be $133,693, and Bradburn will earn $133,245. Both director of humanities agreements are through June 30, 2015.
They will work with reading and social studies departments over the next year to align curriculum content so that literacy skills are reinforced and emphasized through all humanities classes beginning in the 2014-15 school year.~.