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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Dr. Jim Edwards to leave principal position after eight years at Niles North

James R Prizant
After eight active years at Niles North, Dr. Jim Edwards will officially be relieved of his duties as principal on July 1, 2024

Dr. Jim Edwards, principal of Niles North High School, announced, just before the start of winter break, that he would be leaving his position and the District at the end of the 2023 – 2024 school year.

Having worked as the school’s principal for eight years, this came as a shock to the NN community. This information became common knowledge by mid-January. This was met with several school-wide and district-wide emails from Edwards and Superintendent Thomas Moore, spanning months, regarding Edward’s leave and what was to be expected in future. These emails not only regarded Edward’s leave but the selection of a new principal as well. Though a new principal would be selected by the District 219 Board of Education by May, as confirmed by an email sent from Moore in January, many wondered what would happen to Edwards and where he would go after leaving North. Many still reflect on his impact throughout his time as principal and his presence, seen often in hallway intersections and in early mornings at the school’s main entrance, Door 2.

What have you learned from your time as principal? I’ve learned that the school community, and Skokie community in general, is a fabulous collection of different ethnicities, cultures, races, identities, and other unique characteristics. [Those make] it an honor to have served this community and this school for the last eight years. No two days are the same at Niles North!

What is your biggest personal achievement as principal? It’s really getting to know the students that live here for, essentially, nine months out of the year; who they are, what their interests are, what they aspire to do, and what challenges they face as students in this school. [It’s] getting to know the most important asset to this building, which is our students.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of school based committees and staff over the course of the last eight years, and developing professional relationships with these teammates. Every member of this school community is important and plays an integral role in serving our students and families. I knew early on how great, and how dedicated, our staff is here at Niles North.

What kind of work will you be doing after you leave North? My plan is to work as an adjunct professor in a number of different local universities, serving to teach education courses [and] supervise future administrators who are pursuing their educator licenses and administration. I’m also interested in starting my own business and pursuing some things that, because of the time constraints of this particular job, I haven’t had the opportunity to pursue.

Presently, what do you hope to catch up with in your personal life? What will you be spending more time doing? I want to plant/grow my own food, so I want to cultivate my planting and gardening skills. I want to continue my work as a volunteer for the Chicago Food Rescue. I also want to combat the plight of the unhoused, which is a major problem in the neighborhood that I live in.

How do you hope students and staff will remember you? [As] someone who really cared for them at an authentic level, someone who is accessible when they had issues with the way the school is run, someone who’s a kind human being, and somebody who would always be there for them, in good times and bad.

What final message do you have to students and staff before you leave? I want to thank the students and staff for allowing me to serve in this position for the past eight years. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy future moving forward.

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About the Contributor
James R Prizant
James R Prizant, Asst. People Editor
James "Jimmy" Ryan Prizant is a junior at Niles North. In his free time he enjoys bowling, scrolling and chatting through socials, and listening to '80s music on Spotify. He one day hopes to have a job relating to mental health, writing, or bowling.

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