Niles District 71 hires new assistant principal from Skokie District 68 – Chicago Tribune

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Niles Elementary School District 71 announced a new assistant principal for the district’s only school, Clarence E. Culver School, and she won’t be moving too far from her current job.

Katherine Russ, an elementary school teacher at Jane Stenson Elementary School in Skokie School District 68, was appointed to the position to start the 2024-2025 school year. Russ will take over from Oscar Suarez, the current assistant principal, who will leave the district to become the principal at Park View Elementary School in Lombard District 44.

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“I am incredibly excited to join the Culver School community,” Russ said. “The school’s dedication to student success and its collaborative spirit are truly inspiring. I look forward to working with the dedicated staff, parents and students at Culver to create a nurturing and enriching learning environment for all.”

Russ was an elementary school teacher at Jane Stenson teaching grades K-5 for 16 years, and was also an English Learners teacher. She was also the principal for District 68’s Newcomer Summer School Program for English Learning students in grades K-8 and District 68’s Summer Blast Program for students in grades K-5, demonstrating her leadership and commitment to student success year-round.

“We are delighted to welcome Ms. Russ to the Culver School family,” said Culver Principal Erica Smolinski. “Her passion for education, combined with her experience and leadership skills, make her a perfect fit for our school. We are confident that Ms. Russ will play a key role in supporting our faculty and staff and ensuring the continued success of our students.”

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According to District 71, Russ’ experience in elementary classrooms and her deep knowledge of reading instruction will be valuable.



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