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Nicholas Filipowski Named New Principal of Julian Middle School

Nicholas FilipowskiDistrict 97 Superintendent Ushma Shah and the Board of Education are pleased to announce Nicholas Filipowski as principal of Julian Middle School, effective July 1, 2024. Filipowski’s appointment was approved during the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 13.

“Our community’s call for a transformed middle school experience requires a leader who centers students, partners with teachers, and engages within and across communities to achieve equitable outcomes,” Shah said. “Mr. Filipowski has a diversity of leadership experiences that will contribute to the strength of our middle school team.”

Filipowski was selected after a comprehensive search process engaging students, families, school staff, and school and district administrators. This process incorporated listening sessions and surveys to develop a principal profile, followed by several rounds of interviews and candidate site visits. Students from Julian’s student leadership team played an integral role in co-creating the school-wide student survey, co-writing interview questions, and serving on a student interview team.

“I am excited and honored to join the Jayhawk family as the next principal of Julian Middle School,” Filipowski said. “I look forward to collaborating with the dedicated staff, engaging with the welcoming community of Oak Park, and working together to further develop an enriching and supportive learning environment for all the students at Julian.”

Filipowski comes to Oak Park from Arlington Heights School District 25, where he has served as an associate principal of Thomas Middle School since 2019. He also served as principal of the district’s “Summer U” program for the past five years and as a curriculum coordinator for four years before that. Filipowski spent the first decade of his career as a middle school and high school general and choral music teacher in Highland Park and Chicago. 

“As we spoke with Julian students, families, and staff, it was clear they want their next leader to continue fostering an inclusive and welcoming middle school, while improving academic outcomes for students,” Assistant Superintendent of Middle Schools Dr. Luis Fernando De León said. 

“Throughout his twenty-year career as a teacher and administrator, Mr. Filipowski’s actions have reflected these values. He has created inclusive learning communities, developed trust through effective communication and supportive relationships, and built teams and systems to meet diverse student needs so every student can excel.”

Filipowski has a bachelor’s degree in music education from University of Illinois, a master’s degree in music education from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Concordia University. 

He will succeed William Lee, who will continue serving as Julian’s interim principal for the remainder of the 2023-24 school year. 

“We want to extend our gratitude to Interim Principal Lee for his dedicated service and thoughtful leadership as he continues to lead our Jayhawks this school year,” added De León. “We look forward to working together with Mr. Filipowski, Mr. Lee and our entire middle school team this spring and summer to ensure a smooth transition for our students and families as we begin the next phase of success at Julian Middle School.”