District 97 Names Whittier Principal, Julian Interim Principal

District 97 Superintendent Ushma Shah and the Board of Education are pleased to announce two school leaders for the 2023-24 school year:

  • Dr. Ashley Mosley will serve as the new principal of Whittier Elementary School. She replaces Patrick Robinson, who was recently named as the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary schools.
  • William Lee will serve as the interim principal of Julian Middle School. He replaces Jeremy Christian, who resigned last month to accept a principal position in Niles Township District 219.

Both Mosley and Lee will assume their positions July 1. Their biographies are included below.

Dr. Ashley Mosley, Principal of Whittier Elementary School

Photo: Dr. Ashley MosleyMosley comes to District 97 with extensive experience and expertise that will directly serve the unique programming and services at Whittier. She began her career as a special education inclusion teacher, and has spent the past 17 years serving in a variety of roles that support the growth and development of diverse learners in Chicago. Her previous positions include: learning behavior specialist, case manager, special education department chair, director of diverse learners, and director of specialized services. Most recently, she has served the past two years as an assistant principal at Mansueto High School, a Noble School in Chicago.

“As we engaged with Whittier staff, students and families, we heard very clearly that the next leader should continue the school’s work to promote a culture of equity and inclusion,” Shah said. “Our students have called for a leader who is welcoming, involved in school events and listens to their feedback. Similarly, our staff shared that the next principal should prioritize relationships and understand the importance of diverse classrooms.”

“With experience spanning elementary education to high school, Dr. Mosley’s portfolio of work prepares her to be the next leader of Whittier," Shah said.

Mosley holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, master’s degrees in teacher leadership and educational leadership from Roosevelt University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of St. Francis. She and her husband have two daughters.

“I am honored to be named the principal of Whittier Elementary School and to be joining a community that shares my commitment to creating equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students,” Mosley said. “I’m excited to begin working with our staff and families, and to embark on this incredible journey of learning, growth and collaboration.”

William Lee, Interim Principal of Julian Middle School

Photo: William LeeLee steps into the interim principal position after serving four years as an assistant principal at Julian. 

“During Mr. Lee’s tenure, he has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that all students learn to their maximum potential and fostered a culture of kindness and collaboration among students, staff and families,” Shah said. “He is familiar with the traditions and successful practices at Julian, and will provide the middle school with leadership and consistency during the 2023-24 school year." 

Prior to joining the administrative team, Lee spent three years as a humanities teacher at Julian and eight years teaching in elementary and middle schools in Chicago. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Roosevelt University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Concordia University, where he is currently finishing up his doctorate in educational leadership. Family is extremely important to Mr. Lee, who is the youngest of five siblings and has a host of nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

“I am very excited to continue working with Julian families, staff, and most importantly students in this new role,” Lee said. “Julian is my family and a home to me. I look forward to continuing our efforts in putting students at the forefront of all our endeavors as we shape their middle school experiences.”

The appointment of Mr. Lee as the interim principal will ensure ample time for the district to conduct a comprehensive and inclusive principal search process prior to the 2024-25 school year. Dr. Luis Fernando De León, who will serve as the district’s assistant superintendent of middle schools beginning July 1, will be spearheading this process and will be supporting Lee and Julian staff as part of his new role. Dr. De León has already begun working collaboratively with teachers and administrators to hire associate and assistant principals as part of the district’s new middle school structure and in preparation for “Portrait of an Oak Park 8th Grade Graduate.” Updates will be shared with staff and families later this summer.