head of School’s Message

Dear NPES Community,

The NPES Board of Directors and Head of School Search Committee want to thank all of the members of the North Park community who participated in our process to identify and recruit our next Head of School. We are excited to announce the unanimous selection by the Search Committee and Board of John Novick to serve in that role starting in July 2021.

John comes to North Park with over three decades of experience in independent schools and an enthusiasm to drive our school and community to continue to outperform expectations. He is currently serving as the Head of Intermediate & Middle School (Grades 4-8) at Francis Parker School and has pursued extensive professional development in progressive education; diversity, equity, and cultural competency; social-emotional learning; brain research; human development; communications, marketing, and public relations; and effective leadership. John has served on eight ISACS accreditation visiting teams throughout the Midwest and has been intimately involved in four self-study processes at ISACS schools being evaluated for re-accreditation. He is a Chicago native with a comprehensive understanding of the Chicago school landscape, further enhanced by shared experiences with his wife Dana, who is a CPS Teacher.

John’s selection represents the culmination of a nearly year-long process. We have been incredibly pleased with the candidate identification and evaluation efforts from our search partners at Educational Directions. Their visit to the school in February provided a holistic perspective on our community and its priorities that they used to orient the search. Our Search Committee then shaped the process with guidance from the broad community feedback that we received, including from tremendous response to the NPES Community Survey. Our faculty and administrative committee members added valuable perspective throughout – thank you Zoe, Rhodi, and Anne and their many colleagues who provided feedback along the way!

We would also like to recognize Randy for his partnership and valuable contributions during the process and as we look forward to John’s integration and transition work that will involve close coordination through this winter and spring. As we all know, this year has brought many challenges, and we are beyond impressed with how our leadership team, faculty, and staff have responded to each of those challenges while continuing to advance the interests of our community.

Ultimately our search produced what we believed were three outstanding candidates, each of whom brought something different to the opportunity. As we spent time with the candidates, conducted extensive reference checks, and gathered feedback from their visits to the school, it became clear that John was the best fit for the needs and aspirations of North Park.

We are thrilled to welcome John and Dana to our community and are confident his leadership will continue to drive NPES towards excellence in nurturing curiosity, sparking creativity, and building community!


NPES Board of Directors – Neepa Patel, Eric Hoberman, Jennifer Seitz, Jessica Westhoff, Laura Coy, Ted Moore, Jonathan Novy, Susan Schuetz, Rob Verigan, and Dana Weed
Head of School Search Committee – Zoe Ardito, Laura Coy, Rhodi Hotaling, Maurine McAdams, Ted Moore, Jonathan Novy, Neepa Patel, Rob Verigan, Anne Zagotta, and Melissa Zaikos

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