Comings and Goings: New principals, OPPY Award

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Here’s a roundup of principal contracts announced in November:  Nathan Manaen, Ravenswood, formerly an instructional support leader in the Pilsen-Little Village Network;  James  McNealey, Nicholson, former principal at Delano; Kelly Mest, Northside College Prep, previously an assistant principal at Lindblom High, Nicole Monroe, Tanner, previously principal at Sexton; and Rituparna Raichoudhuri, Wells High School, formerly an interim principal at Wells High.

Edgar Ramirez has been named executive director of Chicago Commons, a neighborhood-focused non-profit dedicated to improving the well-being of children, adults, seniors and families. Ramirez was an associate executive director at Chicago Commons.   Before that, he was a community organizer in the Little Village neighborhood and an advocacy and leadership director at Erie Neighborhood House.

Jeanne Walker, a visual arts teacher at Orr Academy, is this year’s winner of the OPPY Award for Education, given out by the Oppenheimer Family Foundation.  Walker encouraged her classes to build relationships with community partners such as Mikva Challenge, American Friends Service Committee and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.  She also studied micro-credit and social business in Bangladesh and introduced new curricula to encourage students to use creative problem-solving to collaborate and support each other.