Education, Local News

D161 Board approves two administrators, recognizes outstanding teacher

New Flossmoor Hills Principal
Evita McNeil. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

The District 161 Board of Education voted to approve two new administrators at the June 12 meeting. 

Evita McNeil was promoted to principal of Flossmoor Hills Elementary School. According to board documents, McNeil has been educating students in different roles for 12 years, most recently as dean at Parker Junior High. 

New Parker Junior High School Assistant Principal Mario Ford.
(Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

She is filling the position previously held by Haley Marti, who was hired as the director of the district’s human resources department. McNeil was recommended as Marti’s replacement. 

The board also voted to approve Mario Ford as the assistant principal of Parker Junior High. He has served as an educator for 10 years and has experience as an administrator. Ford comes to Parker after teaching in Matteson District 159 last year. Ford plans to relocate his family to the community. 

Emily Nicotra, a seventh grade English teacher from Parker, was recognized as the district’s #AboveAndBeyond winner of the fourth quarter. Karen Cheung and Melissa Schwartz, parents of Parker students, spoke at the board meeting and commended Nicotra for her hard work and dedication to kids inside and outside her classroom. 

“I’d like to point out that my kids haven’t had Miss Nicotra, but this is just how good she is,” Schwartz said. “She has a great knowledge of the students. She also gets parents to come in and volunteer. She is truly a gem.”

From left, District 161 Superintendent Dana Smith with Karen Cheung, Emily Nicotra and Melissa Schwartz. Schwartz
and Cheung nominated Nicotra for the district’s #AboveAndBeyond award. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

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