LAKEVIEW — Building on successes over the last year, Lake View High School's new principal will be sticking around to see his plans come to fruition.
Interim Principal Paul Karafiol has accepted a four-year contract from Lake View's Local School Council to remain in the permanent role. He replaces Scott Grens, who was principal for two years before resigning in May.
The LSC wasted no time selecting Karafiol after receiving 11 applications for the position in the last two weeks. During its an LSC meeting Thursday, parent Flo Powdermaker praised Karafiol's work over the last seven months.
"I saw him when you brought in candidates for the interim position, and I was very impressed with him then," Powdermaker told the LSC. "I'm very impressed with how he's handled things since then, and I just felt strongly, and I'm definitely pleased with the direction the school is going in."
Another supporter was Northwestern University professor Mike Kennedy, who worked with Karafiol while establishing a partnership between the two schools.
"I've dealt with a dozen principals, and [Karafiol] is definitely among the most [excited to say], 'Let's get this moving, let's get this done,'" Kennedy said. "I think highly of him."
In a Friday letter to staff announcing his acceptance of the position, Karafiol touted his successes in raising the percent of freshmen on track while dramatically decreasing misconduct and suspension numbers.
He also credited the faculty as "proving that a dedicated, high-quality staff can do amazing things as a neighborhood school."
His resume describes Karafiol as a fluent French speaker who got his start teaching at the University of Chicago and Providence-St. Mel School, a Catholic school on the West Side.
Karafiol got his start in CPS by student teaching for Steve Starr's summer pre-calculus program at Lake View. To Karafiol, the class was "a symbol of the best CPS has to offer" and increased access to the AP calculus test, which can provide high school students with college credit before graduation.
Karafiol had a long career at Walter Payton College Prep. As one of the selective-enrollment school's founding teachers, he started there in 2000, served on the LSC and advised the math team, Gay-Straight Alliance and freshmen orientation group.
He worked there as a department chair, curriculum coordinator and resident principal before moving to Ogden International School as an assistant principal in 2015.
A lifelong Chicagoan, Karafiol graduated from Kenwood Academy, a South Side high school in the namesake neighborhood.
Karafiol graduated from Harvard University with a degree in philosophy. He has a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, where he also completed a year of law school.