Stephenson Named New Physical Welfare Director at Niles West
Joaquin Stephenson has been appointed as the Director of Physical Welfare at Niles West, after Monday’s vote by the D219 Board of Education. He takes the new position effective July 1. He has been a dean at Niles West the past two years.
"We were excited when we first hired Joaquin Stephenson and we have continued to be excited at his growth as a leader,” said Niles West Principal Kaine Osburn. “Joaquin is committed to physical fitness and sports in his own life and to what it makes possible for young people. I am certain he will be a great leader for our excellent Physical Welfare staff here at Niles West."
Starting next school year, Niles West and Niles North will each have its own building-based Physical Welfare director, with Stephenson at West and Paul Swanson at North. Each director will teach two classes.
“We are excited about building on the increased emphasis we have placed on physical fitness in our schools. Our PE and strength-and-conditioning programs are now better geared to the individual fitness needs and goals of all students, whether athletes or non-athletes” said Superintendent Nanciann Gatta. “From the rollout of the Varsity Physical Education class, through embedding Health into the Sophomore PE program, to the integrated use of heart monitors, our Physical Welfare staff is making the program more meaningful for all our students and helping them incorporate healthy behaviors that we hope will stay with them long past high school.”
Before coming to D219, Stephenson served as Dean of Students at Chicago Public Schools’ Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center and was responsible for enforcing CPS code of conduct and security and was school liaison to the Chicago Police Department. He also oversaw the school’s Physical Education program, all school social events and the school’s student clubs and activities. He completed Pathways to Leadership, a CPS program for principal preparation.
Before that, Stephenson taught physical education for four years at Chicago’s Schurz High School, including health and dance. He coached sports including varsity boys volleyball, softball and bowling.
Stephenson holds a master’s degree in School Leadership from Concordia University and a bachelor’s from Northeastern Illinois University. He is currently working on his doctorate in education at Loyola University..