Oak Park and River Forest High School is getting a new athletic director after the District 200 school board recently approved the hiring of Nicole Ebsen, replacing John Steltzer, who is retiring as athletic director at OPRF after 17 years with the district, effective July 1. 

According to a statement released by the district on Jan. 28, Ebsen comes to OPRF from Morton School District 201, where she is athletic and activities director for the district’s two campuses. The district enrolls more than 8,000 students. 

Ebsen has been in public education for more than 15 years and previously worked at Glenbard West High School as a PE/health teacher. She also coached volleyball, softball and badminton, and was assistant athletic director at the school. 

In 2009, she was hired as dean of students at Morton East High School, where she worked for the next 12 years in a range of positions. 

“Nicole’s enthusiasm for working with the Oak Park and River Forest communities was evident throughout the hiring process,” said Associate Superintendent Greg Johnson, in the district’s Jan. 28 statement. 

“The experience she has managing large athletic programs, establishing supportive relationships with students, and building schoolwide enthusiasm for extra-curriculars will help us build on and enhance the strong tradition of excellence with OPRF athletics.”

Ebsen has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Eastern Illinois University. She also has a Master of Education degree from Lewis University, D200 officials said.  

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