Dr. Amanda Brode-Rico Hired as Next EPHS Principal, Will Begin July 1

Dr. Amanda Brode-Rico

Elmwood Park Community Unit School District 401 is delighted to announce that Dr. Amanda Brode-Rico has been named the next principal of Elmwood Park High School.

The EPCUSD 401 Board of Education approved the hiring tonight at its February regular meeting.

Dr. Brode-Rico, who is currently principal of Lake Park High School in Roselle, will begin her new position on July 1.

"From my first interview to the end, the interactions that I have had with teacher, building and District leadership have been incredibly positive," she said. "It was evident that there is a true desire to do what is best to serve the students of Elmwood Park."

Dr. Brode-Rico will succeed Mr. Douglas Wildes, who served as EPHS principal from July 2017 to January 2023, when he became District 401’s director for educational operations.

Ms. Stephanie Dornan, EPHS assistant principal until Mr. Wildes began his new position, will continue to serve as interim principal for the remainder of the current school year. 

Now in her 20th year as a professional educator, all at the high school level, Dr. Brode-Rico has been principal of Lake Park since 2020. The school consists of 163 teachers and more than 2,500 students.

Her previous administrative experience includes a year as assistant principal and athletic director at Proviso West High School (2019-20) and a year as resident principal of Infinity Math & Science Technology High School in Chicago (2018-19).

Before moving into administration, Dr. Brode-Rico spent 15 years in the classroom, including 13 as a social studies teacher and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Curie Metro High School on the southwest side of Chicago.

Dr. Brode-Rico earned her doctorate in urban education leadership from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2022. She has two master’s degrees, one in special education from Concordia University (2015) and the other in educational policy studies from UIC (2012).

A native of Schaumburg, she graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in secondary education.

"I often quote Nelson Mandela when he said, 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,' and I truly believe this," Dr. Brode-Rico said.

"If we can prepare our students so that they can be successful once they graduate and move beyond the doors of Elmwood Park High School and District 401, then they will be able to take any challenge that is in front of them with success, they will persist on their chosen path, and they too will continue to have any and all doors open to them as they move forward."

Congratulations, Dr. Brode-Rico, and welcome to Elmwood Park! 

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