About the Principal, Dr. Koulentes

  • Dr. Koulentes Dr. Thomas Koulentes has served as principal of Highland Park High School since July 2015, having served as interim principal for the 2014-15 school year and as assistant principal for nine years prior to that. Dr. Koulentes first joined the District in 1995 as a social studies and English Language Learners (ELL) teacher at HPHS and subsequently served as Director of the District’s bilingual program. During his tenure in the District, Dr. Koulentes has provided leadership for major initiatives including the development of a Freshman Academy to support middle school students in transitioning to high school, as well as the development and implementation of HPHS’s School Improvement Plan. His professional honors and awards include the National Society of Secondary Scholars Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008, and the Microsoft Award for Most Innovative Teaching in the United States (2007). In 2005, Dr. Koulentes was a finalist for the Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence award.

    Dr. Koulentes’ professional affiliations and community involvement include his role as president of Estudiante to Student, a non-profit organization that provides high school mentors to middle school students; co-founder and director of Working Together, a local service organization that offers dance, art, tae kwon do, music and swimming lessons to students from North Shore District 112; and a member of the Latino Youth Advisory Board, a non-profit that strives to strengthen families through counseling, education, and related support services.

    Dr. Koulentes holds a Doctorate Degree in Education, Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership and Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.