North High School picks a new principal: Nicole Veltze, now principal at Skinner Middle School

North High school will have a new principal next year, its fourth in six years. Nicole Veltze, the current principal at nearby Skinner Middle School, will take over for Ed Salem, who has helmed North since the fall of 2008.

Tomorrow, the North community will have the opportunity to meet Veltze at a reception from 5 to 6 p.m.

North -- which was the subject of a 2007 feature by staffer Joel Warner, "North High's Model Student," and a 2009 column by editor Patricia Calhoun, "Send North High's Principal to Detention" -- has struggled for years to improve student achievement. In a letter to parents announcing Veltze as the new principal, Antonio Esquibel, who is stepping down as principal of Lincoln High School to accept a job as executive director of school turnaround for Denver Public Schools, says things at North have improved lately.

"North High School has seen strong improvements in student achievement and school culture under the leadership of Ed Salem, and I'm confident that Nicole has the talent and dedication necessary to continue building North into a world-class high school," he wrote.

Salem was originally chosen to replace Esquibel at Lincoln, opening up the job of principal at North. But according to another letter by Esquibel, Salem "decided not to accept the role of principal in order to be able to spend more time with his family." Josefina Petit-Higa, an assistant principal at Lincoln, will take over as principal instead.

The meet-and-greet at North tomorrow will include a tour of the newly renovated original high school building, which dates back to 1911. Children are welcome and Spanish translation will be available. For more information, visit

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