Paul "PJ" Karafiol


Dear Lake View High School Parents, Students, and Community Members,

My name is Paul Karafiol, and I am excited and deeply honored to serve you as the Interim Principal of Lake View High School beginning on Friday, July 1. When I started teaching in CPS in the summer of 2000, I did my student teaching with math teacher Steve Starr at Lake View’s summer precalculus program. That program was to me a symbol of the best CPS has to offer: a creative, rigorous, and supportive way to increase access to AP Calculus, and therefore, to college and career pathways that might otherwise be closed. That commitment to ensuring that every student has access to challenging, meaningful work and quality instruction is what makes Lake View special—a “HOME” to so many young people.

I’m a lifelong Chicagoan and CPS graduate (Kenwood, 1988). An essential part of who I am was formed by going to a diverse, high-performing neighborhood high school. After college and a brief stint in graduate school, I entered math teaching in 1995. Although I've held a variety of administrative roles since then, as technology coordinator, department chair, curriculum coordinator, resident principal, and assistant principal, this past year was my first not teaching any classes (except when I got to step in for absent teachers—which I actually enjoyed). In or out of the classroom, my primary focus is ensuring that every student has access to challenging work in a safe, supportive environment: I’ve been the founding faculty sponsor of the math team, a peer leadership program, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and the Muslim Students’ Association, and taken students on trips everywhere from Beijing, China to Cape Town, South Africa. I live about a mile from where I grew up, with my wife, three children (two in CPS), and our dog.