Niles is currently the Assistant Head of School at the Emma Willard School in New York. Niles will replace Eleanor Dase, who will be retiring after 34 years at the school. She has been the Athenian's Head of School for the past 16 years.
Niles expressed enthusiasm at being chosen to take on that responsibility. "In my visits to campus I have been struck by the passion and compassion that Athenian students bring to their learning," he said. "This speaks to the intentional way Athenian carries out its mission, educating students to be citizens of the world through extraordinary academics and real-world experiences."
Dase will step down at the end of this school year. Niles is expected to begin as the school's new Head on July 1, 2009.
Board members say in honor of Dase's contribution to the school, a new multi-purpose building under construction has been named the Eleanor Dase Center. It will house the school's music program as well as providing a place for sports practice, assemblies and meetings.