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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Antwan Babakhani Hired as Next Principal of Maine South High School

Dr. Antwan Babakhani pictured on Maine South High School’s website.

Niles West’s Assistant Principal of Student Services Antwan Babakhani has been hired as the new principal of Maine South High School District 207. An announcement was posted on Maine South High School’s website on Feb. 5, approving his hiring. 

Babakhani has been working at Niles West since 2012, starting his career here as a dean. In 2013, he changed positions, becoming the Assistant Principal. Throughout his career at West, both positions gave him leadership experience for future opportunities.

“I’ve always known that my goal was to become a principal, to support teachers and students at scale. When Maine South had a position opening, I knew I had to take the opportunity,” Babakhani said.

In total, Babakhani had to go through four rounds of interviews. The very first round started in November, with the fourth finishing approximately a month ago.

“Antwan impressed the interview teams with his comprehensive understanding of educational leadership, collaborative mindset and deep commitment to supporting and empowering students,” Maine South’s incoming superintendent Tatiana Bonuma said. According to the website on Maine South’s website, there were a total of 42 applicants for the position.

Babakhani believes that it’s important to know the community and its values.

“It’s more of a matter of what school you are applying to, do you know exactly what it is that they want and do you fit that profile of what they want? So if someone were to ask me a question about climate change and I didn’t give them the exact answer that they were looking for, they may think that I was not a fit for that school. So, you have to know where you are applying and what their needs are,” Babakhani said.

Antwan Babakhani focusing on work in his office.

Principal Jeremy Christian and Babakhani haven’t worked together for very long, but according to Christian, his insights on Niles West have been helpful.

“I’ve learned a lot about our school from [Babakhani] including our school culture and the knowledge he has had over the years of him working at West. I’ve also learned more about the different staff members and the different programs that we have in our school from working with Babakhani,” Christian said.

Christian expresses how influential Babakhani has been in his life here at Niles West.

“He is one of the most intelligent assistant principals I’ve ever had. He’s knowledgeable with all the different parts of our school since he has worked here for so long. I’ve loved what he has been able to bring to me and what he brings to the team. I am very excited for him and his family and what he is going to do at Maine South. I always told him his dream would come true,” Christian said. 

With this said, Babakhani is ready to take on his new journey at Maine South.

“I am looking forward to learning and understanding all about Maine South first. I want to listen, I want to work hard, I want to be there, I want to support [and] I think that’s the most important thing I can do. I am looking forward to just understanding what the organization needs and how I can support them in every way possible,” Babakhani said.

Babakhani has built many relationships over the years he has worked at West. From working with staff to connecting with students, Babakhani will miss the chemistry he has built over his years at West. 

Christian offers words of advice as Babakhani takes this leap as the next principal of Maine South.

“Be who you are. Always know what is best for the students. If you keep students first, you will never make a mistake,” Christian said. 

“When you leave a place, you will always miss the community. If I come back 20 years from now, walking these halls and most of the people that I worked with are gone, the place will feel different so it’s the people you make relationships with. That’s what makes a place special,” Babakhani said.

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