Q&A with the Homecoming King and Queen


By Grace Geraghty

Niles West News got the chance to sit down with freshly crowned homecoming king and queen Osama Esmail and Jacqueline Bajric

NWN: What’s your favorite part of homecoming week?

Bajric: My favorite part is definitely when everyone participates in spirit week, especially color wars. I love it when everyone dresses up, and all the grades, especially upperclassmen, make the pep assembly really hype.

Esmail: My favorite part of homecoming was the game. It was nice to see, not only our grade, but people from all the grades get together and cheer on [senior quarterback] Johnny Pabst, who was tossing bullets out there.

NWN: How did it feel to win homecoming king and queen?

Bajric: Personally, I felt really proud because I really want to represent Niles West and all our awesome aspects, like academics, athletics, and diversity. I felt really thankful to everyone that voted for me; it’s crazy to think that all those people voted for me.

Esmail: It felt quite exhilarating; I was able to represent the silent majority, which would be the nerds of our school. It was also amazing to see how much support and love I had garnered among the students of our school.

NWN: What activities and programs are you involved with in and out of school?

Bajric: Wow, too many. I’m involved in clubs like Go Green Club, Breakfast Club, and Dance Marathon. I also play soccer for Niles West and for a club team, and I’m a section editor of the Niles West News.

Esmail: Every day after school, I work hard at the academic teams I am a part of, but I set aside Friday for Quran Study, the Muslim religious group here at Niles West. On Mondays and Thursdays, I participate in Science Olympiad, and on Tuesdays, Scholastic Bowl. On Wednesdays I participate in Math Team. Outside of school, I help out at the family business.

NWN: Why did you decide to run for homecoming royalty?

Bajric: I decided to run because of my immense school spirit. My sister, who won last year, told me it was definitely something I should try.

Esmail: I truly had no reason for running. I did it as a mix of a few things: to represent my homeroom, to represent the nerds, to have run as a senior, and because I had no reason not to.

NWN: How did it feel waiting for the winners to be announced?

Bajric: When we got up on the stage, I was just excited to have such a good view of the assembly. I never really had the chance to think about them calling the winner, so once they said they were going to announce homecoming royalty, I felt like I never had time to think.

Esmail: It felt pretty amazing since I thought that I had no chance at winning; I viewed myself as an underdog in all this and was pretty amazed.

NWN: Did the switch from king/queen to royalty affect your decision to run at all?

Bajric: It didn’t affect my decision to run because I knew that whoever the student body chose to represent our school would do a great job.

Esmail: The switch from King and Queen to royalty didn’t affect my decision to run in any way because it ended up being a King and Queen anyways, but I also didn’t care who won as long as I got to try.

NWN: What advice would you give to people looking to run next year?

Bajric: I would say that you should definitely do it. Not just because I won, but I felt it made homecoming week so much more enjoyable.

Esmail: As for people running next year, I’d recommend that everyone just have fun. All of us this year had a fun time with each other, and I’d run again in a heartbeat.