Q&A with the Homecoming King and Queen

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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.