Amir Fakhoury: Once a Falcon, Always a Falcon


Niles West alum Amir Fakhoury is excited to teach at his former elementary school, Fairview South.

By Sam Galanopoulos, Multimedia Director

It’s August 1998 — the first time Niles West alum Amir Fakhoury stepped foot into Fairview South Elementary School on his first day of kindergarten. Venturing through his elementary years, Fakhoury experienced sports, clubs, and the introductions to what high school was all about. Entering his middle school years of fifth to eighth grade, Fakhoury started his preparation for the high school experience. After graduation in May of 2007, Fakhoury entered the halls of Niles West. Continuing on to become a Physical Education teacher, he has returned to his roots of teaching at Fairview South.

Now being a working adult, Fakhoury has had the time to reflect and remember his time at Fairview.

“Some of my favorite memories at Fairview were my friends, my teachers, and all the activities we did during the school year. We interacted every day and we were all really close. We would hang out after school, during vacation breaks, and we still have that same group of friends today that we had back in 8th grade,” Fakhoury said.

After growing up for nine years within those walls, Fakhoury finally graduated and began bigger and better things here at Niles West. Participating in football, entering clubs, and making new friends, Fakhoury loved the experiences West provided to him.

“My favorite memories from West were all the sports we played- basketball, football, volleyball, and track. Also, all the friends that I met and became close with over such a short period of time were extremely important to me and I still value their loyalty today,” Fakhoury said.

Niles West’s physical education department had a major impact on Fakhoury’s experience, leading him to want to do what he does today. One teacher in specific, Steve Ramseyer, reflects on all of the great memories he had with Fakhoury and is proud of the person and teacher he has become today.

“When Amir was here at West, I loved having him in class. Playing sports, being competitive, and leading his class made gym that much more fun. He was a very hardworking student and a great kid to teach. He was also a great athlete that busted his butt in whatever competitions he participated in,” Ramseyer said.

Once Fakhoury became an alum of Niles West, college was the next thing on his mind; he knew he wanted to be a Physical Education teacher. When picking his 4-year university, he wanted to make sure the program was the best fit. He chose Northeastern University, a school that had a fantastic program and prepped him for what he does now.

“I decided to become a teacher because I believe it’s the best way to develop someone’s personality, character, and it’s the best way to interact with young individuals to make them a better human being in everyday life,” Fakhoury said. “Graduating from Northeastern showed me the ropes of how to be the best teacher and person I could possibly be in order to put my students in the best position possible to become successful in the real world and life after Fairview.”

Throughout his senior year of college, Fakhoury began looking for a future job. Deciding between high schools, locations, and different districts, Fakhoury came upon Fairview. Being his former elementary school, he had a strong connection with it. After graduation, he waited for the school year to begin and applied for the job.

Middle school principal Michael Lopatka was ecstatic and very content with having Fakhoury in a teaching position at Fairview. Spending his childhood at Fairview and living through the same halls as this generation, Lopatka instantly felt he was the right fit.

“Amir has been a great addition to our PE department this school year and as a former Falcon. It has been really neat to have an alumnus back in the building with his former teachers. Growing up in the Fairview community and understanding what it means to be a Falcon resonates with our students. We have a lot of great traditions at Fairview, one being the emphasis on everyone that was apart or is apart of the District, and having Amir back as a teacher in our building embodies our message,” Lopatka said.

Along with his youth connection, Fakhoury was embraced by many familiar faces. Not only children but the faculty as well. Current Physical Education teacher Patrick Stoneberg was very pleased to be working with someone like Fakhoury.

“I am Amir’s teaching mentor here at Fairview and will be for the first two years of his teaching at Fairview. It’s been very neat, as a former PE teacher, to walk down to the gym and check in on him to see what he’s been implementing into the kids daily routine. I am very proud of him. He came into the building full of teachers who were his teachers at one point in time and became a colleague working beside them through a seamless transition. He is truly a professional,” Stoneberg said.

Fakhoury’s impact continues to grow. Kids, parents, and former alumni of Fairview boast about how great it is or would have been to have Fakhoury as an instructor. His energy, charisma, and dedication to the kids are intangibles that everyone wishes they could be apart of.

Former Fairview graduate, current Niles West sophomore, and sister Lilliana Fakhoury, loves the idea of having her older brother as a part of Fairview. She, along with many others, sees the long-lasting impact he will be able to imprint on the school throughout the future years.

“Now that Amir works at Fairview, it’s kind of funny to watch him teach the kids that he once was. He is extremely patient, determined, and always worrying about his kids and thinking of ways to make them better. Since Amir was so athletic in high school, this is his dream job; playing sports all day, interacting with energetic people, and staying active and healthy throughout the entire year is a win-win for him,” Lilliana said.

With the support of future and past alumni, the foundation Fairview has made, and Fakhoury’s intrinsic motivation, nothing but greatness is expected of him. Although times have changed, Fakhoury is sure to bring back tradition and represent the Falcon name for many years to come.