Arab American Abir Othman named next Principal at Andrew High School
The High School District 230 School Board unanimously approved the hiring of Abir Othman as Principal of Andrew High School, in light of the promotion of Dr. Robert Nolting to the role of Superintendent beginning on July 1, 2021.
“Abir is a strong and compassionate leader who will continue to focus on student achievement while leading the Andrew community,” said School Board President Tony Serratore.
“It is clear that she is passionate about the success of each student, each staff member, and the overall needs of the school community. Her leadership embodies empathy and compassion, truly listening, fostering strong relationships, celebrating student and teacher successes, and being a resource for students, teachers, parents, and administrators. All of these traits make her an exceptional school leader.”
Othman is the most recent recipient of the Illinois Principals Association Assistant Principal of the Year award, a recognition she earned as a compassionate, solution-focused, and inspiring leader at Andrew High School.
Othman has been an educator for 23 years, serving the last 18 in District 230. She currently serves as Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction at Andrew High School. She previously served as Associate Principal of Student Services at Andrew High School, Head Dean of Students at Stagg High School, and Dean of Students at Andrew High School. Prior to joining District 230 in 2003, she was an English teacher, academic advisor, and administrator at Universal School in Bridgeview.
“Abir can be found mentoring students and staff, developing and implementing curriculum, and modeling what it means to care about the experiences, needs, and dreams of each person in the school community,” said District 230 Superintendent Dr. James M. Gay. “She is a champion for all students as she cultivates opportunities for them to find their true gifts and contribute them to the school community and the greater world.”
Othman immigrated to the United States along with her parents and siblings as an elementary school student. From that experience she found her true calling to help others as she chronicled in this video celebrating District 230 stories. Bilingual in English and Arabic, Othman is a visionary, innovative, creative, and strategic thinker who strives to prepare each student to fulfill their dreams.
“Abir has a remarkable personal story,” said Andrew High School Principal Dr. Robert Nolting. “But she is the new VJA Principal due to her incredible belief in the capacity and potential of all students, staff, and parents to reach their personal and collective best. She has outlined an impressive vision for VJA and I know that her collaborative spirit is something our students, staff, and community will be proud of. I am excited to see her ascend to a position she has worked remarkably hard to achieve. The VJA community should know that we have secured one of the finest, in-demand, educators within our state as VJA’s next leader.”
“I am very honored and humbled as this is a dream come true,” said Othman. “Being at Andrew is not a job, it is a way of life. I take a lot of pride in serving the Andrew community and cherish the strong relationships with students, teachers, parents, and all stakeholders. We have an outstanding school that can only continue to become an exemplar for the entire state.”
“I promise to work diligently for all students regardless of their background by providing them equitable learning opportunities,” she said. “My aim is to continue to advance the legacy of high expectations, success, and family that encapsulates the culture and climate at Andrew High School. As a true collaborator, I also believe in the strengths of our staff and know that we can collectively achieve and surpass expectations for our school. I will continue to lead with my heart and soul daily as I enhance experiences for those around me. Given my innate commitment to District 230’s core values, I will bring all stakeholders together as we embrace and overcome whatever challenges we encounter.”
Othman is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with Superintendent Endorsement from the University of St. Francis. She earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Lewis University and a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Teaching Certificate from Governors State University.