Nia Abdullah, who was recently hired to replace Oscar Hawthorne as principal of Proviso West High School. | Bowen HS Alumni Association
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || Updated: 7/15/17
During a June 13 regular meeting, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board unanimously approved the hiring of Nia Abdullah as the principal at Proviso West High School in Hillside. Abdullah will replace the school’s outgoing principal, Oscar Hawthorne, starting June 19. Her starting salary is $156,960.
Abullah is currently the principal of Bowen High School, a 4-year public school within the Chicago Public Schools system.
Abdullah is a 1998 graduate of Howard, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also has a Doctor of Education in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education.
Abdullah has been in education for 11 years. She started her career in 2006 at Hyde Park High School in Chicago, where she was a math teacher, curriculum coordinator and math department chair. She was resident principal at John Hay Community Academy from 2010 until 2011, when she became assistant principal at Bowen High School. She was promoted to principal of the school in 2013.
According to a profile by UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership, Abdullah was featured in a 2014 symposium at the University of Chicago entitled, “Black Young Men in America: Rising above Social and Racial Prejudice, Trauma, and Educational Disparities.”
The UEL profile notes that Abdullah talked about the “challenges she faces at Bowen,” where she had crafted “a warm and inviting environment for African American males geared to push for excellence both academically and behaviorally.”
“We have to accept them as they are and be able to hold them accountable as well at the same time,” Abdullah said. “We need to know exactly what they need academically but support them regardless of how they come to us.”
Abdullah was listed as a “turnaround principal” on a June 2017 personnel report, which did not include the length of Abdullah’s contract. District 209 officials could not be immediately contacted for comment. VFP
This article has been updated to correct information about Abdullah’s professional background.