Board of Directors
Northstar School is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Northstar’s Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the mission, vision, strategic direction, finances, and success of the school. It is a vital role in the school and requires community members who are willing to dedicate their valuable expertise and time toward the benefit of the school. Board members are elected by the community to serve 3-year terms, which are staggered so that an election for a board seat is held every year.
Our current board members are:
Zachary Twist (Chairperson)
Zachary is the founder and principal of Claristic Consulting, a Bay-Area based business consulting firm. He holds an MBA with an emphasis on sustainability and business, and has previously worked as a substitute teacher in the Berkeley public schools, a Mayoral Aide in the City of Oakland, and the Director of Operations at Zaytuna Insititute/Zaytuna College. All three of his children have attended Northstar School and he has been an active volunteer and supporter of the school since its very beginning. He believes that high quality children’s education should be an absolute top priority in our community, and that we should be willing to invest the best of our time and money to give our children the most effective and enriching education possible.
Omar Arsala (Secretary)
Omar has been a Northstar School board member since 2002, and previously served as a board member to Anoor Islamic school for 2 years. He has a BA in Business and Masters in Industrial Technology. He currently works at Hewlett-Packard. He loves nature, hiking, camping, and outdoor activities. He has a passion for education and sees the solution to most of the problems in the world through education. Both of his two children attend Northstar school.
Ustadh Abdullah is a full-time lecturer on Islamic Law and Hadith Science, and a member of the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) at Zaytuna College in Berkeley. He holds a collegiate level license (Ijaza ‘ulya) in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the University of Al-Qarawiyin of Fez, Morocco. He previously has worked as assistant head chaplain for the Chester, Pennsylvania Correctional Institution (SCI Chester), and has taught various Islamic topics for both children (grades K to 12) and adults for the past 20 years. He has authored three published books, and has written over 40 articles on various Islamic issues. He is currently completing his MA in Ethics & Social Theory, and was recently offered a full two-year Presidential Scholarship for the Doctorate of Philosophy at The Graduate Theological Union. He moved with his family from Philadelphia during the fall of 2007 to take up the post as resident scholar at Zaytuna Institute. In addition to his teaching at Zaytuna, he conducts regular online seminars on a variety of contemporary and classical Islamic topics. His daughter is also a student at Northstar School.
Yama has been a parent and Northstar School board member since 2006. He is the CFO/ Treasurer for Raqim Foundation a non-profit charitable organization. He has over twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing, and has previously worked for Guidance Financial, owned and operated a private import/export company, and volunteered for Kaiser Permanente spiritual care services. He has a technical certification (equivalent to a BA) from Micro Center, VA in computer hardware, software and technical sales. He strongly believes that successful Islamic schools will lead the way toward the establishment of successful communities.
Ahmad is founder and managing director of Camponil Electronics, an electronic compenents company, and Aspen Partners Global LLC, a real estate investment company. He has previously worked as a Financial Consultant at Merrill Lynch, as V.P. of Operations at Hilltop Lending Corp, and has held various marketing and sales-related positions over the past 20 years. He has been involved with Northstar as donor and supporter for many years and considers it an honor to be a part of this blessed institution. He believes that only through education can we attain a true level ground in society, free of prejudices and inequity. He hopes that through the education of Muslim youth, we can present a true picture of Muslims as peaceful people and productive citizens of the world.