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.  If you have suggestions for potentially valuable board members, please let us know.

The Northstar Board of Directors has a mandatory meeting twice each month on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.

  • 1st Tuesday of the month – Conference call
  • 3rd Tuesday of the month – Conference call or in-person meeting at the school
    • The first half of this meeting is open for anyone to attend as an observer or to raise relevant issues. If you would like to attend, please inform us in advance so that we can make appropriate arrangements.

You can reach Northstar’s board by email at

Current Board Members

Zachary Twist


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 teacher in the Berkeley public schools, a Mayoral Aide in the City of Oakland, and the Director of Operations at Zaytuna Institute/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


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.

Omar Nawaz


Yama Achikzai

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 previously worked for Guidance Financial, owned and operated a private import/export company, and volunteered for Kaiser Permanente spiritual care services. He has a BA in Business Administration and minor in IT. He currently works as a Sr. Recruiter for Kaiser Permanente. He strongly believes that successful Islamic schools will lead the way toward the establishment of successful communities.

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali


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.

Shaheen Rasheed

Shaheen Rasheed is an educator and education consultant. Her passion for education has driven her 20+ year career as a private school teacher turned parent educator, education consultant, and trainer.

She holds a BA in Liberal Studies, and certifications in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and Early Childhood Education. Her MS in Education, with an emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction, furthered her understanding of educational pedagogues and strengthened her resolve to work toward a more holistic approach to education. She and her family have been homeschooling since the very beginning. Currently, she has three children in college and one who is still a homeschooler plays on Northstar’s basketball team!

Shaheen works as an Instructional Designer for Pacific Gas & Electric’s technical training academy. In her free time, she consults and lectures about homeschooling, parenting, and alternative education. She is a founding member of the East Bay Muslim Homeschoolers group and an advisor to the Silicon Valley Muslim Homeschoolers group of the Bay Area. She has been published in various online and print magazines. She has taught part-time at a local community college and currently teaches classes online. Shaheen has been an active member of the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) of Connecting Waters Charter Schools and served on its Board of Directors as well. Shaheen and her family have always been part of the larger Northstar community, and is happy to be a part of the Board.

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