Staff and Teachers

NS-Some Teachers-400xNorthstar School has a wonderful and talented team of teachers and staff.  Everyone is inspired by and committed to the mission of nurturing and developing young people to their fullest potential. We are very proud to have so many seasoned and highly qualified teachers and administrators on our team.

Please find below background and contact info for each of our staff members.  (If you are interested in joining our team go here.)

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Principal - Salwa Abed

Salwa Abed obtained her Bachelors of Art in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.  She began teaching at Peace Terrace Academy in 2001 and served as a classroom teacher and Vice Principal until 2007.  She has enjoyed working with students of various ages.  Salwa lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughter.  She enjoys reading, baking, and outdoor activities.

Email: salwa@northstarschool.org

Director of Student Affairs - Haseeb Sadat
Haseeb Sadat has served as Northstar School’s 6th-grade teacher since 2010. In 2015, Haseeb took on an additional role as the Director of Student Affairs, where he manages student service and community projects and oversees student progress. Haseeb grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Davis. Previously he worked as certified tutor for various charter schools and currently consults homeschooling families. In his free time, Haseeb enjoys playing sports, reading best-selling non-fiction books, and occasionally dabbles in the kitchen.  Haseeb on teaching:  “Teaching is a passion of mine. Knowing you have the ability to make a positive impact on a young person’s mind and heart is incredibly rewarding. I named my teaching philosophy the ‘teacher’s golden rule’: to teach unto others as would have them teach unto you. Engaging students in a meaningful and enjoyable way, while maintaining the integrity of the subject being taught, is my aim each and every single day. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect of my job is building long-term relationships with students and their families and seeing their progression year after year.”

Haseeb Sadat (haseeb@northstarschool.org)

Director of Programs & Community Development - Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee joined Northstar School as the Director of Programs and Community Development in 2013.  Michelle has a diverse role at Northstar, where she oversees co-curricular programs, cultivates enrichment programs, manages the fundraising for the school, leads the WASC accreditation process, and engages the community in the education of our youth. Michelle has worked for two years a research associate for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. She took a break to raise her two sons before working for seven years at Granada Islamic School as a computer science instructor & PE teacher.  Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science from Loyola Marymount University, and has completed some graduate coursework in Microbiology from UCLA. In her spare time, she stays actively involved in non-profit organizations such as the Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area (MCA), the Institute of Islamic Education (IIE), and the Boy Scouts of America.  Michelle loves working in the field of education, where she believes she can make a difference in the lives of our youth. She strongly believes that a love of learning tied with a love of deen will create a lasting foundation of success in our children. Michelle is married with two sons, and enjoys reading novels, hiking new trails, playing board games, eating with family and friends, and hitting the gym to keep the effects of her love of eating in check.

Michelle Lee (michelle@northstarschool.org)

Office Manager - Mubarra Ahmadyar

Mubarra Ahmadyar (mubarra@northstarschool.org)

TEACHING TEAM

Kindergarten Teacher - Dorkhany Arsala

Dorkhany Arsala is currently teaching kindergarten at Northstar School.  This is her 14th year teaching at Northstar School.  Previously, she taught two years at Peace Terrace Academy and three years at Fremont Unified School District.  She received her B.A. in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley.  After discovering her passion in teaching, she received her Teaching Credential for Multiple Subjects from California State University East Bay.  During her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and skiing.  Dorkhany resides in San Ramon with her husband and two kids.

Dorkhany Arsala (dorkhany@northstarschool.org)

First Grade Teacher - Muzhda Farooqi
Muzhda Farooqi (muzhda@northstarschool.org)
Second Grade Teacher - Afia Mujeeb

Afia Mujeeb is the 2nd grade homeroom teacher at Northstar School, joining in 2012.  She was educated in Pakistan and started her teaching career from Beaconhouse School Systems.  Beachonhouse Schools is one of the largest school chains in South East Asia with branches in the Far East, Middle East, and Europe.  Sr. Afia has 16 years of teaching experience, mashaAllah.  Khala Afia has previously been part of the faculty of Peace Terrace Academy in the East Bay and Noor-ul-Islam Academy in Florida.  She enjoys reading, cooking, crafts, walking, hiking and biking.  Khala Afia has four children, two boys and two girls.  Her older 3 children are contributing members of the community and her youngest is on the road of completing his formal education.

Afia Mujeeb  (afia@northstarschool.org)

Third Grade Teacher - Iman Lazkani

Iman Lazkani is currently the homeroom teacher for 3rd grade at Northstar School. This is her 3rd year at Northstar, but her 16th year as a teacher. Her experience ranges from teaching 3rd grade, kindergarten, 1st grade, and substituting for grades K-8th. Iman has worked in other private schools such as Granada Islamic School, the Islamic School of San Diego, and two different charter schools in Aurora, Colorado.

Iman holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Phoenix, and earned her Alternative Teaching License from Colorado Christian University. She holds a Colorado professional teaching license.  She completed has one year of studying for her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and is attempting to complete that degree in the near future, inshaAllah.

In her spare time, Iman loves to spend time with her family and enjoys traveling by car. This past summer, she made a road trip traveling 6,420 miles to visit family in the Midwest and Canada.

Iman Lazkani (iman@northstarschool.org)

Fourth Grade Teacher - Manija Farooqi
Manija Farooqi is the 4th Grade teacher at Northstar School.  This is her fifth year teaching at Northstar School.  She has been a full time teacher for the past seven years.  She has previously taught at Peace Terrace Academy, Castro Valley Unified School District, Milpitas Unified School District and Livermore Unified School District. She has also taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ta’leef Collective and Biology at California State University East Bay. She received her Teaching Credentials for Multiple Subjects in Elementary School from California State University East Bay.  She is continuing her education and receiving her Master’s Degree in Biology at theCalifornia State University East Bay.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from UC Davis.  She loves traveling and learning about different cultures and speaks four languages.  As she continues her career in teaching, she appreciates the diversity amongst her students and hopes to meet individual student needs with her background knowledge and teaching experience. Currently, she lives in Hayward, CA with her husband.

Manija Farooqi  (manija@northstarschool.org)

Fifth Grade Teacher - Zaineb Nezamy

Zaineb Nezamy is the 5th grade homeroom teacher.  A graduate of the University of California at Davis, Zaineb is dedicated to providing a positive learning experience for her students. She has served as a halaqa coordinator of the MSA at U.C. Davis as well as a high school advisor for Taleef Collective.  Zaineb has previously taught fourth grade at Ilm Academy in Fremont.

Zaineb Nezamy (zaineb@northstarschool.org)

Sixth Grade Teacher - Haseeb Sadat
Haseeb Sadat has served as Northstar School’s 6th-grade teacher since 2010. In 2015, Haseeb took on an additional role as the Director of Student Affairs, where he manages student service and community projects and oversees student progress. Haseeb grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from UC Davis. Previously he worked as certified tutor for various charter schools and currently consults homeschooling families. In his free time, Haseeb enjoys playing sports, reading best-selling non-fiction books, and occasionally dabbles in the kitchen.  Haseeb on teaching:  “Teaching is a passion of mine. Knowing you have the ability to make a positive impact on a young person’s mind and heart is incredibly rewarding. I named my teaching philosophy the ‘teacher’s golden rule’: to teach unto others as would have them teach unto you. Engaging students in a meaningful and enjoyable way, while maintaining the integrity of the subject being taught, is my aim each and every single day. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect of my job is building long-term relationships with students and their families and seeing their progression year after year.”

Haseeb Sadat (haseeb@northstarschool.org)

 

7th / 8th Grade Math & Science - Fadwa Silmi

Fadwa Silmi currently teaches seventh and eighth grade math and science at Northstar School and also serves as the eighth grade homeroom teacher. She received her B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California in Berkeley in 1997. After teaching in a private elementary school for five years, she returned to academia and received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education as well as her teaching credential from San Francisco State University in 2004. Fadwa attended classes at the Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, California from 1997-2005, completing her fard ayn studies along with other various subjects focusing primarily on Maliki fiqh with both resident and visiting scholars. Fadwa has previously served as the Program Director for the Children’s Quran school at the Zaytuna Institute in Hayward, CA and and is co-founder of The Rahmah Foundation, a non profit organization serving the Islamic educational needs of girls and women.  She has taught students in both public and private schools as well as homeschoolers in small class settings and served as an educational consultant to parents and educators over the last twenty years. She resides in Hayward, California with her husband and three children.

Fadwa Silmi (fadwa@northstarschool.org)

7th / 8th grade Language Arts and History - Nafeesa Amanat

Nafeesa Amanat is the 7th and 8th grade Language Arts and History teacher, joining Northstar School in 2016. Nafeesa has a BA in History from Queen Mary University of London and a Diploma in Islamic Contextual Studies and Leadership from the Cambridge Muslim College. Nafeesa has recently completed a teaching qualification with ITEP in Islamic pedagogy and has spent the past year working for an NGO called Faith Associates as a Policy Researcher and Executive Assistant. Her work has involved editing a number of publications designed to make statutory guidance accessible for faith schools, as well as designing resources to improve governance, accountability and learning outcomes for supplementary schools in England. Prior to this she has worked as a Communications Assistant for a District Authority and has also spent the past year teaching in an Islamic weekend school in England, where she taught a number of subjects. Nafeesa has extensive experience in the areas of communication, research, writing and publishing. She hopes to use her knowledge, skills and ability to provide a transformational learning environment for her students.

Nafeesa Amanatnafeesa@northstarschool.org

Qur'an - Qari Amar

Qari Amar Bellaha (qariamar@northstarschool.org)

Qari Amar is a well-known and esteemed Hafiz or one who has committed to memory the Quran in its entirety. Raised in Morocco, he memorized the Quran at the age of 17 from Madrasat Imam Nafia. He has ijaza (Islamic teaching licenses) for both the Hafs and Warsh forms of Quranic recitation. In 1994 and 1995, Qari Amar was awarded top prizes in the National Moroccan Tajweed Competition, a competition of the best Quran reciters in all of Morocco. He is recognized for the beauty, clarity, and excellence of his recitation. He is one the Bay Area’s most respected and active Quran teachers, having taught hundreds of students at numerous schools and Islamic centers in the area.

Islamic Studies & Quran- Siddique Abdullah

Siddique Abdullah was born and raised in Washington D.C. He traveled to Egypt and Syria where he began his studies in the Arabic language and Islamic sciences. He completed the Arabic program at Markez Al-Nile in Egypt and the Imam’s Training Course at Abu-Nur in Damascus, Syria. He served as an Islamic studies teacher for over nine years at Al-Huda School in College Park, MD. Siddique moved to the Bay Area to study as a full-time student at the new Imam Tabari Islamic Seminary at Zaytuna Institute, where he graduated in 2008. He has been teaching Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies at Northstar School since 2008. He also taught Arabuc at Zaytuna College and tajweed at Ilm Tree. He’s has 17 years teaching experience. He will begin the MA  program at the GTU in Berkeley in the fall of 2016.

Siddique Abdullah (siddique@northstarschool.org)

Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Muna Almawri

Muna Almawri is a teacher of Arabic, Qur’an, and Islamic Studies who joined Northstar School in 2007.  Muna is a graduate of Sana’a University in Yemen with a B.A Degree in Education. Muna has participated in the BIAE (Bureau of Islamic Studies and Arabic Education) Arabic program, which was designed to teach Arabic as a foreign language to non-native speakers.  Muna has 14 years of teaching experience in Arabic, Qur’an,  and Islamic Studies, and has previously taught at Ilm Tree Homeschooling Co-op,  Peace Terrace Academy,  Dearborn Islamic Academy, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), and The Samawi Middle School (Yemen).  Muna loves to apply innovative teaching techniques which engage the student in learning, and foster a love of the subject material.  

Muna Almawri (muna@northstarschool.org)

Arabic Teacher - Yusuf Mullick

Yusuf Mullick currently teaches Arabic for 4th to 7th grade. Yusuf graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, studying pure mathematics and Arabic. He has taught all levels of Arabic at Zaytuna College and the University of San Francisco. He currently serves as an editor of Islamic studies academic monographs and premodern manuscripts and a translator of various writings by contemporary ulema.

Yusuf Mullick (yusuf@northstarschool.org)

Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Nahla Mohammed

Nahla Mohammed (nahla@northstarschool.org)

Qur’an/Arabic Teacher - Awra Mohamed

Awra Mohamed (awra@northstarschool.org)

Art Teacher - Arshia Saifuddin

Arshia Saifuddin (arshia@northstarschool.org)

PE Teacher - Fatima Abdel Wahab

Fatima Abdel Wahab (fatima@northstarschool.org)