AYA Main Buildings

American Youth Academy

Administrative Team

Sr. Farhat Siddiqui

Head of School

Farhat obtained her B.A degree in Elementary Education and her M.Ed. degree from Loyola University, Chicago, specializing in school leadership and administration.  

She is a Certified Chair for AdvancED. She is an Educational Speaker and Trainer for the State Board of Education and conducts professional development training for staff, and mentoring and coaching for school leaders. 

Farhat worked as a classroom teacher for nearly a decade at one of the largest Islamic Schools in the United States, Universal School, where she was awarded the highest recognition – “Teacher of the Year”, for her commitment to excellence in education. She was appointed as a lead administrator, an Assistant Principal and eventually a Principal, where she served until 2009. Farhat was recognized with the service award in 2004 and 2009 for her commitment to best practices in education. Universal School was featured in TIME magazine as “The Model School, Islamic Style”.

Farhat Siddiqui served as the Principal of College Preparatory School of America from 2009 to 2013. She received recognition from the Washington Post in 2013, as the most academically challenging school in Illinois. 

Farhat joined AYA in October 2015 as a consultant and was appointed as the Head of School in December of 2015, and currently serves in that capacity.  



Br. Feras Abuzayda


Br. Feras Abuzayda has been in the field of education for more than fifteen years, both as a teacher and an administrator. He holds a bachelors degree in Biology & Chemistry double major, a masters degree in Physiology, a graduate certificate in Educator Preparation Institute (EPI), and special certificates in Administration and Leadership for school teams and departments.

Prior to joining American Youth Academy, Br. Feras has served as a Principal for Iqra Academy of Virginia for many years, in which he led the school to receieve dual accreditation through AdvancED and CISNA.  Before then, he worked as one of the district coordinators of St. Lucie County Public Schools for Science Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment and Science Fair Competition. 

Furthermore, Br. Feras chaired the Science department as well as taught a variety of Science courses for nine years at Fort Pierce Westwood Public High School, at which he received numerous recognitions and awards.

Br. Feras is married to Ala'a and has two boys, Ahmad and Omar. His family recently welcomed a baby girl. 



Sr. Shabeah Usmanali

Assistant Principal – Curriculum and Instruction


Sr.Shabeah Usmanali has worked in the field of education for the past thirteen years in the capacity of a teacher. Her experiences in teaching include elementary, middle, and high school divisions. She taught in private and public institutions as a homeroom and science teacher. Her educational philosophy is the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to have the best possible education. She is passionate about helping students to become lifelong learners who are open-minded.

Sr. Shabeah has degrees in Medical Technology with a specialization in Microbiology, Biology with a minor in English, and a Masters degree in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction. She has her teaching certificate in the state of Florida and is working on becoming Gifted Endorsed. She is also certified by The International Baccalaureate (IB) to teach Physics.

She feels blessed to be working with the AYA community and honored to be given the opportunity to serve as Assistant Principal - Curriculum & Instruction. 




Br. Osman Zafar

Assistant Principal - Student Programs

Br. Osman holds a Masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in K-12 Education Leadership and Policy Analysis. While at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Br. Osman taught classes through the University and conducted his principal internship at Lincoln Elementary School. He also served as the Muslim Students Association Vice-President Br. Osman also has his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida where he received numerous awards for his efforts in student engagement and leadership.

Prior to joining AYA, Br. Osman taught in both Islamic Schools and public schools in Oklahoma, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and for two years in the Kyrgyz Republic while serving in the United States Peace Corps. He was most recently the Vice-Principal at MTI-School of Knowledge, an Islamic School in Indianapolis, Indiana where he focused on student engagement and teacher development.





Sr. Samira Elsayed

Academic Advisor

Sr. Samira Elkadi Elsayed graduated from one of the first Islamic schools in the country, and went on to receive her B.A. from USF and M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the American University in Cairo.  She taught English to both adults and children in South America and North Africa before returning to the United States to teach middle and high school math and English. 

Sr. Samira transitioned to an administrative position many years ago, and has worked closely with AYA administrators in all matters dealing with academics.  As Academic Advisor, her goal is to mentor the students as they navigate their way through high school and prepare for academic success at the University level.  She also strives to collaborate with Admin to institute the programs that will best serve our student population.


Administrative Support 

Sr. Wafa Fahda 

Business Finance Manager

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 203



Sr. Sureen Aslavi-King

Marketing & Communications Liaison

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 216



Office Staff


Br. Amjad Erzikat | Technology Director

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 258


Sr. Rafeena Khan | Registrar

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 259


Sr. Lena Keswani | Business Office Assistant 



Sr. Theresa Golike | Business Office Assistant 









Sr. Alia Qureshi | Administrative Assistant 

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