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

Principal of Student Affairs

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. Rubina Tariq

Principal of Academic Affairs

Sr. Rubina Tariq joins AYA as the “Principal of Academic Affairs”. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of education. She is an experienced curriculum specialist, and a state certified teacher in High School Biology, Elementary Ed., and Pre-school with essential pedagogical knowledge. She has earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, as well as Science and Education- majoring in curriculum designing.

She is a certified Lead Evaluator for AdvancEd, and has served as a Board Member of the Florida Kindergarten Council. She establishes and maintains exemplary educational and ethical standards for the membership, while providing support services to member schools. She disseminates and promotes legislation through the relationship with Florida Association of Academic Non-Public Schools (FAANS), for the protection of school patrons, and for the elevation of standards for the Florida Kindergarten Council schools, as well as making memberships available to Florida independent schools with early childhood programs.

Building upon her strengths as a transformational leader, Mrs. Tariq served as the Principal and other administrative roles at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy- a private school from Pre-K through 12th grade, for nearly two decades. In her capacity as Principal, she coordinated and implemented professional learning communities within the school, assisted with the development and organization of curriculum documents, and monitored the academic performance of teachers and students alike. She received many accolades for her dedication and passion for education, such as “Teacher of the Year”, “Employee of the Year,” and many more- not only from the Academy, but also from Parent Body. In 2017, she received a dedication award as outstanding leader and exemplary educator from the South Florida Community.

Sr. Rubina has nurtured the minds of students in various other parts of the world like Dubai and Sharjah, cities in the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, as well as, the Broward County Public School System.


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. 




Sr. Maha Yousef

Assistant Principal- Academics and Programs for the Early Childhood and Elementary Department 

Sr. Maha Yousef received her master's degree in Education in 2006. She became an American Montessori certified teacher in 2007, and worked as an Early Childhood Education team leader at Seminole High school. From 2009-2012, she worked as an Early Childhood Director at AYA.  She then moved with her family to the Middle East and worked as an Academic Director for American International schools for the last six years. She eventually became an accredited member of the North England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC). She is pleased to be back in Tampa as part of the AYA team. 



Administrative Support 

Sr. Wafa Fahda 

Business Finance Manager

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 203













Sr. Sara Bassoumi

School Counselor. 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












Gemma Linton | Business Office Assistant 

Tel: (813) 987-9282 Ext. 262





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