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Dr. Samah Bkhaitan

Head of School

Dr. Samah Bkhaitan is a deeply passionate educator with a focus on providing outstanding student education and robust leadership. She is an expert in curriculum design, accreditation processes, student/faculty advisory, counseling, classroom instruction, improvement planning, and procedural design. She has worked within multiple academic capacities, all the while achieving various educational degrees, the last of which is an Ed.D. with a specialization in Educational Leadership. Over the past few years, she moved into roles of progressive leadership where she worked as a teacher, counselor, vice-principal, and head of school at Arizona Cultural Academy. In addition, Dr. Samah has been profoundly engaged in the school accreditation process with Cognia, previously called AdvancED, as a chair of the accreditation committee. Her recent recognition was for “Extraordinary Achievement Drive for Excellence and Leadership, awarded by her school. Dr. Samah is very committed to her work with high expectations, starting with her. She believes in team work and admires educators and education as the core of society. 








Sr. Wafa Fahda 

Business & Operations Manager.



Sr.Sherene Rahman

Secondary School Department Lead Ext. 115

A new addition to the AYA administrative team as the Secondary Division Lead will be Sherene Rahman.  As the Secondary Division, she will be committed to ensuring high-quality educational programs and accomplishing the AYA school mission. 

Sherene Rahman has been a dedicated teacher for the past fifteen years. After graduating from St. Joseph’s college and attending graduate school at St. John’s University in New York, she pursued a career in non-profit and educational development in institutions like The New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. An immense desire in continued public service and seeking a greater role in education led to teaching at an American International School in Cairo, Egypt. After teaching for five years in an American international school she served for seven years as the Social Studies Department Head within the same American International school system. As a Department Head, she designed curriculum for Grades 3-12, Grade 12 included Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Economics and Business studies, led teacher training and helped cultivate school improvement plans. During the past three years, she has been teaching High School social studies, IB English and AP Psychology at AYA. She is also an IB Examiner in English Language A. 

The conservation and educational development of future global Muslim citizens is of dire importance and Sherene Rahman hopes that at AYA she will continue to create a space for superior education to flourish.  She is excited to be working with such a talented and dynamic team at AYA.


Sr. Dallal Kahook

Middle School Department Lead Ext. 269


Dallal Kahook joined AYA’s administration team as the Middle School Division Lead. Dallal is a Florida born and bred education professional that has recently relocated from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She has a background in biology, business management, and educational leadership. She has over 15 years of experience working in private American curriculum schools in various roles including Director of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Division Principal, and Vice Principal. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, an MBA, and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Education Leadership at Nova Southeastern University.

Her teaching experience includes teaching middle and high school students in science and business subjects. As a certified Professional Development Trainer, she believes in developing and empowering all school community members to fulfill shared goals and targets. She is a passionate educator with a child-centric approach to instruction. In line with our school’s vision, she is committed to academic excellence to nurture our youth to be successful 21st-century global citizens. She is very excited to be part of our dynamic team to fulfill the needs of our students to be global-minded purpose-driven Muslim leaders.


Sr. Manal Ramadan 

Primary Department Lead Ext. 119 


Manal Ramadan has professionally grown as an educator and a future school administrator in the field of education which all began from her experience as a student at one of the first Islamic schools in the country. The experiences and bonds that were created were a dream she wanted for her own children, at the American Youth Academy these dreams came to fruition.

Manal reflects the first-generation American Muslim in the USA where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She is certified to teach in the state of Florida from K-6th grade. She is currently enrolled at the American College of Education as a graduate student and will obtain her M.Ed in Educational Leadership by the end of the current academic year.

Manal has dedicated 15 years teaching in the classroom and is honored to continue on this journey as the Primary Department Lead at AYA. Her philosophy in education is a holistic approach to learning. Students need to feel safe, nurtured, and have advocates who support them. Once the foundation of trust is paved, students are equipped to meet their academic and social goals. Her beliefs steer her into providing academic excellence and social justice for all. She is proud to be part of a team that believes in equipping young Muslims with the resources they need to become a pivotal contributor to our society.


Specialty Director


Br. Moahammad Salah 

Curriculum Director/ IB Coordinator  Ext. 206


Mohamed Salah Ahmed is celebrating his 21th academic year in education. He started his professional career in international education in the Middle East and North Africa. His achievements include a BA in Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a MA in Arts and Science of Teaching with Secondary Licensure, and a Principal certification through the Principal’s Training Center of Miami and London. He is also earned a teaching certificate from Arizona State in Biology 7-12, IB certification in Math, Biology and CAS, and lastly, an International Montessori Teaching Diploma-Early Years through NAMC. A professional experience in teaching and administration in three different internationally recognized systems, including American, British, and International Baccalaureate programs makes him a well-rounded educator who had experienced education from multiple perspectives. Mohamed Salah Ahmed served as the High School Principal for the American Creativity Academy in Kuwait, a K-12 Principal for the American School of Tangier in Morocco, and finished his three-year tenure as a Head of School at Al Salam Day School in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mohamed Salah Ahmed joined AYA in July 2020 as the Curriculum Director where he will be overseeing AYA's K-12 curriculum, standardized assessment (MAP) as well as monitor, develop and enhance the IB program at AYA. 







Sr. Shabeah Usmanali

Director of Digital Learning Ext. 205 


Sr. Eman Khalifeh 

Registrar & Marketing Director Ext. 259



Br. Amjad Erzikat 

Technology Director Ext. 258


Administrative Support 








Sr.Kariman Rahhal 

Arabic Coordinator Ext. 311




Sr. Sara Bassoumi 

Social Counselor. Ext. 216









Sr. Amany Hasan

Academic Counselor. Ext. 216


Office Staff


Sr. Gemma Linton 

Business Office Assistant Ext. 262



Sr. Nawaher Taha 

Administrative Assistant Ext. 215


Sr. Razaan Mohammad 

Receptionist Ext. 201