Since 1989, CPSA has prided itself in attracting the top talent of any Islamic school anywhere in North America. We are constantly on the lookout for passionate, caring, and dedicated individuals who work tirelessly and around the clock to raise the next generation of American Muslim leaders. Our current teaching facilities include preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school; all carefully coordinated and designed to train and ready our students for the next adventure.
Samah Elzahdan – Principal
Ms. Elzahdan holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Management Information Systems from Governors State University, a M.A. in School Guidance Counseling from Lewis University with a Type 73 Illinois Counseling Certificate, and a M.A. in Educational Administration Principal Leadership from Governors State University. Ms. Elzahdan has been at CPSA since 2013 serving as the Chief Guidance Counselor and Dean of Student Affairs until she was appointed Principal of CPSA in 2020. In addition, Ms. Elzahdan is a proud CPSA parent.
Syeda Azra Kazmi – Vice Principal
Ms. Kazmi earned her M. Ed. in Leadership & Supervision from National Louis University and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Computer Science minor from Benedictine University. She is also certified with a Type 75 Illinois Principal License. She is an experienced teacher having taught various elementary grades and then serving as Elementary Administrator at CPSA where she conducted the pull out program and coached elementary ICTM teams for the past 10 years. As vice-principal, she oversees students in grades PK through 7th.
Azra Jabeen – Academic and Curriculum Coordinator
Ms. Jabeen holds a bachelor degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master’s degree in Information Technology from Bangalore University, India. She worked for 14 years as the head of the Computer Department at an international school and as the director of the Computer Skills Department for 8 years at Princess Nourah University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ms. Jabeen has been at CPSA since 2016.
Maimuna Moid – Office Manager
Mrs. Moid holds a bachelor’s degree from Osmania University, India. She started with CPSA in 1996 as an administrative assistant. With over 25 years of experience, she serves as our office manager.
Erum Tariq-Munir – Office Support
Ms. Tariq-Munir holds a BSc in Applied Mathematics from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology as well as an MSc in Sociology from Iowa State University. She has previously served in the US Air Force and also worked as a Research Analyst for a market research firm in the Chicago area. Before joining CPSA she worked as a Preschool 1-1 Associate and Noon Hour Supervisor at the West Des Moines School District. Ms. Tariq-Munir started at CPSA in 2018.
Nesrine Sakr – Office Assistant
Ms. Sakr holds a Bachelors Degree in law from Beirut Arabic University in Lebanon. She is also a certified paraprofessional and has been at CPSA since 2012.
Shaheen Ruksana – Accounts Manager
Ms. Shaheen earned her Associates degree in Accounting & Information Systems from Seneca College in Canada. She has over 15 years of experience as a Staff Accountant in the United States and has been at CPSA since 2012.
Abdul-Aziz Farid – JH and HS Computer Science Teacher and Head Coach of Robotics
Amy Kaczor – HS Chemistry
Asim Gaffar – HS Social Studies, and College Guidance
Br. Asim studied Communications at Illinois State University, History and Psychology at Northern Illinois University. He has worked closely with the high school youth for over 10 years through different organizations such as the Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament and the Islamic Center of Naperville. Br Asim has been teaching at CPSA since 2013. Along with teaching, he joined the administrative team as Guidance Counselor in 2023.
Asmahan Ghazo – Elementary, JH, and HS Arabic and Islamic Studies
Ms. Ghazo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature and a minor in Arabic Language and Literature from Yarmouk University in Jordan. She holds the transitional Bilingual License/Arabic ELS (TBE). She is also certified with Qaidah Nouraniyah, Tajweed, and with teaching Arabic as a foreign language through the TASOL American Fellowship. Ms. Ghazo has been teaching Arabic and Quran in Islamic schools since 2010 and joined CPSA in 2021.
Ayesha Ashfaq Kamal – HS English
Ms. Ayesha, a Chicago native, has a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is the author of a children’s book “The Journey of a Lifetime”. Ms. Ayesha has 6+ years of experience teaching English literature and grammar. She joined CPSA in 2023.
Ayesha Gafoor – JH and HS Islamic Studies
Ms. Ayesha holds a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology from Osmania University and is working on her Islamic Studies’ education degree. For more than four years, she taught elementary and middle school Science and Islamic Studies in Boston. Furthermore, she works with students of hifz in teaching them Quranic Arabic. Prior to joining CPSA’s faculty, she had been working with CPSA as a substitute teacher for 2 years. As of 2020, she is teaching Islamic Studies to grades 3rd, 5th, and 6th.
Amy MacKenzie – JH English and Social Studies
Ms. MacKenzie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and History from the University of Toronto. She holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Education from Roosevelt University with Middle School Endorsements in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Ms. MacKenzie taught 5th grade at CPSA for 6 years. She currently teaches Junior High Literature, ELA, and Social Studies. This is her 8th year of teaching and her 7th at CPSA.
Carmina Forsythe – HS English
Ms. Forsythe previously taught in the Texas public school system for 18 years before moving to Illinois. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American and English literature with a minor in Secondary Education from the University of Texas at El Paso. She has a Master’s in the field of education from the University of Phoenix (Curriculum and Instruction) and Lamar University (Educational Leadership). Ms. Forsythe has been with CPSA since 2015.
Fahmeeda Arshi – Islamic Studies
Ms. Arshi is an Aalimah from AIE Dundee Illinois. She holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a BA in Economics from Osmania University Hyderabad. She has more than ten years teaching experience as a full-time, part-time and substitute teacher. She has been associated with CPSA since 2007.
Hala Alhalabi – Quran and Arabic
Ms. Hala holds a degree in Liberal Arts from Damascus. She also completed coursework in Qai’da Al Nourania. She taught Quran, Arabic and Islamic Studies in Syria for four years and taught in the United States for 16 years. She has been teaching Elementary, JH & HS students at CPSA since 2015.
Hind Al-Smadi – Quran and Arabic
Ms. Hind Al-Smadi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Shariah and Fundamentals of Religion from the University of Jordan. She has completed a Noorani Qaidah course and tajweed classes. Prior to joining CPSA’s faculty she was a long-term substitute teacher with CPSA.
Junaid Mansuri, MD, MSc – Department Head of Math, Science, and Computer Science and Head Coach of Math Team
Dr. Mansuri completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics with Distinction from UIC in 2001. He then went on to complete his Masters Degree in Mathematical Modeling and Scientific Computing with Distinction from Oxford University. His thesis focused on using systems of partial differential equations to model the growth of tumors in the body. Subsequently, Dr. Mansuri completed his Medical Doctorate from the UIC College of Medicine in 2006. He is very passionate about education and mentoring new teachers and has over 25 years of experience teaching students of all ages. He has been teaching Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, AP Calculus AB & BC, AP Physics, and (occasionally) Multivariable Calculus to CPSA students since 2011. Since 2019, he has taken on the role of Department Head of Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science. In addition, Dr. Mansuri has been active in competitive math since he was young, having participated in ICTM and AMC in high school and qualifying for the AIME in 1998. He has extensive experience in coaching competition math and currently is the Head Coach of the Math Team at CPSA.
Kousar Sultana – HS Biology
Ms. Sultana teaches AP Bio, Bio Honors, and Molecular Bio classes at CPSA. She has 30 years of teaching experience having taught for over 15 years at CPSA. She holds Master’s degrees in Microbiology and in Education, and a teaching certificate.
May Altamimi – JH and HS Math
Dr. May Elfar Altamimi is a distinguished scholar who holds a Doctorate degree in science from Kansas State University. Additionally, she boasts a certificate in Applied Statistics from the same institution, her portfolio includes numerous peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Altamimi’s passion for education led her to serve as a dedicated math high school teacher in a public school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prior to that, she shared her expertise as a respected lecturer within the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. Dr. Altamimi’s academic achievements stand as a testament to her unwavering dedication to the pursuit of knowledge. Her commitment to learning is matched only by her profound belief in the transformative potential of education. In her endeavors, she ceaselessly strives to inspire and empower her students, encouraging them to aim high, transcend limits, and surpass even their loftiest aspirations. Beyond the confines of textbooks and classrooms, Dr. Altamimi recognizes that genuine education extends into the realms of character cultivation, critical thinking, and fostering empathy. Her holistic approach to education reflects her deep understanding of the multifaceted nature of personal growth and societal contribution. Dr. Altamimi joined CPSA in 2023.
Muzaffar Uddin Qazi, PhD – JH and HS Physics
Dr. Qazi received his Bachelor’s of Science in physics, pure and applied mathematics and an MS in Physics. He also holds a PhD in Physics. Dr. Qazi has twenty six years experience of teaching physics at the graduate and masters’ level in a public university in Karachi and has been teaching at CPSA since 2013.
Naheda Salah – Islamic Studies and Arabic
Ms. Salah has 20 years of JH/HS teaching experience in Islamic schools and has a background in Early Childhood Teaching. Previously, she taught at the American Heritage School in Florida, and was assigned by Saudi Embassy to teach Arabic Curriculum for Saudi students. Mrs. Salah has been teaching at CPSA since 1999.
Ohoud Shamsedeen – Islamic Studies and Arabic
Ms. Shamsedeen graduated from Damascus University with a degree in Linguistics. She has taught at CPSA for more than 20 years, starting with CPSA in 1996. Previously, she taught Quran and Arabic at the Mosque Foundation Community Center in Bridgeview.
Ammar Alhashlamon – Quran and Arabic
Br. Ammar has taught at CPSA since 2010. Originally from Jerusalem, Palestine, Ammar holds a bachelor’s degree in Shari’ah from the American Islamic University. He has taught Qur’an, Arabic, and Islamic Studies at the University for two years prior to joining CPSA. He currently teaches elementary, JH and HS Quran and Arabic classes. He also runs the Nasheed club and organizes the annual Qirat Competition at CPSA.
Quratulain Khalid – HS Math
Ms. Khalid joined CPSA’s faculty in 2019 as a mathematics teacher for junior high and high school, after previously serving as a long-term substitute for mathematics. She currently teaches high school math classes including AP Calculus AB.
Rizwan Ali – JH and HS Islamic Studies Teacher and Department Head of Quran, Arabic, and Islamic Studies
Shaykh Rizwan Ali was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He completed his hifz at Islamic Foundation in Villa Park and graduated from the full time school. After completing his Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education, he moved to Egypt to pursue religious studies. While studying Arabic and Islamic Studies in Alexandria, Egypt he completed his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Xavier’s University. He enrolled at the world-renowned Al-Azhar University in Cairo and graduated from the College of Shariah in 2016. The following year, he successfully defended his dissertation at Creighton University and obtained his Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Shaykh Rizwan teaches junior high and high school Islamic Studies classes at CPSA and also serves as the head of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department.
Alongside his responsibilities at CPSA he serves as Religious Director of the Islamic Center of Naperville, he works for Mishkah University as an instructor and member of the Academic Committee. He is married to a CPSA alumnus and they have three daughters attending CPSA.
Romessa A. Mirza – JH and HS Mathematics, HS Economics, and HS Islamic Studies
Alimah Romessa Mirza received her MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Bachelors in Business Administration and Accounting from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) from Pakistan. She has also been awarded the Aalimah degree by Wifaq-ul-Madaris Al-Arabiyya. Ms. Mirza worked in the corporate sector for several years until she chose to focus entirely on education. She has been teaching Math and Islamic Studies privately and in Islamic schools since 2013.
Sameena Khan – JHHS Science
Ms. Sameena has a BSc degree in Microbiology and an MA in International Relations. She also holds an MA in Teaching from National Louis University. She has over 20 years of experience as both an educator and an administrator and holds a K-9 Illinois Educator License. Ms. Sameena has been teaching at CPSA since 2013.
Seemi Hamid, EdD – JH English and Social Studies
Dr. Seemi Hamid has a doctoral and masters degree in education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics. She has been a full-time teacher since 2012. She teaches literature, social studies and islamic studies for middle school. She is a student of Islamic knowledge at Darussalam Seminary.
Zainab Azam – JH Math and Resource
Ms. Azam holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Secondary Education from Benedictine University, where she completed her Teacher Education Program. She currently holds an Illinois teaching license. Ms. Azam is also a graduate from Bayyinah Institute’s Dream Program. Ms. Azam is committed to quality Islamic school education and has taught at different Islamic schools in the Chicagoland area. She has five years of teaching experience, and this is her first year at CPSA.
Samina Ahmed – Preschool
Ms. Ahmed holds an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Post University and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Education from Kendall College. She has been part of the Islamic elementary school system for the past 14 years as a preschool and kindergarten teacher and as a former preschool teacher’s assistant at CPSA from 2004-2013. She rejoined the CPSA faculty in 2017 and strives to create and maintain an environment where children can grow and thrive while exploring the world around them.
Rabia Khaja – KG A
Ms. Rabia completed her Bachelors in Elementary Education from UIC in 2000. She is a certified veteran teacher, having taught for over two decades, and has taught kindergarten at CPSA for the past seven years. In addition to holding teaching positions, she also served as Principal of the Hajira Foundation, an Islamic elementary school on Chicago’s Northside. She also spent several years in the pursuit of Sacred Knowledge. She completed the Alima program from the Shariah Board in 2009, and more recently, the ijazah program from Masjid Uthman. Given her array of teaching and learning experiences, Ms. Rabia infuses a diverse set of techniques into her teaching repertoire. These experiences are woven together by her personal philosophy of empowering students by encouraging active learning to foster independent thinking and creativity.
Maheen Shariq – KG B
Ms. Maheen holds a bachelor’s degree in Radiation Therapy from Benedictine University. As a CPSA parent, she led Girls Scouts troops for several years and has previously tutored elementary students. She substituted in different grade levels as well as the lead KG teacher before taking on the same classroom full time in 2023.
Duha Dabbouseh – Grade 1A
Ms. Dabbouseh has a B.A. in Elementary Education with a concentration in psychology from National-Louis University. She also has a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction with an ESL Endorsement. Ms. Dabbouseh has been teaching 1st grade since 2002.
Khalida Ahmed – Grade 1B
Mrs. Khalida currently teaches first grade at CPSA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University. Mrs. Khalida has 15+ years of teaching experience in Islamic Schools. She has also homeschooled her own children. Mrs. Khalida enjoys teaching and making crafts.
Mariya Safvi – Grade 2A
Ms. Safvi has graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Middle School Endorsement in Social Studies. Also, she has received her Montessori Elementary I certificate from the American Montessori Society. She has been a full-time teacher since 2012.
Huda Mohamed – Grade 2B
Mrs. Huda graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary Education. She has a Middle School Endorsement in both Science and Social Studies. She has taught Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd grade. Mrs. Huda also homeschooled her own children for a few years.
Safia Nahri – Grade 3A
Ms. Safia joined CPSA this year as a recent graduate from Grand Canyon University from Arizona. She holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. She is very passionate about teaching and working with young children. Her experience ranges from preschool through higher elementary. She has worked with children in various environments such as tutoring centers, Sunday school, and afterschool tutoring. As part of her teaching philosophy she strives to encourage students to reach their full potential and supports them in reaching their goals. Through her instruction, Ms. Safia utilizes a hands-on learning approach to enhance learning for all of her students.
Habiba Ibrahim – Grade 3B
Ms. Ibrahim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from California State University and has previously served as an elementary teacher at Al Huda Islamic School and Al-Furqan Academy. She has taught Environmental Science courses at Platt College in California. Ms. Habiba has also privately tutored students of all ages and grade levels for several years before joining CPSA in 2021.
Reema Mohammad – Grade 4A
Ms. Mohammed holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelors in Elementary Education, with a minor in social sciences. She has substituted at various public and private institutions before joining CPSA. Ms. Mohammed has been the 4th grade teacher at CPSA since 2015.
Bakhtawar Khan – Grade 4B
Ms. Khan holds a Bachelor of science in Early Childhood Education with preschool special education approval. She has taught 4th grade for 3 years starting in 2018. She currently teaches the second section of fourth grade at CPSA.
Sultana Quadri – Grade 5A
Ms. Sultana Quadri has an MS degree in Education and Type 75 administrative certificate. She also has an MS Degree in Biology and Type 03 certificate with 20 plus years of teaching and administrative experience. She completed her 7 year Alimah program from Zainab Center in New York in 2019. Teaching is her passion. She loves to teach and make a difference in the lives of children in light of the deen and sunnah. In addition, Ms. Quadri loves math, science, art, decorating, painting, drawing, reading, and traveling.
Sohaila Siddiq – Grade 5B
Ms. Siddiq has over ten years of teaching experience. She graduated with a BS in Psychology (minor in Education) from Loyola University and received her Master’s Degree in Teaching from National Louis University.
Shazia Lodhi – Librarian
Mrs. Lodhi holds a B.S. with a double major in French & History, and a minor in English. She is certified to teach French and History. She has a B.A. with elementary certification with an emphasis in Social Studies. She received her M.Ed. with an emphasis on Reading from St. Xavier University, Chicago. Mrs. Lodhi has taught at CPSA beginning in 1999 for 17 years and has served as librarian since then.
Mobina Akram – Physical Education
Ms. Akram holds an Master’s in Physical Education and a Bachelor’s in Islamic Studies & Home Economics from Punjab University in Pakistan. She has been teaching elementary students and JH/HS girls at CPSA since 1997.
Dilkash Rajapkar – Computers and Journalism
Ms. Rajapkar has over ten years of computer teaching experience. She has been teaching at CPSA since 2009. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Northern Illinois University. She also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Application Process and Fashion Designing.
Ruqia Ahmad – Art Teacher
Ms. Ruqia holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from Punjab University, Lahore and a Bachelors of Education degree from Pakistan Air Force College. She has also completed coursework in Early Childhood from the College of DuPage. Previously she has worked as a Kindergarten Lead Teacher for six years in an Early Childhood learning center. Ms. Ahmad has been teaching art at CPSA since 2013.
Kadir M. Oz – Athletic Director and Basketball Coach
Kadir Oz holds a B.A. in Business & Sport Management from North Park University in Chicago and has been coaching basketball for the last 10 years at various age levels. He also holds certifications from the American Sports Education Program, USA Basketball, IHSA, IESA, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In February 2021, he completed a certificate program from New York University in the Fundamental Aspects of Global Sports Management. Kadir has experience in coaching travel basketball, feeder basketball, after school sports programs, and basketball camps. He has served as a coach for MCC Academy, Illinois Hoopstars, All In Athletics, Joy of the Game Rising Stars, Northridge Preparatory School, and his own girl’s travel program: Team Relentless. Coach Kadir joined CPSA in 2021 as the Athletic Director, PE teacher, and Head Boys Basketball Coach.
Patricia Torres – PE Teacher
Patricia Torres joined CPSA faculty in January 2022 as the Physical Education and Health Teacher. She currently teaches 5th to 12th grade students. She also coaches JR high volleyball after school and assists with the varsity volleyball team.
Ayesha Huma Nawaz – Elementary Teacher Assistant
Ms. Nawaz has been associated with CPSA for over 16 years in various capacities; office assistant, art teacher, teaching assistant, and resource teacher. She has been officially working at CPSA since 2012.
Durdana Begum – Elementary Teacher Assistant
Ms. Begum holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from India and has completed Child Development courses in IL. She is a certified paraprofessional and has worked at CPSA for well over 20 years. She currently works as Kindergarten TA, and has worked at CPSA since 1994.
Faizia Roohi – Elementary Teacher Assistant
Ms. Roohi has a Master’s degree in English Literature and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with Middle School teaching experience from India. Previously she worked at early childhood learning centers for 3 years. Ms. Roohi has been with CPSA since 2013.
Kausar Jabeen – Elementary Teacher Assistant
Ms. Jabeen is a graduate in Education from Osmania University Hyderabad in India. She has worked internationally, in India, Oman, and Qatar in the Middle East, for several years. Ms. Jabeen has also worked for two years as a substitute teacher and teacher assistant in district 44 schools before joining CPSA in 2019; and she is well-experienced as a teacher for elementary kids.
Salma Mohiuddin – JH Teacher Assistant
Ms. Salma graduated from Osmania University, India with a Bachelor of Science & a Bachelor of Education with Elementary School teaching experience from India. Before officially joining the CPSA faculty in 2018, she volunteered at CPSA in various capacities.