Dr. Muhammad Ahmed
Dr. Muhammad Ahmed is a transformational leader, seasoned educational planner, developer, and change management expert. Dr. Ahmed has more than 25 years of extensive professional experience in managing and supporting academic program development, designing staff training, and ensuring quality assurance initiatives in business, higher education, and PreK-12 settings. He has previously held various leadership roles in Islamic organizations/schools such as School Principal, Chief Academic Officer, Executive Director, Vice-Principal, Strategist/Policy Advisor, and Consultant.
Dr. Ahmed's school management style emphasizes in building collaborative school-wide leadership team, bench-marking school educational programs, streamlining financial management system, and parent/ community engagement. Being a mentor, he works with his staff in aligning school curriculum with organizational mission, launching character building initiatives, planning service learning, and ensuring students’ readiness for college. This approach also empowers students to take responsibility toward their community, actively apply their learning through internships, and contribute to the overall health of their school. Dr. Ahmed as his peers describe him a man of strong moral fiber and integrity.
Dr. Ahmed has a PhD. in Education with specialization in educational systems design, ED.S. degree in Instructional Systems Technology, and M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instructions.
Ms. Christine Slaney (Dounia Slaney)
- Bachelor of General Studies in Psychology – Roger Williams University
- I joined ISRI in 2016 as both a parent and the school secretary. I am proud to help serve the school’s mission in educating our future generations of Muslim Americans.
Ms. Mirvat Elanani
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting - Rhode Island College, Providence RI (May 2011)
- Technical Support Diploma - The Chubb Institute, Jersey City, NJ (April 1999)
- 2005- Present: Bookkeeper A and B Mart Cranston, RI
- 2015-2016: First Grade Homeroom Teacher ISRI West Warwick RI
- 2016-2018: Substitute Teacher for KG-8th Grade ISRI West Warwick RI
- 1999-2005: Human Resource Manager Exquisite Home Products Carico Bloomfield, NJ
I graduated in 2011 from RIC with a BS in accounting while handling the bookkeeping for the family business. I joined the ISRI team in 2014 as a parent, the PTO Treasurer, and a substitute teacher. Being the Bookkeeper for ISRI is a great opportunity to utilize my skills, and to work with the wonderful team of ISRI.
PK 3 Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Sabeen Ahmed
- Communication Disorder degree - Worcester State College, MA, with a focus on speech and language development for ages 0-5
- Women and Infants Hospital for nine months assisting in hearing tests and screening newborns.
- Pre-K teacher since 2004 at ISRI
I joined ISRI as a Pre-K teacher in 2004 and continued until 2007. I later returned to the school in 2010 and henceforth has been teaching Pre-Kindergarten class. The Pre-Kindergarten 3 curriculum focuses on Arabic, Quran, and Religion as well as the essential listening, speaking and reading development, letters, sounds, and numbers 1-10.
PK 3 Assistant
PK 4 Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Souad Slimani
- Bachelor or Arts, major English literature at Sidi Mohammed bin Abdullah university in Morocco
- Rhode Island teaching certification in elementary education
Teach my own children ages 3, 13 and 15
Teach at ISRI for around 11 years
My passion for education is indescribable. The school has been number one priority in my whole life. I believe that educated people can make a big change. The way they think, they act, and they react to things happening around them should have a positive impact. The latter would not only affect the educated people’s life but would also affect society as a whole.
Knowing that education is the key to success, I have been and I will always be a student. I truly appreciate the fact that mentors, teachers, guides, and advisors are out there to do what it takes to help build a stronger foundation for every individual seeking to be educated.
PK 4 Assistant
KG Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Ibtisam Issa
- 9/93-1/2000: Bachelor Degree in Medicine and Surgery: Al Fateh University, Tripoli, Libya.
1/2014- 9/20015: Esperanza/ Hope Clinic, Providence, RI: Volunteer Medical Observer
4/2003- 3/2005: United Nation Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), Lebanon: Medical Officer.
I Joined ISRI as a substitute teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. I started this year as a homeroom teacher for KG. I am proud to be a part of the ISRI team. I strive to achieve excellence in our students’ education.
Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Laila Elsayd
- 2007 Bachelor's Degree from Hunter College_New York Psychology
- 2004 St. John’s University, New York _Physician Assistant
- ISRI (Nov. 2012 - July 2013): Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) President.
- ISRI (March 2013 – June 2013): Pre-K 3 Classroom Teacher & Pre-K 4 Assistant Teacher.
- P.S. 9 Sarah Anderson School (June 2011, New York): KG Assistant Teacher, Gifted & Talented.
- New Generation International Schools (March 2008, Egypt): Kindergarten Classroom Teacher.
- Kaplan K12 Learning Services, Supplemental Educational Services Program (Feb. 2007 - June 2007, New York): Site Coordinator & Instructor
- Kaplan K12 Learning Services, Supplemental Educational Services Program (Jan. 2006 - Jan. 2007, New York): Classroom Instructor
I enjoy working with children and watching them grow and develop into independent individuals and thinkers. It is my desire and goal to give back to the Muslim community by setting the path for our children to achieve all that they dream. So much of what I do is to ensure that our children receive the best education and academic experience possible, becoming well-rounded individuals.
Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Abeer Janoudi
Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher
Ms. Marissa Benzina
- 1996-1998: Johnson & Wales University: Associates Degree Travel-Tourism Management
- 1998-2000: Johnson & Wales University: Bachelors Hospitality Management
- 2000-2001: Johnson & Wales University: Master’s Degree in Hospitality Administration
- 2009-2011: University of Phoenix: Master’s Degree Early Childhood Education
- 2009-Present: 3rd Grade Teacher Islamic School of Rhode Island
- 2009-Present: Providence School Department Title 1 Tutor
- 2010-2011: Attended ISNA Conference Chicago, Illinois
- 2013: Diverse Learners Conference
- 2014: NEASC Workshop: Accreditation/How to Accredit Schools
- 2014: Al-Huda Academy: STEM Workshop
- 2015: Al-Hamra Academy 1st annual NECIS Forum: Islamic Education Seeking Answers from Within
- 2015: Al-Huda Academy: Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop
- 2015: Bridgewater State University Educators Conference
- 2011: Student Teaching Experience Completed at Storks Nest Child Academy Smithfield, Rhode Island
- 2006-2007: Assistant Manager at Panera Bread Wakefield, Rhode Island
- 2001-2006: Front Office Operations Manager Residence Inn by Marriott Franklin, MA
Math (Grades: 5-8)
Social Studies (Grades: 6&8)
Ms. Nafisa Girach
1998 MSc Economics from University of Birmingham, UK
1997 BA (Hons) Economics with Management from the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK
Islamic School of Rhode Island
Sept 2014 to present Middle School Math and Social Studies Teacher
Sept 2011 to 2014 Middle School Math Teacher
Sept 2009 to June 2010: Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
(Language Arts, Social Studies, Math (Gr. 6, 7 & 8)
Sept 2008 to June 2009: Acting Principal and Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
(Language Arts, Social Studies, Math (Gr. 6, 7 & 8))
Sept 2007 to June 2008: Grade 6 Homeroom Teacher
(Language Arts, Social Studies, Math (Gr. 2, 6 & 7)
Sept 2006 to June 2007: Part-time Math Teacher, Grades 2 to 6)
I joined the ISRI team in 2006, and I am so proud of the dedication of all the staff here. We strive to achieve excellence in our students, on both an academic level, as well as a personal level. My aim is not just to teach students at their grade level, but to help each student advance at their level so that they can achieve their best.
Science (Grades: 4-8)
Math (Grade: 4)
Mr. Brandon Brass
- B.A. in Biology- University of Rhode Island
- B.A. in Secondary Education Biology- University of Rhode Island
- B.S. in General Science- University of Rhode Island
- 2002-2010- US Army Military Police
- 2017- Substitute for grades K-12 at Chariho Regional School District
I am originally from the state of Colorado. I am very excited to join the ISRI community. I have a passion for science and teaching and I love watching students learn. Prior to ISRI and receiving my education from the University of Rhode Island. It was in the military that I truly learned my passion for teaching when conducting classes and training for other soldiers.
Language Arts (Grades: 4&5)
Social Studies (Grades: 5&7)
Ms. Lynn Ponte
- B.S. Degree Elementary Education- Utah State University
- Preschool, middle school and Special Ed. Endorsement
I grew up in Rhode Island and I live in West Warwick. I have three grown children and have also raised four foster children. I have been a preschool teacher and a substitute teacher in West Warwick and Coventry for more than 10 years. I enjoy writing grants and essays for non-profit organizations, baking, fishing, and gardening. I also love to spend my time taking day trips throughout New England. When I was 10, I thought I’d grow up to own a candy store. Being a teacher is much sweeter! I am happy to teach ELA to grades: 4 and 5 here at ISRI and to encourage a love of learning.
ELA (Middle School)
Ms. Ann-Marie Jodoin
Ms. Hanadi Zaza
- Diploma in Fine Art
- Associate degree from CCRI
I am the Art teacher at ISRI. I attended Technical Art School and a Fine Art College in Syria. I joined ISRI in 2011 as a teacher assistant moving onto Art teacher the following year.
QIA Teacher (Middle School)
Shaikh Awad Khalifa:
- Bachelor’s of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language
- Diploma of Teaching English and Islamic Studies
- Diploma of Islamic Studies and Tajweed
Awad Khalifa is an Arabic, Religion and Quran teacher at ISRI and joined the school in 2008. He has nearly 23 years of teaching experience; and got his education and teaching experience from Al Yamaniya University, Sudan Institute for Teaching and AlQuran University respectively. He has taught English Language and Islamic Studies to middle and secondary grade students in Yemen and Sudan.
QIA Teacher (6th, 5th & 4th Grades)
Ms. Nusaiba Elhaj
- Bachelor degree in Science Botany and Chemistry _University of Khartoum, Sudan.
- 2015 - present QIA teacher at ISRI
- 2013-2014 Almanal Educational Foundation 4th grade teacher
- 2010-2012 Summit International Schools Assistant Manager for Preschool and kindergartens section
- 2008-2010 3rd grade teacher At Summit International Schools
- 2006-2008 QIA teacher at Summit International Schools
- Literacy teacher 2006-2007 Khartoum, Sudan
Guiding the young Muslim generation to learn more about Islam, Quran, and practice what they learn is a great message which I’m really honored to be part of the Islamic School staff who are all devoted to helping students have an amazing experience of education in an Islamic pleasant atmosphere
QIA Teacher (4th, 3rd & 2nd Grades)
Ms. Suhad Alzarkli
- BA of Accounting and Economic Studies ( Syrian University_1996)
- Pursuing a BA degree in Islamic Studies ( Islamic Online University 2015-2019)
- Arabic teacher in Syria ( 1996-1998)
- Qur’an, Islamic Studies Teacher and Arabic (QIA) teacher at ISRI ( 2005 – present)
- Attended a lot of professional development training.
My objective is teaching Muslim students the importance of believing in Allah, and loving his prophet and the Holy Qur’an. I am also dedicated to creating a positive learning environment and making a difference in student’s Islamic lives through high teaching skills and knowledge.
QIA Teacher (1st, KG & PR-K)
Ms. Sanaa Janoudi
- Over a decade long of knowledge in this area of teaching.
- Successful ways of working with children, and teaching them the importance of QIA
- Attending many workshops in different Islamic schools and colleges. All were positive for me being a QIA teacher.
- Associates degree in Civil Engineering (Teshreen University Syria)
I have been a volunteer and assistant teacher at several Islamic Schools in New England. I joined ISRI in 2010 and I’m proud to be part of the team that strives to build a strong Islamic foundation in the community. After being a teacher in this field for more than ten years, I have built a lot of experience in how to work with students and fellow teachers and have built a strong method of educating and teaching manners.