Meet our Team 

School Board

Effective leadership, good governance, and professional collaboration are the bedrock of successful school system. At Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy, we are blessed to have a tremendous team that supports the mission and vision of our school, and deeply cares about all the stakeholders in the school community.

Our Teachers are

  • Certified in B.C.
  • Involved regularly in professional development.
  • They are committed, vibrant, and create a positive environment.
  • Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy has dedicated leadership, fine teaching, and enriched programming all offered in an environment rich with Islamic values and morals.

Below, please find the biographies of our team members-- both staff and board! 

Our Staff

Sr. Sukaina is a passionate educator who has been teaching in B.C. schools for almost 30 years. Prior to joining AZIA, she taught in the public system at both elementary and high school levels. Sr. Sukaina has had the pleasure of serving at AZIA since 2004 in various capacities including, teacher-on-call, grades 4-7 classroom teacher, Islamic Studies Coordinator, Learning Support Lead Teacher, Acting Principal in 2015 and since then, has assumed the role of Vice Principal and Head of the Learning Support/Special Education Department. She is a proud mother of three daughters and a son, all who attended AZIA and are currently pursuing post-secondary education. Sr. Sukaina enjoys baking, traveling, participating in faith-based events, exploring the natural beauty of Allah’s creations and spending time with her family and friends. She feels blessed and honoured with the opportunity afforded to her at AZIA to nurture the academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth and confidence of the next generation of young Muslims

Born in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, Sr. Femida moved to Dubai, U.A.E. where she lived for 10 years, after which, she moved to New York, USA where she finished her formal education. Being a mother of four children, she has a passion for working with children. She has been working at Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy for almost 15 years and feels very lucky to work with such wonderful children.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, playing badminton, and just being active with her kids.

Sr. Sidika is an office assistant and a noon hour supervisor at Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy. She completed her Secretarial Studies diploma in Montreal before moving to Vancouver. When the Academy first opened its doors, Sr. Sidika was very much involved as an active member of the Parent Volunteer Group and assisted in many school initiatives.  She has also volunteered with students from various grades to assist in their academic skills. Sr. Sidika enjoys working in a school environment and wishes to provide exceptional support to the students, parents, and teachers of Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy. She is looking forward to another fabulous year.

Aurélia Silva was born in France where she spent her childhood with her parents and sisters. She then moved to Portugal, her home country, where she did her studies at Coimbra University, one of the oldest University in the world. Aurélia has been in the Education field for over 25 years. When she moved to Vancouver, she attended Langara College and Vancouver Community College to pursue her career in Early Childhood Education. Aurélia has worked with all age groups but her passion is the little ones. This is her fifth year at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy as the Junior Kindergarten Head Teacher. Aurélia sees her students as her own and spends the day sharing love and smiles! She is passionate for the yearly years and feels blessed to be part of the life of her young students. Aurélia is also the Director of “Our Lady of Fatima Portuguese School “which operates on Saturdays and serves the Portuguese community, teaching children from Preschool to grade 9. During her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, travelling, sewing and spending time with her daughters and grandchildren.

Sr. Fehmina is an ECE Assistant for Junior Kindergarten at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy. She has completed her Orton-Gillingham and ECE Assistant Certification and enjoys working with children and helping them reach their milestones. She has experience in a childcare setting for the past 8 years. Besides teaching, she likes travelling, cooking, reading and trying new desserts.

Sr. Shabnam has been with AZIA for almost 15 years. She has a passion for teaching Islamic Studies and also teaches our JKG class. She has a special training and certification in Orton Gillingham which is a great asset as she is able to meet the learning needs of all children. Her teaching style is comprehensive, integrated, fun and dynamic incorporating all modalities of the senses which allows for a strong and grounded learning experience for the children. Most of all, the children love her compassion and empathy. Her philosophy is to make Islam relevant to the essence and being of the child so that the child is able to realize his/her potential to the fullest and develop into a person that can make significant contributions to society.

Born in Iran, Sr. Ashraf received her degree in Early Childhood Education in Iran and graduated in 2008. After moving to Canada in 2009, she went back to school to learn English. Having worked as a cashier in Langley, she decided to get her Early Childhood Education Assistant certification to pursue her love of teaching young children. Working at AZIA has always been one of her biggest wishes and has both her children attending Az-Zahraa. She enjoys working with the staff, the children, and the peaceful environment that Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy has to offer. She is thankful to be back teaching at Az-Zahraa as she does not see herself working at any other place. Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy is like home for her.

Ms. Wassick is from North Vancouver and completed her Bachelor of Education at UBC.  She has a passion for
travel and has taught in South Korea and in Qatar.  Ms.Wassick has previously taught Grade 4 at AZIA and this is now her fourth year teaching Kindergarten.  She enjoys the outdoors, reading and playing sports.

Virtue is passionate about teaching. She strives to instill determination in the heart of every child and nourishes each child to grow gracefully. She believes in revolutionizing the way teachers teach by providing unwavering support and principal values. Virtue is committed to working closely with children, parents, and service professionals alike in developing and facilitating a dynamic curriculum while ensuring a warm and encouraging environment.  She has classroom experience which spans from grades K-12 inclusively. At the primary level, she teaches all the core subjects such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) as well as Humanities (English and Social Studies), and Physical Education. Her past experience includes managing the Learning Support Services department for several years. Virtue has taught and supported students with Autism, FASD, ASD, ADHD, dyslexia, and physical disabilities. She is passionate about early-intervention with a collaborative approach to help students excel and reach their full potential. 

Br. Waleed is a Grade 6 teacher who utilizes inquiry based teaching methods in the classroom. He holds a Masters Art degree from the University of Ottawa, Bachelor degree from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. Br. Waleed has taught in a variety of class settings, including university, high school and elementary. He has a special focus on English language learning, creative writing and social studies. In his free time, Br. Waleed likes to write, make films and go for hikes.

Sr. Zainab Bachoo was born and raised in Tanzania and moved to Canada in 1995.

In 2003, Sr. Zainab started teaching Qur’an at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy. She now serves as a Quran co-ordinator and has had the privilege of mentoring assistant teachers in their development of Qur’anic skills and teaching strategies. During this time, she has developed modules for training teachers in the science of tajweed along with easy to use manuals for parents and students.

Sr. Zainab has been the Quran Coordinator at Madrasah Az-Zahraa for over 10 years, and she also teaches Qur’an privately and at other schools. Her love for teaching the Qur’an drives her to log as many as 30 hours per week of Qur’an teaching time. She has studied Qur’anic Arabic formally and understands the Qur’anic language fluently. Her patience and pleasant mannerism in teaching the Quran has made her teaching successful for all students young and old.

Sr. Zainab is also passionate about increasing her knowledge of Islam and the Qur’an. She attended a week-long course on doctrines of faith organized by NASIMCO. Such opportunities allow her to bring the Qur’an to life in the classroom.

Sr. Masuma has completed her Diploma in Islamic Foundations and is currently pursuing her Diploma in Islamic Sciences. She strongly believes in a multisensory approach for learning and is a certified Orton Gillingham Practitioner. Sr. Masuma has been teaching Quran to the KG-Grade 6 students at AZIA since 2014 and holds an Independent School Teaching Certificate from the BC Ministry of Education. She has always been enthusiastic and passionate about learning and appreciating the teachings of The Holy Quran. Her priority is to instill the love for learning and reciting The Holy Quran in the students of AZIA and to impart valuable teachings from the Holy Quran through creative and multisensory activities. She also enjoys mentoring the students in teaching the art of reciting Nasheeds and Nawhas. Sr. Masuma has been actively involved in Madrasah Az-Zahraa, teaching and coordinating Quran for the past 10 years. She has also been volunteering in various activities at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre which include the popular workshops for children and has been an exhibitor for the annual Journey into Islam program; an evening where the general public is invited to learn about Islam and tour the Centre. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, yoga and playing badminton. 

Since 2000 Laura Benedetti has been a Special Education Teacher qualified in Ontario and Italy.  She is a versatile and dedicated child advocate with a solid focus on the individual needs of identified and Special Education students.  She is a kind-hearted and empathetic professional employing wide-ranging manipulatives and Individual Education Plans to enhance student achievement.  She is skilled in addressing students’ needs, ensuring children will thrive and develop in an adaptable educational atmosphere.  She possesses excellent interpersonal and communication skills to develop an excellent rapport with all members of the school community.

our school board