Welcome Back to School
Dear IAH Parents, Staff, and Students:
Al Salam Alykum,
Allow me first to briefly introduce myself. My name is Hamsa Mahafza, and I am the new Principal of the Islamic Academy of Huntsville (IAH). I am also a newcomer to Huntsville and I am really enjoying the city and the Muslim community here. I’m deeply committed to the field of education and, particularly, I’m an advocate to Islamic community-based education. In fact, this type of schooling is one of my areas of expertise and interests. I strongly believe that the role that the Islamic school plays in our community is unique and influential; it helps in maintaining the Arabic language (the language of the Holy Quran), and also in persevering our Islamic and cultural heritage, principles, traditions, and values.
Within the next few days (Wednesday, August 5, 2015), our school doors will open to welcome our students and their parents to the 2015-2016 school year. I am very excited be part of the IAH team whom will devote much of their efforts and time towards serving our students and accomplishing the school goals and objectives. Through collaborative work, the IAH team will craft another year of excellence for our students, inshAllah.
One of my goals this new school year, as a Principal, is to provide the leadership that will facilitate a school environment and educational services that help in meeting the needs of each individual student. In our school, planning, teaching, and assessments should be centered on the diverse needs and learning abilities of our students. As IAH team, we will make the necessary adjustments to aid students in achieving their academic goals and encourage them to enjoy a meaningful learning experience. While I believe that academics is a very important part of education, I also believe that teaching Arabic and the Islamic studies are just as important in developing the “whole” child. It is really a virtue and blessing that we have the opportunity here, at the IAH, to touch the lives of many children and teach them about the love of Islam and its values and principles.
I strongly believe that in order to achieve significant outcomes this school year we all need to work together as a team. Therefore, we appeal to everyone, parents, teachers, volunteers and community to work together in order to provide the best possible educational program for our students. I ask for your support to the school so that it continues to expand, succeed, and flourish. Through this teamwork, I am confident, inshaAllah, we can make our school, the IAH, a place where our students can continue to learn and grow academically and spiritually.
Your feedback, as parents, is crucial so please feel free to stop in, as my door is always open. If there is anything I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to let me know. I look forward to working with all of you and wish you a very successful school year.
Dr. Hamsa Mahafza, Principal
Islamic Academy of Huntsville
I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Hamsa Mahafza will join the Islamic Academy of Huntsville (IAH) as the new principal of IAH. Dr. Mahafza will begin her journey with us starting from the 2015-2016 academic year, and report to me. Dr. Hamsa brings experience and a proven track record of success in the Educational area, which will be invaluable in meeting the IAH goals and objectives. I would like to thank the members of the search committee, the IAH Committee and the HIC board for supporting the selection process. Their efforts are deeply appreciated.
Dr. Hamsa Aburumuh Mahafza is an Arab-American educator. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Jordan. From the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), Dr. Hamsa received three teacher certifications: Texas Teacher Certification Generalist (EC-4), ESL/Supplemental (EC-12), and Languages Other Than English “Arabic” (EC-12). She earned a Master of Arts in Education (2007) with emphasis on Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. (2012) in Culture, Literacy, and Language from the Department of Bicultural Bilingual (BBL) Studies in the College of Education, both from the UTSA. Dr. Hamsa is one of the influential scholars in the U.S. who is recognized for her commitment and dedication to the education of Muslim students and Arabic heritage language (AHL) learners. Her research focuses on AHL learning in Islamic community-based schooling among Muslim communities in the United States. During her graduate studies, Dr. Hamsa worked as a research and teaching assistant for several years; also, she served as an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University and as an instructor in the teacher preparation program at the Bicultural Bilingual department in the College of Education at UTSA. Dr. Hamsa is an active participant in the field of education; as a consultant, she provided workshops and teacher training that support the education of Muslim students in both private and public schools. She has contributed to major local conferences, received educational awards, and published several research articles. As leader in the field of education, Dr. Hamsa founded a small company, Heritage Associates for Research in Practice US (HARP US), providing an integrated approach and research-based training, and consultations to teachers and practitioners in the field of education.
I am confident that Dr. Hamsa will be an excellent match for this position and a strong asset to IAH. Please join me in extending a heartfelt welcome and wish her and the school a blessed and productive future.
Dr. Mohamed Seif
HIC Education Secretary