Social Studies

Pre-K - 5th
Pre-Kindergarten

Students learn to depend on events and routines that occur in a regular and predictable order. They begin to understand past events how these events relate to present and future activities, demonstrating evidence of their growing understanding of time, change, and continuity. They will learn about the world in their community. They explore the roles and relationships of consumers and producers and become aware that people produce services as well as goods. Children learn that their community benefits from many different people working in many different ways. They will begin to understand important customs, symbols, and celebrations that represent American beliefs and principles and contribute to our national identity. 

Kindergarten

Students will explore state and national heritage by examining the celebration of patriotic holidays and the contributions of individuals. The concept of chronology is introduced. Students will apply geographic concepts of location and physical and human characteristics of place. They will identify basic human needs and ways people meet these needs. Students will learn the purpose of rules and the role of authority figures in the home and school. Students will practice problem-solving, decision-making, and independent-thinking skills. 

Grade 1

Students will learn about holidays, historical figures, concepts of time and chronology, and the purpose of maps and globes. They will learn about the concepts of goods and services, the purpose of rules and laws, characteristics of good citizenship, and how technology affects daily life, past and present. They will use use problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings.

Grade 2

Students will learn about landmarks, concepts of time and chronology, historical figures, and simple geographic tools such as maps and globes. They will learn about characteristics of places and regions, the value of work, the purpose of governments, the importance of symbols, and how technology affects daily life, past and present. They will also learn about electronic technology and how to use problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings.

Grade 3

Students will learn about characteristics of communities, concepts of time and chronology, the free enterprise system, the levels of government, and historical documents. They will learn about the significance of works of art, the importance of writers and artists, and the invention of technology. They will also be able to communicate in oral, visual, and written forms as well as use problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings.

Grade 4

Students will learn about different American Indian groups in Texas and North America before European exploration, the Texas Revolution, the free enterprise system in Texas, and importance of ideas in historical documents of Texas and the United States. They will learn about the contributions of people of various racial, ethnic, and religious groups to Texas as well as the impact of science and technology on life in Texas. They will also be able to communicate in oral, visual, and written forms as well as use problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings.

Grade 5

Students will learn about European colonization in the United States, American independence, the Articles of Confederation, economic patterns of early societies, and the enterprise system in the United States. They will learn about the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the relationship between the arts and the times during which they were created. They will also be able to communicate in oral, visual, and written forms as well as use problem solving and decision making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings.

Contact Us

3145 Medical Plaza Dr.,
Garland, TX 75044

(972) 675-2062

E-mail Us

Vision Statement

Brighter Horizons Academy is a model educational institution that produces generations of leaders to be successful in this life and the Hereafter.

Mission Statement

Brighter Horizons Academy aims to develop practicing Muslim leaders who are lifelong learners that serve their diverse community and global society as respectful citizens.

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Athletic Sponsors

 

Aimmin Chouaibi

Athletics TA

Degree of highest level of education and certification(s):
I graduated from Princeton High School as an honors grad. I currently attend Collin College to pursue business management, I also have a coaching certificate that allows me to coach any sport.

Degree earned at:
Princeton High School

Previous work experience:
I’ve worked at Polo Ralph Lauren. And I coached for my former high school team in the summer and helped with camps for the youth.

Born:
I was born in Dallas, TX

Cultural background:
I am 100% Moroccan 

Started working at BHA:
I started working at BHA around February of 2021 

Email: aimmin.chouaibi@bhaprep.org

Aimon Arshad

English Teacher

Mrs. Arshad teaches 6th and 7th grade English at BHA. Originally from Pakistan, Mrs. Arshad has lived in Texas for most of her life and recently moved to Dallas from Waco. She has her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is currently pursuing her Master's in Educational Technology.

Email: aimon.arshad@bhaprep.org

Aisha Ashraf

Social Studies Dept. Head

Ms. Aisha was  born in Oklahoma but she grew up outside of Washington D.C. She got her bachelors in History and minor in Islamic Studies from George Mason University in Virginia. She has been teaching for 12 years and this is her 6th year at BHA. She is certified to teach Social Studies 4-8 and History 7-12. Currently she is  completing her Masters degree in Educational Administration: Curriculum and Supervision from the University of Oklahoma.  

Ms. Aisha teaches AP World History, AP US History and Civic Engagement. She is also the Student Council and National Honor Society Advisor for this year. 

Email: aashraf@bhaprep.org

Alejandra Jirani

PE Teacher

Graduated from the University of Phoenix with a BS in Human Services Specialist. Former employee of Child Protective Services agency of the State of Texas, Department of Commerce federal former employee. Yoga Teacher Certified and wellness instructor. Developer of Yoga for runners program. Runner coach certified by RRCA. My most important role is being a mother of two wonderful sons. I am passionate about making kids move and stay active, give them the tools to develop a long lasting active lifestyle. I have coached little kids basketball and High School cross country.   

Email: ajirani@bhaprep.org

Ayah Khalifa

English Teacher

Ayah Khalifa started at BHA in 2020. Ms. Khalifa earned a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and is currently teaching 7th/8th grade English. She was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and her family is from Sudan.

Email: ayah.khalifa@bhaprep.org

Bushra Alolofi

Arabic Teacher

Degree of highest level of education: 
Bachelor of Arts: Faculty of Science and Arts 
University of Sana’a, Sana’a – Yemen 
Major in Arabic Language and Literature 
  
Diploma in Elementary Education 
Salim Assubah Education Institute, Sana’a – Yemen 
  
Certifications: 
Professional Teaching License 
Illinois State Board of Education 
  
Certificate: English Language 
Yemen-American Language Institute Sana’a – Yemen 
  
Extended Essay Certificate 
Pan-Asia International School, Bangkok – Thailand 
  
Innovative Teaching Methods in Kindergarten 
Bangkok, Thailand 
  
IB AB initio Certificate 
Bangkok, Thailand 
  
Previous work experience: 
Teacher of Arabic 
Teacher of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language 
Principal of Middle School, IB Arabic Teacher 
Principal of Kindergarten 
Counselor of Middle School, Teacher of Fine Arts 
Head Teacher of Arabic Department 
  
Started working at BHA:  
August 2019 

Email: bushra.alolofi@bhaprep.org

Dalal Almajidi

Math Teacher

Degree of highest level of education and certification(s):
Bachelor in Liberal Arts with a Specialization in Spanish 
Minor in  Education

Degree earned at:
University of Texas at Arlington 

Born:
October 24,1978 

Cultural background:
Born in Valencia, Venezuela, and my parents are Palestinians. 

Started working at BHA:
August 2004

Email: dalmajidi@bhaprep.org

Dustin Dent

English Dept. Chair

Mr. Dent started teaching at BHA in the winter semester of 2017. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from The University of North Texas as well as a technical writing certification. He is currently the English Department Head and teaches high school English II, AP English Language, and AP English Literature. He was born in Houston, Texas, and has lived in the DFW area for twenty years.

Email: ddent@bhaprep.org

Forrest Dean Denman

PE Teacher

Home Town: Crockett, Texas

Degree: BS Kinesiology 

College: Dallas Baptist University 

Start at BHA in 2019 

African American  

I’ve been teaching PE in the Dallas area for about 20 years. 

Email: fdenman@bhaprep.org

Iman Moussa

10th Grade Quran and Islamic Studies Teacher

Master Degree in Islamic studies (Candidate)
Manara Institute, 
New Jersey, USA 

Bachelor in Documents and Libraries 
Faculty of Arts, 
Alexandria University, Egypt 

Quran Hafizah 

Professional Experience
Quran and Islamic High School Teacher 
Miraj Islamic School, Staten Island, New York 

Joined BHA: 2021 

Email: iman.moussa@bhaprep.org

Jaena Holcombe

MS/HS English

Jaena Holcombe Almallah Mendez,  B.A., M.A., TX Teaching Certification English, Spanish Secondary Education, AP Certified in English Language and Literature 
8th, 9th Grade English

Proud BHA Alumni Mom and Teacher since 1992 

Email: jaena.holcombe@bhaprep.org

Dr. Jolyn DeMeritte

Social Studies Teacher

Dr. deMeritte is an American from Key West, Florida.  She started teaching AP U.S. History at BHA in 2017.  She currently teaches World Geography and World History.  Prior to teaching at BHA, Dr. deMeritte taught at Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia.  She is a grandmother who likes to travel and read.  Dr. D is also the #1 fan of BHA Boys Basketball having cheered on her students since they were in 8th grade!   
Certificates held:  All fields Social Studies 8-12 and Gifted in TX and GA;  

J.D. - William Mitchell College of Law 
M.S. Education, Media Design & Technology - Full Sail University 
B.S. Business Administration - University of Phoenix 

Email: jdemeritte@bhaprep.org

Kawther Ali

Arabic Teacher

Degree of highest level of education and certification(s):
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology, Control and System Engineering.
Completed Online training program and obtained Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Diploma.
Completed Boston University StarTalk online and onsite training in teaching Arabic as a foreign language.

Degree earned at:
University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq.                                                

Previous work experience:
1997 -2013 Al-Hamra Academy, Shrewsbury, MA. Arabic language and Islamic Studies Teacher
2013 -2018 ILM Academy, Houston, TX. Arabic language and Islamic Studies Teacher
2018 to Present Brighter Horizons Academy, Garland, TX. Arabic language Teacher

Started working at BHA:
2018

Email: kawtherali@bhaprep.org

Maria Atif

Science Lab Assistant

My name is Maria Atif

I joined BHA Prep in 2019 as a Lab Coordinator. Prior to BHA Prep I worked as a dental assistant in Dental office in Mesquite TX and also severed as a Science Teacher in Pakistan. I am a graduate of Karachi University of Pakistan where I majored in Microbiology, Biochemistry and Chemistry.

I graduated in Top 10 from School Teacher's training Program in Pakistan. I was born in Pakistan and love to work with kids, my hidden skills are creative in art & craft work, science projects, school drama play.   

Email: maria.atif@bhaprep.org

Maria Zidan

Math Teacher

Degree of highest level of education and certification(s):
Bachelor of Science - Certified Generalist Educator (ESL) 

Degree earned at:
Texas Woman’s University  

Born:
Crystal City, TX 

Cultural background:
Mexican American  

Started working at BHA:
August 2007 

Email: mzidan@bhaprep.org

Mayyadah Abuawad

Science Teacher

What year started at BHA 
2021 

Degrees, certifications 
Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering / Chemical industries
Master Degree in Industrial Engineering / Operations managements
Completion courses in Biotechnology

Current grade/courses taught
10th grade- Chemistry  
AP Chem

Where were you born 
Kuwait

Cultural background 
Palestinian 

Email: mayyadah.abuawad@bhaprep.org

Mehnaz Kafray

Middle/High School College Guidance Counselor 

What year started at BHA
2011 

Degrees, certifications
M.Ed. Educational Leadership 
B.A Secondary English Education 
Certified English Language Arts Grades 4-12 
Certified Texas Principal 

Current grade/courses taught
Elementary Grades 1-4: English and Social Studies 
Middle School: Grades 6-7 Grade Social Studies 
Middle School: Grade 8 English 
High School: Grades 9-12 English 1, English 2, American Literature, British Literature, College Guidance Advisory 
ECE Assistant Principal 
Middle/High School College Guidance Counselor 

Where were you born
Kuwait 

Cultural background
Mother is Kenyan 
Father is Pakistani
Mehnaz was raised in America 

Email: mehnaz@bhaprep.org

Mohammad Alshaikh

Life Skills Coordinator

Born and raised in Chicago, Brother Mohammad Alshaikh is a Palestinian-American graduate of Qalam Insitute's five year 'Alimiyyah Program in Arlington, Texas. Br Mohammad has studied Advanced Islamic Sciences and Classical Arabic under local scholars such as Sheikh Abdulnasir Jangda and Mufti Hussain Kamani. He has served as a youth director and Islamic studies teacher at the MAS Islamic Center of Dallas and the Mesquite Islamic Center. He is a local and national khateeb and youth counselor. He is a new addition to BHA teaching a Life Skills course to all of our sixth through eleventh grade students.

Email: mohammad.alshaikh@bhaprep.org

Nada Dalal

Arabic Teacher

Ms. Nada Dalal graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University in New York in 1992. She started 16 years ago as a parent with 3 kids who attended BHA. She was a substitute teacher teaching Arabic and Islamic studies for 4 years at BHA. This year she will be teaching Arabic Emergent.

Email: ndalal@bhaprep.org

Nadia Haque

Behavioral Counselor

Nadia Haque earned her bachelors from Louisiana State University in Psychology. She completed a teacher training program and obtained a certification in teaching English as a second language. She has been a teacher for the past 12 years, teaching at varying levels from elementary to university. This is her fifth year at BHA. Currently, she is working on her Masters in Mental Health Counseling from Southern Methodist University.

If you have any questions for our guidance counselor, or wish to make an appointment, you can email her at nhaque@bhaprep.org or at behavioralcounselors@bhaprep.org

Nahid Nikpour PhD

Science Teacher

Teaching 7th & 8th grade Science 

PhD in Health science from TWU, RDH, CPR Instructor 

Teaching at BHA since 2010 

Email: nnikpour@bhaprep.org

Nahla Abdelkarim Hussein

6th Grade Quran and Islamic Teacher

Degree of highest level of education
Master Degree in Health Care Management.

Degree earned at
Walsh University , Ohio

Previous work experience
Sunday School principal in ISAK Center in Akron, Ohio

Born
Kuwait

Cultural background
Palestinian

Started working at BHA
2021

Email: nahla.hussein@bhaprep.org

Nesrine Bougattaya

Math Teacher

Ms. Nesrine Bougattaya is a Middle & High school math teacher at BHA. She joined the BHA team 5 years ago and has been teaching math & science for the past 10 years. She is currently teaching 6th Math, 7th Advanced Math, 9th Advanced Geometry, 10th Advanced Algebra 2, and 11th Advanced Pre-Calculus. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Texas at Arlington. She is originally from Morocco. 

Email: nbougattaya@bhaprep.org

Nouhad Sahyouni

HS Qur'an & Islamic Studies Dept. Chair

Degree of highest level of education
Masters Islamic Education – The Guidance College Houston, TX

Started working at BHA
I started at BHA in 2009

Born
Kuwait

Cultural background
Lebanese

Email: nsahyouni@bhaprep.org

Nydia Hernandez

Social Studies Teacher

Nydia Hernandez is originally from Guatemala.  She moved to Texas 7 years ago with her family.

She has been at BHA since 2016.

Ms. Nydia holds a BA from Montclair State University in NJ.

She has Texas Certification EC-6 and Reading/Social Studies 4-8th.

She currently teaches 6th and 7th grade Social Studies.

Email: nhernandez@bhaprep.org

Qamar Madani

Science Dept. Head

Teaches Conceptual Physics, Honors Physics & Engineering 
Head of Science Department 
Bachelor of Science degree from UIC, Teaching credentials from UTD 
Certified to teach 7-12 Science 
Teaching at BHA since 2007 
Advisor for Health Professions Club & Robotics Club 

Email: qmadani@bhaprep.org

Rabia Khattak

College Guidance Counselor

Degrees: 
Master's Degree - British Literature
Bachelor's Degree with a focus in British Literature and Islamic Jurisprudence

Current/Previous Experience
Middle/High School College Guidance Counselor

Enrollment Administrator, BHA
Case Manager - ICNA Relief Women's Transitional Home
BHA-PTO Board Member
Co-founder and current teacher/counselor: Shining Stars Afghan Refugee Children's Sunday School
Member of Board of Directors for Non-Profit Elementary Islamic School
Vice-Principal - Elementary School, VA
Librarian and Substitute teacher: Greater Lansing Islamic School, Michigan
Tutor - Michigan State University

Joined BHA:
April, 2019

Born:
Tripoli, Libya

Ethnic background:
Pakistani

Email: rkhattak@bhaprep.org

Raja Matariyeh

Arabic Teacher

Degree of highest level of education and certification(s):
M.Ed.; Certified K-12 Arabic Teaching in Illinois and Texas  
 
Degree earned at:
DePaul University, Chicago, IL  
 
Currently teaching:
MS and HS Arabic 

Born:
Amman, Jordan 
 
Cultural background:
Palestinian 

Started working at BHA:
January, 2020 

Email: raja.matariyeh@bhaprep.org

Rayda Saleh

Arabic Dept. Head

Arabic language development head, MS/HS

17 years of teaching experience 

15 years working at Brighter Horizons Academy 

Bachelors in Arabic language and literature 

IB Diploma in ( Teaching Arabic to Speaker of Other Languages) 

TASOL certification 


My philosophy :-
I believe in the extraordinary abilities of any child if s/he is properly guided

Email: rsaleh@bhaprep.org

Rima Damrah

MS Islamic Studies/Quran Dept. Head

Degree of highest level of education: 
Bachelor’s degree in Islamic Studies 
Recitation Ijaza (Hafs ‘an Asim) 
Degree Seeking: Master’s degree in Islamic Education 

Degree earned at: 
The Guidance College Houston, TX 

Previous work experience: 
Peace Academy School 
New Iqra’ School 

Born: 
Amman, Jordan 

Cultural background: 
Palestinian 

Started working at BHA: 
2014 

Email: rdamrah@bhaprep.org

Mrs. Rula Hasweh

MS Islamic Studies/Quran Teacher

Degree of highest level of education:
Bachelor in English Language and Literature in Arts & Science

Degree earned at:
Al-Ahliyyah Amman University
Degrees seeking - working on finishing my Masters in Islamic Education from Guidance College, Houston TX

Born:
Kuwait

Cultural background:
Palestinian

Started working at BHA:
Started volunteering and subbing 2013, started working 2014

Email: rhasweh@bhaprep.org

Rumana Khan

Science Teacher

Teacher for Biology and AP Biology

Bachelor of Science degree from UH, Teaching credentials from SCU

Certified to teach 7-12 Science

Teaching at BHA since 2019

Advisor for Red Cross Club

Email: rumana.khan@bhaprep.org

Seham Hilweh

Islamic Studies/Quran Pull-Out Teacher

My name is Seham Hilweh,

I graduated from UT Arlington with an IT bachelor degree

I have a certificate in Quran Tajweed. 

I worked at Brighter Horizons in Amman Jordan for two years  

My parents are originally from Palestine, but I was born in Kuwait, moved to the U.S during the first gulf war in 1991 

Email: shilweh@bhaprep.org

Mr. Shahma Hoda

High School Qur’aan & Islamic Studies Teacher

Degree of highest level of education:
Bachelor Degree in Islamic Law
Bachelor Degree in Sociology

Degree earned at:
Islamic University of Madina, KSA
York College, CUNY New York

Previous work experience:
Instructor - Institute of English Learning

Born:
India

Cultural background:
Indian

Started working at BHA:
2021

Email: shahma.hoda@bhaprep.org

Shamsa Ashraf

Social Studies Teacher

Shamsa Ashraf was born in Lahore, Pakistan, but moved to the United States when she was 4.

She received her Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the UT Tyler.

Because her true love was education, Shamsa went back to school and received her teaching certification.

She is certified in Generalist (Grades EC-4) and Social Studies (Grades 4-8).

Shamsa has served as the principal of a private Elementary Islamic school.

This is Shamsa's 15th year in education and her 3rd year at BHA.

Currently she is teaching US History and is the co-advisor for the Student Council.

Email: shamsa.ashraf@bhaprep.org

Sofia Zamir

Math Dept. Head

Ms. Sofia Zamir is the Math Department Head at BHA. She joined BHA 16 years ago. Currently, she teaches AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Pre-Calculus, Algebra 2, and UT Austin’s dual credit course “Engineer Your World.”

She has a Masters degree in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Texas at Arlington, and a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan. She has a double teacher certification (Math middle school and Math high school).

She was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and has lived in the DFW area for the past twenty six years. 

Email: szamir@bhaprep.org

Sumaira Baloch

Science Teacher

6th Grade Science Teacher

Bachelor of Science degree from Karachi University

Master's in Education and Islamic History From Karachi University

Teaching at BHA since 2010

Email: sbaloch@bhaprep.org

Dr. Syed Abraruddin Hasan

Math Teacher

Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad Telangana, India

Master of Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Manufacturing Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad Telangana, India 

Ph D in Mechanical Engineering with research in precision Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Hyderabad, Telanagana India – his research included analysis of hybrid stratified surfaces from Burnishing and shotpeening processes. 

Published / presented 10 research papers in journals and conferences 

He has 25 years of teaching experience which includes teaching Mechanical Engineering at UG level and Middle and high school. 

He served at Deccan College of Engineering and Technology for 16 years in various capacities including Lecturer, Associate Professor in Manufacturing Engineering, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Department Chair Mechanical and Production Engineering Departments, Academic and Examinations Coordinator, joint-Editor College news letter.

He served as adjunct professor in Mechanical Engineering at UT Tyler, UNT Denton, and was awarded best professor of the year for the year 2014-2015 at UT Tyler. 

His research included a novel approach of analyzing stratified surfaces using Abbott-Firestone BAC, Taguchi S-N ratio analysis, Grey relational methods for analyzing stochastic/random processes, FFT/ DFT/Power spectra/ACVF/ACF/ other statistical moments. 

He is life-mummer of several Technical institutions and serves as the panel member for reviewing peer reviewed technical journal papers for two reviewed journals in Mechanical Engineering. 

He also served as member board of studies at Osmania University for 5 years. 

He was invited as guest speaker and chaired several conferences and National level workshops. 

He is presently teaching Algebra1 and 2, Geometry for middle and high school at BHA.

Email: syed.hasan@bhaprep.org

Syeda Saleem

Computer Teacher

What Year Started at BHA
2021

Degrees and Certifications
Bachelor Degree of Commerce 
Computer Science/Computer Programming /Database Management Systems 
Human Resource Management

Current Grades/Courses Taught
Middle and High School/Computer

Previous Work Experience
Grayson College, Ericsson, Blue Ridge Labs

Cultural Background
Pakistani 
Living in Dallas for 21 years 

Email: syeda.saleem@bhaprep.org

Yama Mohammad

Arabic Dept. Teacher

Mr. Mohammad started teaching at BHA in the fall semester of 2019.  He began his Arabic studies at Zaytuna Institute in 1998, now known as Zaytuna College, located in Berkeley, CA. He earned his BA and MA in Arabic from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certification from Oxford Seminar.  He currently teaches HS and MS Arabic. He was raised in Fremont, CA, and moved to Texas in 2019.

Email: e.yamamohammad@bhaprep.org