Faculty & Staff
Arabic and Quran
Mrs. Bothaina Ali has been at Nur Islamic School of Louisville since 2005, teaching Quran and Arabic to all grade levels. In addition to teaching Quran and Arabic to all grade levels at NISL, she teaches on the weekends at the Guiding Light Weekend School. She completed her teaching degree in Jerusalem, Palestine and earned certification to teach Arabic. In addition to various annual trainings that she participates in, Mrs. Ali has attended the STARTALK Arabic Language Training Program in Washington State University and attends professional development sessions for Arabic and Quran teachers at ISNA Education Forum. Mrs. Ali was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award for the 2007-2008, 2011-2012, and 2014-2015 school years. She strives to enable our students to read Quran in Arabic with Tajweed and deepen their understanding Quran, to acquire a set of moral values on which to base his/her own behavior, to develop tolerance and respect for others, to behave as a responsible and well balanced people in our society, and to also develop awareness of the spiritual aspects of prayer and worship. Mrs. Ali served as the school coordinator for Islamic events with other Islamic Schools such as the Arabic Spelling Bee, Islamic Studies Quick Recall, and Quran Recitation Competition. She also served as a judge at the Quran Recitation Competition in May 2012. Mrs. Ali's first passion is her family, her two children who are now adults, and her grandchildren. Her second passion is teaching here at Nur Islamic School of Louisville.
Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies
Mrs. Wisal Alabdalla joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2015. Mrs. Alabdalla is originally from Palestine and studied English at Islamic Society College in Jordan. She completed an advanced course of Tajweed and has been teaching Tajweed lessons to students since 1999. Mrs. Alabdalla’s experience includes teaching Quran and Islamic Studies from PreK to 9th grade for four years. During this time, she organized competitions on Qur'an, Hadeeth, and Names of Allah. She often serves as the Quran and Arabic Spelling Bee judge and organizes school-wide events such as Arabic Heritage Day. Outside of school, Mrs. Alabdalla loves to organize activities for Muslim youth such as summer camps, Itikaf for girls, and celebrations to welcome new Muslimahs into the community. Mrs. Alabdalla believes that teaching students Islamic Studies should be practical and spiritual, and the content should be taught through interactive and hands-on activities to draw our children closer to Allah, to make them love and be proud of being Muslim, and practice to be a role model and an effective leader. Mrs. Alabdalla enjoys spending time with her family as well as listening to spiritual lectures and nasheeds.
Technology and Islamic Studies
Mr. Ammar Shaikh is originally from India, but moved to US for higher education in 2003. He acquired his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from Bombay, and his Masters in Information Systems from University of Maryland. He studied higher Islamic education for seven years from eAlim, Darul Uloom Canada and New York, and subsequently taught Islamic courses online. His teaching career started at the Islamic School of Baltimore. Since then he has taught Islamic Studies, Quran and technology in various Islamic schools. Mr. Shaikh takes great pride in making Islam more exciting and interesting to his students by pioneering the state-wide Islamic Quick Recall, introducing the national Islamic Studies Standardized Tests, and creating Islamic dioramas, plays, etc. He is grateful to be a part of the Louisville Masaajid Volleyball Tournaments, Louisville Muslim Bike Club and the International Dawah and Tableegh group. He is a strong advocate for students' well-being and success in both the worlds.
Middle School Language Arts
Mrs. Kari Hedegard currently teaches Language Arts to middle school students at Nur Islamic School of Louisville. She has been teaching for 21 years. Teaching is the joy of her life. Her experience includes teaching all grade levels from kindergarten to 9th grade. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher, special education teacher at the Kentucky School for the Blind, Math and Reading interventionist, elementary teacher in grades 1-5, and middle school Science and Language Arts. She attended University of Louisville and Indiana University Southeast. While attending Indiana University Southeast, she worked at the University’s Multicultural Center and traveled to schools all over Indiana and Kentucky leading professional development workshops for teachers on how to implement multicultural lessons into their daily lessons. In the various schools she has taught at she has been on committees for Quick Recall, Governor’s Cup, English and Arabic Spelling Bee, Site Based Decision Making, School Discipline Committee, and has been in charge of the Science Fair and Photography Club. Mrs. Hedegard looks forward to many years of offering her experience to students at Nur Islamic School of Louisville. Teaching is her passion but when she is not teaching, she is reading, cooking, canning fruits and vegetables, making jams and jellies, playing in her gardens- both vegetable and flower, going to auctions to buy antiques, and taking her dogs hiking. She also enjoys making candles, potpourri, and stepping stones. She’s taught in four different districts, but teaching at Nur Islamic School of Louisville has been her favorite experience.
Middle School Social Studies and Fine Arts
Mrs. Amel Elloumi joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2018 as a substitute teacher and shortly accepted a full-time position teaching Social Studies to middle school students. Originally, she is from Tunisia, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in History from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tunis (FSHST) and has worked towards her Master’s in Archeology. Mrs. Elloumi has also obtained certification in Computer Sciences. After receiving her Certificate of Aptitude for Secondary School Teachers (CAPES) and spending a year of training, she embarked on her passion of teaching history and geography to middle school students for 10 years before relocating to the United States with her husband. She speaks many languages including Arabic, French and English. In addition to her passion of teaching, she is also very passionate about archeology. He goal is to raise the future generation to be positive Muslims with good character.
Middle School Science
Ms. Matrid Ndife, joined Nur Islamic School in August 2021. She has been an educator for over 20 years, and has taught at the University level as an Assistant Professor and Adjunct Professor, and as a middle school science teacher in the Jefferson County Public School District. Ms. Ndife was educated at Rutgers University, Cornell university and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Ms. Ndife won a Fulbright Scholarship and studied in Nigeria, and has also done short term teaching in Taiwan and China. Ms. Ndife worked as a scientist in the food industry and has a number of scientific publications in the field of Food Science. Ms. Ndife enjoys teaching middle school science, and focuses on developing her students to become independent self-directed learners who become life long learners.
Mrs. Amani Aljalab has been working at Nur Islamic School of Louisville since 2016. Mrs. Aljalab has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature as well as a diploma of Educational Qualification. She has been working as a teacher for 8 years teaching various grade levels. Mrs. Amani Aljalab was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award for the 2019-2020 school year. She has been married for 5 years and has two boys who attend the Early Childhood Center at NISL. Mrs. Aljalab believes that children are a gift and possess diverse talents and capabilities. Her passion for teaching began as a mother when her 2 sons opened her eyes to the rewarding life of working with young children. She finds joy in witnessing a child learn something new, knowing she was the main influence in their doing so. NISL is such a wonderful place to her and she loves being a part of such a welcoming community. She looks forward to many more years at Nur Islamic School of Louisville!
Mrs. April Bracewell joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2016. She began her college education at the University of Louisville and completed her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at Indiana University Southeast in 2006. She has taught in many different settings and positions, from public schools to private, and even home-school. When she was 21 years old she started working as a teacher’s assistant at Pine View Elementary in New Albany, and gradually worked her way up by subbing, tutoring, and eventually teaching. Thus far in her career, she has taught every elementary grade level, whether it was as a home-room teacher or a special areas teacher. Prior to joining NISL, she has worked with children for 13 years. Mrs. Bracewell was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award for the 2018-2019 school year. She is a mother to two children. Her son is a students at a local university and her daughter is in elementary school. She currently resides in Shively, which is where she has lived all of her life, with the exception of 6 years, when she lived in New Albany, Indiana. April has always wanted to teach. It is her passion and belief that it is her calling in life, other than to be a mother. She is also a talented artist who enjoys creating artwork as a hobby as well as teaching fine arts.
Sevda Islamova is a teacher who believes in the power of education. She began her journey in teaching, due to her passion of giving 1:1 Therapy to Autistic children, and now dreams of becoming a School Psychologist. She was an infant teacher at Centerstone Child Development Center for 5 months before switching to substituting at JCPS. Mrs. Islamova currently teaches the Turkish community how to read the Quran at the Mosque every weekend. She spent most of her life in New Hampshire, but traveled to different states for her education. She completed her elementary education at The Islamic Academy for Peace in Methuen and her freshman year of high school in NY. Mrs. Islamova graduated from a Private Catholic College (Saint Anselm College) with a double major: Bachelor's degree in Biology and Psychology. She is very organized and loves to be at the top of her game. As much as she believes in the power of education, she also believes in the power of self-love. This is evident by her self-motivation to wake up every morning at 5 am to jog before work. Her family means everything to her. She is happily married and has a 2 year old son who attends the daycare at NISL. She hopes to teach the kids as much as she can, and is willing to expand her knowledge on her students to help them succeed and make them the best scholars they can be!
Mrs. Nour Aljalab holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She has taught in different settings and positions which included 3 years as an English teacher for various middle and elementary schools and 2 years as Bilingual Associate Instructor in Jefferson County Public Schools. Mrs. Aljalab is a mother of a 4-year-old girl and a 15-month old boy who also attend the Early Childhood Center at NISL. Her children mean the world to her. She loves her job and believes in the power of education. Mrs. Aljalab’s goal is to make sure that each child receives the best care and love that they all deserve. When she is not at school, she loves spending time with her family. One of her favorite activities is family game night. She looks forward to teaching students to live a happy and healthy life.
Reading Intervention Specialist
Mrs. Sara Young is the Title I Reading teacher at Nur Islamic School of Louisville. She initially joined NISL in 2009. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at Bellarmine University and her Master’s degree at Indiana University Southeast. She’s a mother to eleven children, ranging in age from 24 to 45. This is her twentieth year working with students as a Title I teacher. Mrs. Young believes children learn best when they feel good about themselves. In class, Mrs. Young focuses on celebrating what students already know while addressing the concepts that may challenge them in the classroom.
Early Childhood Center Faculty
Pre-K 4 Teacher
Mrs. Oumayma Bidou joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2019. Mrs. Bidou is from Morocco where she taught preschool for 2 years before moving to the United States. She is also currently attending Jefferson Community College. Mrs. Bidou loves to be a part of the Early Childhood Center team and spending time with her son.
Pre-K 3 Teacher
Mrs. Sarah Madhdi joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2015 as an Early Childhood teacher. She has a diploma in Math and Science from Iraq. She was also the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award in 2019-2020 school year. Mrs. Mahdi loves and treats each of her students as her own.
Pre-K 2 Teacher
Mrs. Raziya Akhmedova joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2012. She is originally from Russia and speaks several languages including Russian and Turkish. Mrs. Akhmedova obtained her Child Development Associate credential in 2015. She also was the recipient of the ECC Teacher of the Year award in 2016. She is a proud mother of two boys and one girl who also attend NISL and loves to spend time with them. She loves being a part of the Early Childhood Center team at NISL.
Infant and Toddler Teacher
Mrs. Suaad Al-Jorani joined Nur Islamic School of Louisville in 2018 as an Early Childhood teacher. Her passion is teaching very young children and she is currently teaching infants and toddlers. Mrs. Al-Jorani is a mother to three boys and one girl. She loves to spend time at home with her family when not at school.
Mrs. Jamila Hamid has been working at NISL since 2007. Mrs. Hamid has a Bachelor's degree in Islamic Studies as well as in Language Arts. She also enjoys cooking Iftar for the Guiding Light Center during the month of Ramadan. Mrs. Hamid's passion is food and she she loves to cook and feed people. She recently achieved her life-long dream of having a catering company that she runs part time when not cooking for our school.