Dear Parents,

It is with great pride and excitement that we welcome, and introduce a new member of the Pillars’ team and family. As Vice Principal, Ms. Abir Catovic will be working closely with Ms. Walaa Elbanna our Principal, and the entire Pillars staff to ensure that we continue to impart the best possible education for all of our students. With her expertise and experience, we are confident that together we will work hard to provide excellent opportunities for all of our students. It is our goal that together we will provide a positive learning environment, and the best possible opportunities needed to prepare our students to be responsible and engaged, lifelong learners. Please read below for an important message from our Vice Principal, Ms. Abir Catovic:

Assalamu ‘alaikum!
I am honored and excited to join the Pillars Preparatory Academy team as Vice Principal this year. I am looking forward to assisting Mrs. Walaa in providing leadership for the students, teachers and staff at the school and serving the Pillars community at large.

I am a firm believer in Islamic schools and Islamic education. My passion for education began right after high school while I was pursuing my degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering at Rutgers University. I began teaching weekend school classes at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey and I developed the Islamic Studies Curriculum for the elementary grade levels that are currently still in use there. When my oldest son was about to start preschool, I left my career as a computer engineer at IBM, and I helped to establish Noor-Ul-Iman School (NUI) where I worked for twenty-five years thereafter. At NUI, I served in many capacities including Vice Principal and Director of Religious Studies. I also had the distinct privilege of teaching students at every grade level from KG through twelfth grade throughout my twenty-five year tenure and in 2017, I was voted as one of the top three Islamic educators in North America (one of three winners of the 2017 Islamic Teacher Appreciation Awards).

One of my guiding principles is the hadith of Prophet Muhammed (S.) that states that Allah (S.W.T.) loves that when a person does any act, he/she should work to perfect it. (Tabarani) I look forward to working diligently to utilize my experience in increasing student achievement, advancing teacher professional development, and promoting teacher collaboration to support the students, staff, administration and community at Pillars. I also look forward to meeting each of you over the course of the school year, insha’ Allah, because parents are the most valuable partners in the development of Islamically-guided, life-long learners. Please feel free to share your suggestions, comments and/or concerns by emailing me at

May Allah (S.W.T.) grant all of us a successful year at Pillars Preparatory Academy.

Thank you wassalamu ‘alaikum.

Abir Catovic
Vice Principal
Pillars Preparatory Academy