Small Beginnings Rooted in Deep Faith
With the goal of providing a full-time Islamic elementary school available to all, As-Sabeel Academy was founded in August 2008 with just five students. Three faculty taught the small group of students, ranging from grades K4 – 1st , in makeshift classrooms at the Islamic Society of Greenville’s mosque in Taylors, SC. The school was originally led by Principal Sr. Reian Abdin and School Board President Br. Mohammad Fatayerji, who also happened to be Reian’s husband.
Although the beginnings were small, parents within the Upstate Muslim communities began to take notice of As-Sabeel, particularly, when in only its second year of existence, As-Sabeel Academy was
accredited by the South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA). More and more students began to enroll, and by the fall of 2012, As-Sabeel had nearly 60 students spanning K4 through 5th grades.
During the spring of 2012, Sr. Johnna Malici took over as Principal of As-Sabeel when Sr. Reian had her first child. Sr. Shiam Harsho simultaneously became the Vice Principal and the two have been working together as administrators since that time. In the spring of 2013, As-Sabeel was re-accredited by SCISA, and the building of a new facility, a proper school building, was underway.
In January 2014, with the school building project completed, As-Sabeel Academy students returned from winter break to a brand new 5,000 square foot school building at the Upstate Islamic Center’s complex in Greer, SC. The new building included spacious classrooms each equipped with a smart board, plenty of storage, lots of natural light, as well as an administrative suite. Students were able to utilize the Multipurpose Hall for Salah, P.E., indoor recess, and other school functions.
With the completion of the elementary school building, and with enrollment rapidly increasing, the Islamic Society of Greenville commissioned the building of a middle school to be housed directly
adjacent to the elementary school building. In August of 2015, As-Sabeel opened its middle school building with its first class of 6th graders and a total enrollment of 108 students. A grade was added each year thereafter until the middle school was complete with 6th – 8th grades. On May 31, 2018, As-Sabeel’s first class of 8th graders graduated middle school. Several of the students had been some of As-Sabeel’s very first attendees.
As of the fall of 2018, As-Sabeel has an enrollment of nearly 140 students who live all across the Upstate, some driving as far as 45 minutes one-way to attend school. The faculty consists of 15 teachers, 2 administrator-teachers, and 2 school assistants.