Leadership

Bhavani Parpia 
Founder and President 

Bhavani began her teaching career over 20 years ago as a Montessori teacher. She most recently served as the district International Business Initiative coordinator at Hurst-Euless-Bedford schools, responsible for designing, developing, and implementing world languages programs.  Bhavani also works as an instructor for the World Affairs Council’s teacher training programs. She is a site visitor and consultant for International Baccalaureate Americas. In 2000, Bhavani started the Primary School at North Hills Preparatory, in Irving, Texas, and then worked as Advanced Academics Coordinator, curriculum director, and college counselor.  In 2011, she led a group of teachers on a Fulbright-Hays project to India as the Curriculum Development Specialist. In 2013, she won the World Affairs Council International Educator of the Year award. In 2014, she was honored with the “Triumph of the Spirit Award” from the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program. Bhavani holds a Masters of Science in Sociology from Virginia Tech.

 


 

Ijaz Parpia 
Co-Founder and Secretary

Ijaz is co-founder and partner at DecisionGPS, LLC, a management consulting firm. He has spent the past 15 years as a senior executive leading R&D programs in the software industry. Prior to joining the corporate world, Ijaz was a tenured professor at the University of Texas-Arlington, where he taught Aerospace Engineering. Ijaz has a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University.

 


 

Bhavna Vashisht
Vice-President

Bhavna has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, Orlando and is a licensed teacher in the state of Texas with a specialization in Gifted and Talented Education and ESL.  Bhavna realized her passion for teaching when she lived in Japan and volunteered at a high school in Tokyo to teach spoken English to 12th graders. Upon returning to the United States,  Bhavna began teaching in Irving ISD as a fourth and fifth Grade G/T teacher. Bhavna is currently on a sabbatical to raise her daughter.

 


 

Amy Merk
Program Director

Amy Merk is a certified K-12 teacher with over 10 years of teaching experience. Amy has taught in a variety of settings, including Special Education, General Education, and Dyslexia Intervention. In 2008, she was a delegate to the Japan Fulbright Memorial Teacher Program. In 2011, she was one of seventeen teachers to participate in a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad trip to India to study the UN Millennium Development Goals. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Texas-Arlington and a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Houston. As Program Director, Amy is responsible for overseeing the development,implementation, and evaluation of program objectives.