Mahmoud Bafagih, Director of ACS Government Relations, has been a member of the ACS community for 22 years. Originally from Mombasa, Kenya, Mahmoud has lived in the U.A.E. for 25 years. Mahmoud loves watching, playing and coaching soccer. He is the proud coach of the ACS Under-14 Boys Soccer Team!

Manoj Kunnenoth, Facilities Manager, has been with the ACS family since 1991. He has witnessed each and every change that was brought to the school campus since then. He is originally from Kerala, a small state in India. His wife Seema is the art assistant in MS & HS at ACS and they have two boys, Manas 18, and Abhijay 5. When he has free time he spends it playing cricket and watching movies.

Zoltan Karaszy, Director of Finance is from Budapest, Hungary. He earned his degrees (DMS and MBA) with Oxford Brookes University. Zoltan has worked as the Director of Finances and Operations at the American International School in Budapest for 24 years and the past 3 years as Director of Operations, Health and Safety, here at ACS. Zoltan is joined, in Abu Dhabi, by his wife, Klara. Klara works as a Teacher Assistant in the Elementary School. They have three adult daughters, Kriszta, Lilla and Ida. Zoltan and Klara enjoy performing arts, music, singing, reading, jogging, bicycling, skiing and being outdoors with friends in their free time.

Waheeda Al Tamimi, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, has been with ACS as it's grown from a small school with 550 students to the full IB institution it is now. Her institutional knowledge helps guide the Administration every day and her smile is infectious. Originally from Yemen, Waheeda has been living in Abu Dhabi for many years. She has a married son and recently became a proud grandmother.

Administration

Robin Heslip, Superintendent, has held leadership and teaching positions in Croatia, Argentina, Malaysia, Morocco, Zaire and the United States for the past 40 years. Dr. Heslip holds a Masters degree in Professional Development and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. She taught nine years in Wisconsin before moving overseas 31 years ago. Robin has been actively involved in leadership, student learning and assessment, professional development, curriculum development, strategic planning and accreditation processes in all of the schools at which she has worked. In her free time, Robin enjoys shopping, riding her bicycle and walking her dogs, Ricky and Lucy!

Victor Guthrie, Assistant Superintendent, has over 20 years of experience in education. He has managed and led departments in seven different educational institutions, including two organizations with enrollment greater than 35,000 students. Most recently, Dr. Guthrie was the Chief Technology Officer for the Laguna Beach Unified School District in Laguna Beach, California. A position he held for eight years before joining ACS in the fall of 2013.

Dr. Guthrie holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, a Master of Business Administration in International Business, and a Doctorate of Educational Leadership in Transformational Change. Dr. Guthrie and his wife Amber, a kindergarten teacher at ACS, enjoy cooking, traveling, camping, hiking, and off-roading. They are both lifelong learners, and are constantly pursuing educational enrichment.

Amy Greene, HS Principal, completed her BA in history and her MEd at the University of Maryland. In 2002, after five years of teaching high school social studies in the United States, she accepted a job at the Zurich International School in Switzerland, where she held a variety of positions: teacher, Ninth Grade Academy Coordinator, Advanced Placement (AP) Coordinator, and for the last eight years, High School Assistant Principal. Amy’s educational philosophy reflects her experience playing NCAA Division I basketball; her understanding of teamwork, coaching, and hands-on learning is reflected in her focus on advisory programs, facilitative leadership, transitions, and Project Based Learning. An avid reader and enthusiastic traveler, Amy and her husband Rob Pfeiffer, a middle school math teacher, can often be found playing or watching sports with their young children Bobby (age 7) and Callum (age 4).

Alba Carollo, Middle School Principal, began her career teaching in Easton, Pennsylvania, in the same elementary school she attended. Her first international post was in China, where she and her husband David welcomed their daughter Vanessa and, two years later, their son Jon-David (Jonda). Over the next 18 years, the “Carollo Four” traveled the world, working and living in Guangzhou, Sumatra, Tianjin, Bucharest and Pennsylvania. This Fall, her daughter Vanessa, will attend University in the US and Jonda will join ACS as an 11th grader.

Alba has 25 years of progressive experience as an educator from early years to secondary and college. She holds a Master's of Educational Leadership, a K-12 Administration certificate from Pennsylvania, and a PA Superintendent Letter of Eligibility. In between her years abroad, Alba worked as a Research Assistant and Project Manager for the Center for Developing Urban Leaders (CDUL) at Lehigh University. In her spare time, Alba enjoys chatting with her sisters, reading, and hanging out with her family.

Jonathan Johnson, ES Principal, joined the ACS staff in 2013 after 14 happy years working in international schools in Colombia, most recently as ES Principal in Colegio Panamericano. Jonathan has an MA from Buffalo College of SUNY, and in 2013 Jonathan received his Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Lehigh University. Jonathan is joined in Abu Dhabi by his wife, Evelyn, and sons Connor and Brady.

Katie Koenig, ES Assistant Principal, joined the ACS community in August 2015. She grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. Katie swam competitively while completing her Bachelors Degree in Education at the University of Iowa. Katie caught the international education 'bug' while completing her student teaching in Philip Island, Australia and has been honored to work in international schools ever since. She has enjoyed teaching and leading in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Most recently, in Saudi Arabia, she organized the opening of a new, early-childhood learning facility and led the teaching team. She holds a Masters Degree in International Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Katie enjoys yoga, surfing, reading, travel, and spending time with her cat and dog.

Jen Ricks, Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning, comes to ACS from the International School of Beijing. Dr. Ricks has served schools, districts and state departments of education in various capacities throughout her career. She holds a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies, master’s degrees in history and secondary education, an Educational Specialist degree in School Administration and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Jen grew up in coastal North Carolina and is a true southerner at heart. In her spare time, Jen enjoys exploring new places – especially beaches.

Kenny Macaulay, Athletic and Activities Director, is from Scottland. He graduated from Nottingham University in UK and has further qualifications in educational leadership. He has worked in international education for the past 30 years in Vienna, Brussels, London, Cairo and Frankfurt. He has taught physical education and now is an athletic director/school administrator. He is passionate about sports and enjoys playing golf, rowing, tennis and swimming. Kenny is a former soccer player with semi-professional experience in the Wiener Liga with Essling FC, Austria and played Division-1 Amateur with Royal Brussels British FC in Belgium. He brings his playing and coaching experience to ACS by coaching the Varsity Boys. Kenny is married to Alex, the Aquatics Director at ACS and they have two children, Henrietta (17) and Joanne (13).

Administrative Staff

Penny Lopez, Director of Admissions,was raised as a third culture kid to British parents. She was born in Canada and lived in the US, Australia, Malaysia and Japan. With her husband and two daughters she has lived in the US, Qatar and now, happily, the UAE. Penny graduated from the International School of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and went on to study at Tufts University in Boston. When not at work, Penny loves to practice yoga, exercise, travel, read and spend time with family and friends.



Marise Philip-Jayendran, Director of Human Resources,comes from Toronto, Ontario. She was educated in Canada and is specialized in human resources management. Marise has lived in South Korea, China and South Africa. She and her husband Jay are the proud parents of Kaitlin and Celina who love ACS! They enjoy traveling all over the world and experiencing new adventures.