Senior Leadership Team

Monique Flickinger, Superintendent, has over 20 years experience of teaching and leading in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Panama. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Brigham Young University, Utah; a Masters degree in Education from University of Victoria, Canada; a certificate of Teaching and Leading from Harvard University and is currently writing her dissertation for her doctorate at the University of Wyoming. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Brad and together they have raised two adventurous children (Lexie and Peter) who are now in college. Monique loves to cook, can always find a little extra time for shoe shopping and has a known weakness for chocolate!

Dr. 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 and Callum.


Karl Poulin, Middle School Principal, hails from Canada and has worked in international education for 23 years. He believes in the power of communities, learning, and staying true to oneself. Karl has a master’s in Educational Leadership and is working on completing his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Before joining ACS, Karl taught and served in various leadership positions in China, Saudi Arabia, the Dominican Republic, and in Lebanon. He has three sons; Matthew, Cameron, and Freddie. He is joined at ACS by his wife, Sabine, who works in the Elementary School and by their 1 ½-year-old son, Freddie. Karl is a passionate hockey fan (Go Leafs Go!) and enjoys reading, cooking, diving, traveling, and getting out for the occasional run.



Dr. 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.




Dr. 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 Edinburgh, Scotland. He graduated from Nottingham University in UK and has further qualifications in educational leadership. He has worked in education for the past 29 years with international school experience 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 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 (19) and Joanne (15).

Leadership Team

Derek Swanson, Director of Learning Innovation and eLearning, is from Colorado. He has been an active technology educator in the Colorado School district and with the International School of Ho Chi Minh: American Academy. Prior to being appointed to Director at ACS, Derek taught STEM subjects at the school. He holds a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado. Derek enjoys healthy eating, all things technology, and showcasing his colorful wardrobe of dress shirts and socks. Derek's wife, Rebecca, also teaches HS math at ACS and their two sons, Oliver and Owen, attend ACS elementary school.




Bobbi Donison Charles, HS Assistant Principal is from Canada. She is passionate about her students and prior to her appointment as HS Assistant Principal was the Dean of Academics. Prior to ACS, Bobbi held various teaching leadership roles in Canada and China. Bobbi holds a Master of Arts in Education, Learning and Technology from Royal Roads University. She is joined in Abu Dhabi by her husband, Jason Charles, who teaches Science at the ACS high school and her two children, Elijah and Coco, who attend ACS elementary school.




Dr. Ann Peterson, ES Assistant Principal, has held teaching and/or leadership positions in the USA, the UAE, China, Japan, Singapore, and Bangladesh. Ann holds a Master’s degree in History and a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership. She began her career as a bilingual elementary teacher, and has had the privilege of working in fascinating and inspiring international settings throughout her career. Her professional passion lies in being a lifelong learner - modeling and fostering an innovative mindset. Ann enjoys reading, theater, cycling, and group fitness classes. Ann's husband, Neil Griffiths, teaches PE at ACS, and they have a son Rocket in high school and a daughter Jazz in middle school. They are thrilled to be a part of the ACS community of learners.

Jonathan Diaz, IB DP Coordinator, has worked in international education for the past 13 years. His experience includes coordinating the Diploma Program, teaching TOK and Spanish. Jonathan is originally from Venezuela and has been living in Malta for the past five years. Jonathan enjoys traveling the world and cooking with his wife Hanny who is middle school Spanish teacher. He is very passionate about watching his students become independent learners, and he promotes classroom technology integration.



Operational Leadership

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 Oakville, Ontario. She is a certified human resources specialist and has worked both in healthcare and education in Canada, South Korea, China and South Africa. She and her husband, Jay, are the proud parents of recent ACS graduate Kaitlin and their younger daughter Celina who is in high school. The Jayendrans enjoy traveling all over the world and experiencing new adventures.



Yvette L. Campbell, Director of Institutional Advancement has  been actively involved in the Abu Dhabi community prior to joining ACS leadership in 2019. She served as a business development consultant to the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and has also served as a Board of Trustee member at ACS. In the United States she was the President and CEO of the Harlem School for Arts and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Yvette holds a bachelors degree in applied mathematics and Dramatic Art-Dance from the University of California Berkley. Her eldest daughter recently graduated from ACS and her younger daughter attends ACS high school. Yvette is a passionate and committed not-for-profit professional who enjoys dance. 

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 UAE for 25 years. Mahmoud loves watching, playing and coaching soccer. He is the proud coach of the ACS Under-14 Boys Soccer Team!




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 three years as Director of Operations, Health and Safety, here at ACS. Zoltan is joined, in Abu Dhabi, by his wife, Klara. 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.


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, and Abhijay. When he has free time he spends it playing cricket and watching movies.




Waheeda Al Tamimi, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, has been with ACS as it has 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 is a proud grandmother of two.