2018 Community Leadership Award

The Community Leadership Award honors an individual(s) or corporation embodying ACS’ Core Values: Courage, Curiosity, Compassion, and Integrity. In commemoration for the Year of Zayed we honor our ACS Service Learning Directors past and present, Catherine Miles-Flynn, Kimberely Dittrich and Anne Russell. Their unparalleled dedication to our students and commitment to many charitable organizations inspired our community for over 20 years.

“Future generations will be living in a world that is very different from that to which we are accustomed. It is essential that we prepare ourselves and our children for that new world.”

Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan

Congratulations to our 2018 Community Leadership Award recipients!

About Our Honorees:


In 1996, Catherine Miles-Flynn began her eight-year tenure at ACS teaching Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics. She developed the curriculum for Comparative Religion and for the Jerusalem Symposium, a three-month study of the history, culture, religions, and art of Jerusalem.

Most notably, she started the community service program at the American Community School and founded the first official chapter of Habitat for Humanity in the Middle East. It was through the contact of her students who wanted to do some good work that the service program was started. The students had the initiative and desire to look by their own wants and needs. The service organizations and the service program was born in the hearts and minds of the students of the American Community School.

A native of Virginia she had served in Catholic schools as the head of the religion department and on the Diocesan Committee for curriculum development in Catholic Schools . She has also served as the Director of Religious Education for St. Mary’s Parish in Virginia.

Kate has an Master’s degree in theology and is the author of a sacramental preparation program, Confirmation: A Journey of Faith”, as well as author of “Bible People for Young People, Old Testament.”


Kimberley Dittrich served as ACS' High School Service Coordinator beginning in 2004, at the onset of introducing the IB curriculum into the high school program. She pounded the pavement during her first year to ensure students had available service opportunities to fulfill the IB requirements. This effort significantly expanded the service program at ACS for KG1 through high school and has resulted in many lasting relationships with organizations around Abu Dhabi.

During her tenure, Kimberley coordinated with the PGA tournament in Abu Dhabi to position ACS as the first school of volunteer for the event, led numerous community events for Médecins Sans Frontières, pioneered the relationship between ACS and Future Centre, and developed service initiatives in environmental issues, medicine, and veterinary work to meet students' specific interests in those areas.

Prior to her position with ACS, Kimberley taught middle and high school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the American International School of Riyadh, and served as Chairperson of the Desert Rose Arts Theater Group in Saudi Arabia.


Anne Russell is the current Community Service Coordinator and Sustainability Advocate for the ACS and has served in the position for the past ten years. Anne is the driving force behind the school’s many service trips to locations where humanitarian help is greatly needed. She coordinates these various trips and offers ACS students invaluable opportunities to connect with others around the world, experience cultures different from their own, and make a tangible contribution to others’ lives.

Prior to her time at ACS, she worked with The International School of Kuala Lumpur and the Jakarta International School. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in liberal arts and sciences from Dartmouth University. Her career has centered on curriculum development and design, community outreach, addressing critical global issues, and educating young minds.