2018-2019 PTA Member Biographies

PTA President

Aman Al Tawil

Aman and her family moved to Abu Dhabi in 2011 arriving from New York City. She has three children, Tala in 5th grade, Laith in 3rd grade and Haya who is 3 years old. Aman feels lucky to have been able to volunteer at ACS beginning with her kids’ KG years until the present as an assistant homeroom parent, Girl Scout troop co-leader, snow cone volunteer, holiday extravaganza volunteer and looks forward to serving as the PTA president this year so that she can continue to be involved in the ACS community.

Prior to becoming a full time mom, Aman practiced regulatory energy law in Washington, DC and in NYC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Bucknell University graduating Magna Cum Laude and a law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.

PTA Vice President

Elissa Paulis

Elissa and her family arrived in Abu Dhabi in August 2017, as they embarked on their first international assignment. She has two sons, William (Grade 5) and Daniel (Grade 3). Since joining the ACS Community, Elissa has participated in several volunteer activities, including Home Room Parent for both of her sons’ classes, Holiday Extravaganza, the PTA’s Used Book Sales, and the ACS Gala Committee.

Elissa holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S.Ed. in Special Education, and Advanced Certificates in School Building and School District Leadership. Prior to coming to Abu Dhabi, Elissa evaluated, treated, and provided parent training to children with disabilities and their families, as well as training staff and creating individualized educational and behavioral programs. She looks forward to continuing the tradition of serving the ACS Community by volunteering with the PTA.

PTA Treasurer

Neha Karumanchi
Neha moved to Abu Dhabi along with her husband, Prasanth, and children Aanya (2nd Grader at ACS) and Viraat (2 years old) in January 2016. After having lived in India, Bahrain, New York, Philadelphia, France and California, Abu Dhabi is where she feels most at home. On the professional front, Neha had worked with The Oberoi Group (India) and Regus Inc. (Bahrain, USA and Abu Dhabi) in leadership positions across Sales and Operations before deciding to be a full-time homemaker in 2016.

In the 2017-18 school session, Neha volunteered at ACS as a homeroom parent, for the Fall Festival, and for the Gala. She looks forward to serving the ACS community in 2018-19 as the PTA Treasurer combining her personal interests with her passion to serve.

PTA Secretary

Jodi Lefort

Jodi and her family joined ACS in August 2016, but have lived and worked in the region for many years. She has a daughter, Pilar, enrolled in fourth grade, and three older children that have graduated from high school.

Believing that getting involved is the best way to settle into a new environment, Jodi served last academic year as PTA Vice President, coordinated performances for the International Day Festival and was a member of the Elementary School Science and Engineering Fair committee.

Before arriving in Abu Dhabi, Jodi was the Assistant Director of the Takatuf Scholars Programme, a scholarship program initiated by Oman Oil Company. Prior to this, most of Jodi’s career as an educator has been at the tertiary level working with academic writing and student support programs. In 2007, Jodi joined other like-minded colleagues in the region to form the Middle East North Africa Writing Centers Alliance (MENAWCA). Jodi served as the organization’s inaugural president, and MENAWCA continues to work toward its goal of raising the profile of writing and academic writing support throughout the region. She has an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of New Orleans and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas.