Director of Learning Innovation and eLearning
Derek Swanson is the Director of Learning Innovation and eLearning at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi. He joined the ACS community in the fall of 2015 as a High School STEM teacher. Originally from Colorado in the United States of America, Derek has previously worked as a Technology Teacher, IT Coordinator, and Personalized Learning Coordinator at international schools in Southeast Asia and the United States. He holds Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Derek and his wife Rebecca, a high school mathematics teacher at ACS, have two children, Owen and Oliver, who are both enrolled in the ACS elementary. Derek and his family enjoy camping, hiking, traveling, and adventure.
Educational Technology Team
- Jared Rodgers (K-12 Technology and Innovation Integrator)
- Mary Lawson (Middle and High School Librarian)
Jared Rodgers is currently the K-12 Technology and Innovation Integrator, working with teachers and students at ACS. Over the past 20 years, he has taught Grade 5, MS Technology Courses, and ES Technology in Manila, Jakarta and Abu Dhabi. Jared holds a Master's Degree in Teaching and another in Educational Technology. He is also a certified online Technology Educator and has taught online university courses in multiliteracies and project-based learning. Jared is a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator class of 2013. During his time as a teacher, he has also coached a variety of sports for children and adults.
Mary Lawson is the Middle and High School Librarian at ACS. She has been a member of the ACS community since 2012. Prior to becoming the middle and high school Librarian, she was a technology coach, a sixth grade language arts and social studies teacher. Mary has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History. Her passion for finding meaningful ways to integrate technology her lessons led her to complete her Master’s of Science with a focus on tech integration. Mary enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
- Rodrigo Brasil (Technology Manager)
- Rajanish Balakrishnan (Systems Manager/Team Leader)
- Suhail Nelliyullathil (Systems Administrator)
- Bryan Eloso (Apple Technician)
- Vineeth Pulikkal (Technician)
Rodrigo Brasil is an established Technology Manager with 13 years of international school experience, an MBA, and has 20 years of experience in the field of Information Technology. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he loves sunny weather, sandy beaches, and samba music! He is married to an experienced primary school teacher, Mara Thompson Brasil, who is also employed at American Community School. They are proud parents to two handsome and strong boys, Lorenzo and Matteo. Mara and Rodrigo share a love for travel and foreign cultures.
Rajanish Balakrishnan works as a Systems Manager and Team Leader in the Technology Services Department of ACS. He is also a Tier 3 Technician for all technology related needs. Rajanish joined work at ACS in the year 1986, and has been part of the ACS community since then. He has had a memorable experience working for ACS and is quite pleased with the various advancements it has undergone in the past several years. Rajanish hasc ompleted Bachelor's of Science and holds various Cisco and Apple certifications. Married to Deepthi Rajanish, a HSscience Lab Technician at ACS, they have two children, Nirupam and Anupam, studying for Medicine and Computer Engineering, respectively. Rajanish enjoys his leisure time by riding bicycles and doing meditation activities like yoga. He adores collecting antique items and derives pleasure by flying RC airplanes and helicopters.
Suhail works with the ACS Tech Dept. as a Systems Administrator and Tier 2 Technical Support. He retains a B-Tech in Computer Science from Calicut University in his home region of, Kerala India. He has been working in the UAE since 2012 joining the ACS staff in 2015. Outside of ACS he enjoys playing chess, browsing the web, and chatting with friends.
Bryan Eloso is a certified Apple Service Engineer. He comes from Dolores Quezon, Philippines. He has been part of ACS since August 2012 as a contracted technician in partnership with Computer Direct Access to work specifically with Apple products. He has been living and working in Abu Dhabi for 8 years now along with his wife. He loves playing online games and sports like basketball. He also likes fishing and watching films in his spare time.
Vineeth Pulikkal works with the ACS Technology Dept. in the capacity of Audio/Visual Systems Engineer and First Tier Technology Support. He joined ACS in 2012 after working freelance in the Audio/Visual Engineering sector here in Abu Dhabi beginning in 2010. Originally from Kerala India he earned a B.S. in Arts and carries a diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as in Sound Engineering and Sound Recording. He loves collecting vintage audio-systems, 70s-80s disco music, and long rides on motor bikes.