Health and Wellness

Student Wearing Mask

The health and well-being of ACS students is paramount to their school experience.

Our Health Office, Student Support Services (including divisional counseling teams) and related curricular programs all safeguard student wellness and have played invaluable roles in our COVID management practices.

 

Inquiries and Questions?

+971-2-508-4412

 

Health Office

The ACS Health Office delivers the Department of Health (DOH) School Health Program in partnership with students, parents, teachers and the healthcare sector. We work within the requirements and guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHAD). 

Our Health team consists of two Department of Health (DOH) licensed school nurses who have extensive school and public health experience. Nurses Fiona and Karen are supported by two part-time administrative assistants, Trine and Jannah.

MattAyoub

Matt Ayoub

Chair

Matt Ayoub

Matt grew up in Abu Dhabi, arriving in 1979 and graduating from ACS in 1994 as part of our second graduating class. He returned to Abu Dhabi in 2010 and currently has three children at ACS, providing the Board with a unique perspective as an ACS alumnus, parent and long-time community member.

Matt is employed by Mubadala and currently serves as a member of the organization’s Human Capital leadership team with a specific focus on the intersection of people and business, as well as company culture and longer-term organization development. Prior to joining Mubadala, Matt worked in a range of roles in the life sciences and semiconductor industries, spending time in Europe, Asia, and North America, including San Diego, which his family considers home when not in Abu Dhabi.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University and an MBA from the University of San Diego, where he served as the President of the Graduate Business Students Association. When not working, Matt enjoys taking his family to remote parts of the world to explore unique cultures and ecosystems.

SerenaCarnevale

Serena Carnevale

Vice Chair

Serena Carnavale

Serena has been an active member of the ACS community since 2017 and has one child in the Middle School. She served as a member of the Institutional Advancement Committee and as Chair of the Board Nominating Committee. 

Serena worked in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs London for 12 years. Her last position was in the Financial Sponsor Coverage Group, where her role was to advise private equity clients on M&A, financing and equity transactions. As an investment banker, Serena had extensive business and management experience securing and executing a variety of large transactions and working directly with the leadership team on risk management, HR and communication strategy.

While living in Brazil, Serena co-founded a children's organic and sustainable clothing company, which started as a hobby and developed into a small business. 

Prior to their move to Abu Dhabi, Serena and her family lived in Italy, UK and Brazil.

Serena holds a Master's Degree in Economics from Bocconi University, Milan. 

PhilippeElBacha

Philippe El Bacha

Treasurer

Philippe El Bacha

Philippe and his wife have lived in Abu Dhabi since 2006.  He is father of two daughters in ACS; his eldest, Nour, is in High School, and Nosha, in Middle School.  He went to school in Abu Dhabi for a good portion of his life and then moved to Canada to continue his studies and long-term career.  Like a lot of other people that grew up in the UAE, he found himself back to start a new career. He graduated from Concordia University with a BA of Commerce Major in Accountancy and holds a CPA designation. He is a Group Chief Financial Officer for First Emirates Group For Technology and Trading; a holding company for a group of companies in different industries.  Philippe is a selected trustee serving as the Treasurer.

JulieThurston

Julie Thurston

Secretary

Julie Thurston

Julie Thurston and her family joined ACS when they moved to Abu Dhabi in 2017.  She and her husband Michael have two children, Wesley, who graduated ACS is 2023, and Claire, who is in High School. They first moved overseas in 2014 from Durham, North Carolina.

Julie has more than 20 years of experience in Higher Education Facilities Administration, spanning a broad range of responsibilities from Facilities Engineering, Capital Planning and Project Management. She is currently employed by New York University of Abu Dhabi as the Director of Planning and Projects where she is responsible for all campus Space Planning and Management, Project Design and Construction.   

Julie holds a B.Sc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Davis, and a M.S. degree from Duke University. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California and is certified as a LEED AP.

AhmedAlAhmadi

Ahmed Al Ahmadi

Member

Ahmed Al Ahmadi

Ahmed Al Ahmadi serves as an Independent Director on the Board of GFH Financial Group and is currently part of ADQ, one of the region's largest holding companies with investments locally and internationally. He is an investment professional with robust analytical skills and a passion for business.

With a strong professional and academic profile that is recognized by the broader regional business community, Ahmed was involved in sourcing global opportunities and partnerships in the financial services space for a renowned sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi. In his previous role under Mergers & Acquisitions, Ahmed applied his talents in executing a number of notable transactions, including the successful recapitalization of an NYSE-listed utilities company, minority acquisition of the leading telecommunication player in India, and successful construction of a diversified public equities portfolio during 2020. He consistently proves to be a fully rounded investment professional with a deep analytical and creative mindset.

Ahmed has also been involved in the energy and power industry in an asset management and advisory capacity. He previously served as a Director on the Board of SHUAA Capital PSC and Integrated Capital.

Ahmed is a CFA charter holder. He holds a First-Class Honours degree in Chemical Engineering (BEng) from University College London, and a Master’s degree with Merit in Risk Management and Financial Engineering (MSc) from Imperial College London.

OmarAsfour

Omar Asfour

Member

Omar Asfour

Omar is a senior vice president of Project Management at ALDAR Properties. Prior to joining Aldar in 2008, Omar worked at Turner Construction in Boston. Throughout his career he has worked on construction projects in healthcare, education, residential communities and radio-TV stations. Omar is a graduate of Tufts University’s School of Engineering. He attended ACS Tunisia, ACS Athens and graduated from ACS Abu Dhabi. 

He has 3 children at ACS, Naia, Maysa and Jude. 

NadiaBardawil

Nadia Bardawil

Member

Nadia Bardawil

Nadia is an English-qualified lawyer with more than fifteen years’ experience working on the financing and construction of energy assets. Nadia and her husband, Dan, have one son, Saul, who is in the Elementary School.

Nadia spent twelve years at global law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP in its London and Abu Dhabi offices before joining Mubadala. For four years, Nadia was general counsel to Masdar (Mubadala’s renewable energy asset), and she recently returned to Mubadala as a senior legal advisor to its UAE Investments division. 

Nadia is passionate about diversity and inclusion and developed a bespoke program for Masdar during her time as general counsel. She has been a mentor for junior members of the businesses in which she has worked for many years. Nadia also is interested in health and fitness and established Capital Fitness, a personal training studio in Abu Dhabi designed to encourage women to take up strength and conditioning training, in 2018. 

BradHeming

Brad Heming

Member

Brad Heming

Brad and his wife Caroline have lived in Abu Dhabi since 2018.  They have a son who is in High School at ACS.

Brad has more than 30 years of commercial real estate experience and is currently employed by ADIA and leads the team that is responsible for overseeing ADIA’s real estate investments throughout North and South America.  Prior to moving to the UAE, Brad worked for several other institutional real estate companies in both Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois, where he and Caroline raised their three children.

Brad holds a B.A. in Economics from DePauw University and a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

AdibMattar

Adib Mattar

Member

Adib Mattar

Adib is the Head of Private Equity for Mubadala Capital. Prior to joining Mubadala in 2008, Adib was an investment banker at Credit Suisse in New York. Adib graduated cum laude from the College of William & Mary in Virginia with a BA in International Relations and he received an MBA and Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is an ACS Abu Dhabi Alumni Class of 1995. Adib is also an Aspen Institute Fellow.

He has 4 children at ACS, Raya, Ramzi, Aya and Rakan.

Chadi Moujaes

Chadi Moujaes

Member

Chadi N. Moujaes is a Partner with Strategy& and a member of the Public Sector practice. 

He is passionate about supporting the efforts of communities, countries, and leaders to improve well-being for their constituents through citizen-centric social and economic policies and programs. Chadi focuses on delivering impact in the areas of socioeconomic development, innovation, and human capital development.

He is a pragmatic believer in the potential of digital technologies to help reinvent the apparatus of government, from policy formulation to service delivery and citizen engagement. 

Chadi has accumulated a wealth of experience through working closely with his clients on diverse projects, including crafting education and socioeconomic reform strategies and building innovation clusters as drivers of economic growth and job creation. 

He first joined Strategy& in 1999, moving on after almost 14 years with the firm. Prior to rejoining in 2021, he worked with the Abu Dhabi General Secretariat of the Executive Council (GSEC), DigitalX1, and as a partner with McKinsey.

Chadi holds an MBA from INSEAD and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the American University of Beirut.


Chadi has three children who attend ACS.

 

FatiahTouray

Fatiah Touray

Member

Fatiah Touray, Esq. is an accomplished attorney, educator and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion. Currently, she is the inaugural Executive Director for Inclusion and Equity at NYU Abu Dhabi, leading and directing programs that promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging (IDBE) for students, faculty, staff, researchers, and contracted staff. Fatiah's professional accomplishments are complemented by her personal experience as a parent of two ACS students in Elementary School. Her commitment to education and community service is grounded in her desire to ensure that all ACS students receive a challenging, comprehensive, and inclusive education.


Fatiah has an extensive leadership experience in higher education, complemented by her non-profit work and training as a lawyer and high school classroom teacher. Before her current position, Fatiah was the inaugural Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Special Assistant to the President at Sarah Lawrence College. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Dean of Diversity and International Advising and the Director of the Academic Achievement Program at the College of Arts and Science at NYU.


Fatiah received her B.A., with Honors, in Journalism and Africana Studies from NYU, her Masters of Science in Education from The City University of New York - Brooklyn College, and her Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law. 

RobinSolomon

Robin Solomon

U.S. Embassy Representative

Robin Solomon

Robin Solomon is an American diplomat specialized in public diplomacy, with experience in serving at US embassies and consulates in six countries. She has advanced American cultural, educational and media relations in the US Foreign Service through assignments in Jerusalem, Moscow, Minsk, Bishkek, Adana and now Abu Dhabi. She has three children at ACS. 

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English and supporting community organizations in Kazakhstan. Robin holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and also completed coursework at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and the University of Paris. She speaks Arabic, Russian and French. 

Monique Flickinger

Monique Flickinger

Superintendent

Monique Flickinger

Monique has more than 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 grown and married. Monique loves to cook, can always find a little extra time for shoe shopping and has a known weakness for chocolate!

 

Dr Victor Guthrie

Dr. Victor Guthrie

Assistant Superintendent

Dr. Victor Guthrie

Victor has more than 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, have two young daughters and together enjoy cooking, traveling, camping, hiking and off-roading. They are both lifelong learners, and are constantly pursuing educational enrichment.

Amy Greene

Amy Greene

High School Principal

Amy Greene

Amy 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 children Bobby and Callum.

Karl Poulin

Karl Poulin

Middle School Principal

Karl Poulin

Karl hails from Canada and has worked in international education for more than 20 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 joined the ACS community with his wife, Sabine, who works in the Elementary School, and their son, Freddie. Karl is a passionate hockey fan (Go Leafs Go!) and enjoys reading, cooking, diving, traveling and getting out for the occasional run.

Heather Collins

Heather Collins

Elementary School Principal

Heather Collins

Heather joined ACS in 2020 from the International School of Düsseldorf where she worked as the Elementary School Principal. She has enjoyed working and living in many different communities around the world. The diverse experiences from Colombia, Mexico, Canada, USA, Syria, Brazil and Germany, have helped shape who she is as a leader, educator and learner. Heather enjoys getting outdoors and exploring because she believes the world we experience outdoors on a daily basis continuously sparks our curiosity and feeds our inherent need to learn. She is joined in Abu Dhabi by her husband, Kevin, who works in the High School as a Science teacher. They have two adult children, Georgia and Sam, in Canada. 

Dr. Jen Ricks

Dr. Jen Ricks

Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning

Dr. Jen Ricks

Jen 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.

Christina Devitt

Christina Devitt

Director of Learning Innovation and eLearning

Christina Devitt

Christina joined the ACS community in 2021.  She holds a degree in Computer Science and Masters in Liberal Arts and Philosophy and has been a teacher and technology leader for many years, working in schools in Brooklyn, NY (where she and her husband call home), Japan and Indonesia. She has relished working in schools at a time when digital tools and the innovator’s mindset are helping to transform every aspect of education, not to mention being critical to keeping us all connected. 

Bobbi Donison Charles, Assistant High School Principal

Bobbi Donison Charles

High School Assistant Principal

Bobbi Donison Charles

Bobbi 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 ACS High School and her two children, Elijah and Coco.

Rob Desormeau

Rob Desormeau

Middle School Assistant Principal

Rob Desormeau

Rob is from Ontario, Canada, and has been an educator in international schools for more than 15 years in China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He enjoys living overseas and the many traveling experiences that have helped him continue to be an open-minded, lifelong learner. He is also an avid sports fan who grew up playing multiple competitive sports. Rob is joined by his wife, Amy Mulvihill, who teaches in the Elementary School, and their two children Byron and Cleo, who attend ACS Elementary School.

Evelyn Lucero

Evelyn Lucero

Elementary School Assistant Principal

Evelyn Lucero

Joining ACS in 2022, Evelyn has more than 20 years of experience in education as a K-12 curriculum coordinator, classroom teacher and instructional coach. She also worked at Saigon South International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as the Elementary School Literacy and Social Studies Coach and Summer School Director. She has also worked in Beijing, China and Los Angeles, California, USA. Evelyn is a National Board Certified Teacher with a Master in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge and a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Azusa Pacific University. She holds a Teaching Credential and Administrative Credential from the state of California. 

Jean Rueckert

Jean Rueckert

Director of World Languages

Jean Rueckert

Jean is an experienced international learning leader and World Language specialist in K-12 education with three decades of service in highly regarded independent and international schools. Before joining ACS, she worked in Minnesota, India, Singapore and Ethiopia, in schools valuing the development of multilingual, global citizens. Jean holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Secondary Education, a Master of Arts in Spanish, as well as Ed. leadership certificates in Understanding by Design and International School Leadership. Jean thrives as a learner and contributing member of a team. She is passionate about empowering other learners, young and adult. When outside of school, Jean enjoys walks with her husband, dance classes and traveling.

Hanadi Dayyeh Photo.jpg

Dr. Hanadi Dayyeh

Director of Arabic Programs

Dr. Hanadi Dayyeh

Hanadi is a specialist in Arabic language and linguistics and has taught Arabic to native and non-native speakers for more than 15 years. She led and audited Arabic programs in several international and American schools in countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE and has trained Arabic language teachers in international conferences and private schools. She chaired the Near East South Asia (NESA) Arabic Advisory group and is also a member of the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) World Language team that oversees the development, implementation and review of world languages standards and benchmarks in international and American overseas schools. She also has developed Arabic programs for both heritage and non-native speakers from KG1 through middle school. Hanadi and her husband moved from Beirut where she was the Curriculum and Arabic Program Coordinator. They have two daughters, one in university and another in our High School.

Meme Spurgeon

MeMe Spurgeon

Director of Student Support Services

MeMe has worked in education for more than 25 years. She believes that fairness is not about giving everyone the same thing, but about giving each student what they need to be successful. This is what drives her as an educator and a leader. Her experience with special education prompted her to create and author a direct-instruction program. She has served in various leadership roles in grades K-12 and holds a Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her greatest reward is that she plays a role in the lives of so many students, by helping them surpass milestones and overcome barriers many people thought were impossible. Outside of school, she enjoys outdoor activities both on land and in the water. MeMe is an avid reader and does not go anywhere without her Kindle. She also likes to attend concerts, plays and any theater-based activities and is ready to take full advantage of the numerous activities offered in Abu Dhabi.

Preben Gietz

Preben Gietz

Director of Athletics and Activities

As an international educator, Preben has more than 10 years of experience in providing students of all ages with opportunities to participate in sports and in developing co-curricular activity offerings. He has worked in schools of all sizes and in many different cultural settings. Preben's personal background - being born in Germany, having grown up in an international environment in Belgium where he obtained the International Baccalaureate diploma and attending college as a student-athlete in the United States – allows him to appreciate the value of cultural diversity within a school’s community and the role co-curricular engagement plays in developing a young person’s character. He holds a Master of Education in Athletic Administration from Endicott College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Clark University.

Preben and his wife, Emily, have two young children. He enjoys being active, listening to a wide range of podcasts and has recently developed an interest in cooking, which Emily hopes is not just a fad.

Jodi Lefort

Jodi Lefort

Director of Admissions

Jodi Lefort

Jodi and her family joined ACS in August 2016 but have lived and worked in the region since 2000. She has a daughter enrolled in ACS and three adult children.

Jodi has more than 25 years’ experience as an educator. Before arriving in Abu Dhabi, she was 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 a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the early 90s, working as a teacher trainer at Luhansk Pedagogical Institute in Ukraine. She has an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

YvetteCampbell2021_WEB

Yvette L. Campbell

Director of Institutional Advancement

Yvette L. Campbell

Yvette 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 bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and Dramatic Art-Dance from the University of California Berkley. Her eldest daughter is a 2019 graduate of ACS and her younger daughter is a 2022 graduate of ACS. Yvette is a passionate and committed not-for-profit professional who enjoys dance. 

Marise Philip-Jayendran

Marise Philip-Jayendran

Director of Human Resources

Marise Philip-Jayendran

Marise comes from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. 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 'Kaitlin, ACS class of 2019 and Celina, ACS class of 2022. The Jayendrans enjoy traveling all over the world and experiencing new adventures.

Joni Wills

Joni Wills

Director of Communications

Joni Wills

Joni is an integrated marketing communications professional with more than a decade of corporate experience ranging from established, global companies to a developing start-up company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She and her husband have a daughter in the Elementary School and a son who is a future Viper. Joni enjoys exploring new places, reading as much as possible, traveling and pretending to be an excellent chef. 

Zoltan Karaszy

Zoltan Karaszy

Director of Finance

Zoltan Karaszy

Zoltan is from Budapest, Hungary. He earned his degrees (DMS and MBA) with Oxford Brookes University. Previously, Zoltan worked as the Director of Finances and Operations at the American International School in Budapest for 24 years.  He joined ACS in 2014, originally as Director of Operations, Health and Safety for the first three years. 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.

Mahmoud Bafagih

Mahmoud Bafagih

Director of Government Relations

Mahmoud Bafagih

Mahmoud has been a member of the ACS community since 1995. Originally from Mombasa, Kenya, Mahmoud has lived in the UAE for more than 30 years. Mahmoud loves watching, playing and coaching soccer. He is the proud coach of the ACS Under-14 Boys Soccer Team!

waheeda_altamimi

Waheeda Al Tamimi

Executive Assistant to the Superintendent

Waheeda Al Tamimi

Waheeda 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.

 

Antonis Slicher 1.jpg

Dr. Antonis Slicher

Director of Project Operations

Dr. Antonis Slicher

Antonis holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a PhD in Construction Management, with a career in the construction industry spanning more than 25 years. Antonis is responsible for delivering our new campus on Saadiyat Island, and has served on the Building Committee since 2017. Originally from the Netherlands and Greece, Antonis and his family have been with ACS since 2012. His son Philippos graduated from ACS in 2019 and is currently a second-year university student in the Netherlands, while his daughter Antigoni is an ACS senior this year. Antonis and his wife are both ACS Athens graduates, where they also met, and Kalli has been working in the Middle School for many years. Antonis enjoys traveling, walking, listening to music and practicing his flight simulation skills.

Manoj

Manoj Kunnanoth

Facilities Manager

Manoj Kunnanoth

Manoj has been with the ACS family for more than 30 years. 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 MS and HS art assistant, and they have two boys, Manas and Abhijay. When he has free time, he enjoys playing cricket and watching movies. 

Chiho Stenger

Chiho Stenger

School Nurse
Karen AlNobani

Karen AlNobani

School Nurse
Jannah Onvlee

Jannah Onvlee

Health Office Assistant
KiaBeguesse

Kia Beguesse

Counselor | Grades 8-9

Kia has spent the past 21 years working in education. In addition to being a School Counselor (EC-12), Kia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor. Her career began in Texas teaching middle and high school social studies. During that time, Kia realized her affinity for helping students with social, personal and emotional issues. She spent one year as an elementary counselor before becoming a high school comprehensive counselor. Since 2013, Kia has worked in international schools in Dubai and London. Kia is excited to return to the region and to join the ACS community.

Phil Abraham

Phil Abraham

Counselor | Grades 10-12

Phil previously worked as a High School Counselor at GEMS American Academy (GAA) Abu Dhabi. Prior to that he worked as a counselor, teacher, and social worker in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mr. Abraham's counseling background ranges from K-12 and focusing on students' personal, social, and academic development as well as their post-secondary planning. Having been in Abu Dhabi for many years, Mr. Abraham is familiar to many ACS families through his involvement in local high school and community athletics, specifically, wrestling and rugby. In his free time, Mr. Abraham enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing and watching sports, traveling, and discovering new places to eat.

Jasmine Elshear

Jasmine Elshear

Counselor | Grades 10-12

Born and raised in New York City, USA, Jasmine proudly embraces her Egyptian heritage and fluency in Arabic as part of her identity. Since joining ACS in 2019,  Jasmine has served in a variety of roles supporting the High School and its students. She holds a Master of Arts in K-12 School Counseling and Guidance from NYU  and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Joseph’s College in New York City, USA. 

Her career trajectory started in the corridors of the United Nations, where she interned and worked with various UN agencies and civil society organizations, only to be captivated by the world of education during her tenure at a school in the heart of New York City. She continued to earn experience in counseling, working with Philadelphia Performing Arts: A String Theory Charter School and IQ Academy Minnesota.  

While many people have influenced her journey, the most significant presence is undeniably her remarkable mother. She enjoys spending time with her husband, friends and family and being in Egypt. When not in school, you can find her exploring malls, either shopping or enjoying a meal.

Patrick stenger

Patrick Stenger

Counselor | Grades 10-12

Having spent most of his career internationally, Patrick has served as a high school counselor/university and careers advisor at the International School of Beijing, a university and careers advisor at Bangkok Patana School, a high school counselor at Shanghai American School-Pudong and K-12 school counselor at the Osaka International School. He began his career internationally as a K-12 counselor at the International School of Aberdeen in Scotland. He holds a Master of Science in Educational Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. 

Steph Tao

Steph Tao

Counselor | Grades 10-12

Steph is an international educator who has worked in East and Southeast Asia for the last ten years as a comprehensive counselor, college counselor and US university admissions recruiter. She is a member of the International Association for College Admissions Counseling and currently serves as a representative for the Inclusion, Access and Success Committee. Steph's background in anthropology, international education and counseling led her to believe in the strength of a students' understanding of their own identity and experiences to navigate their world and make empowering choices. She earned a Master of Education in International Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Outside of school, Steph likes adventure- traveling, scuba diving, and enjoying the outdoors. She loves to learn about cultures through food, books, music and the arts. Steph is moving to Abu Dhabi with her adopted ginger cat named Ulan.

Bernadette Brown

Bernadette Brown

Counselor | Grades 6-7

Bernadette’s career as a school counselor began 17 years ago in South Carolina and then Northern Virginia. Her appreciation and interest in experiencing different cultures led her to Guangzhou, China, where she worked as a comprehensive school counselor and university counselor. Her next stop was Maputo, Mozambique, where she served as a secondary school counselor. Bernadette believes that when students feel safe and nurtured and their uniqueness and self-worth are recognized, then they will succeed to their fullest potential. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Education Specialist in Counselor Education. 

Farwa Devji

Farwa Devji

Counselor | KG1 and Grade 4
Dana allen

Dana Allen

Counselor | KG2 and Grade 3

Dana started out her career as a psychiatric social worker providing individual, family and play therapy for children and their families in her home state of Connecticut. She then went on to work as an anti-violence counselor for Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation in a middle school setting in Union City, New Jersey. It was there that she discovered her passion for working in schools with teachers, students and their parents. She went on to work in schools (grades K-12) for the next eight years as a school social worker before moving to Abu Dhabi with her family. Since then she has been a parent volunteer, Girl Scout Troop leader and member of School Social Workers of America. Last spring she covered for Ms. Robin’s maternity leave as Elementary School counselor, and she is so excited to be returning to ACS this fall. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Casework and a specialization in School Social Work and Substance Abuse and Addiction, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies.

Robin Gabriel

Robin Gabriel

Counselor | Grades 1, 2 & 5
Jelica Martin

Jelica Martin

PTA President

Ever since my daughter started school, I've had a drive to be involved. From being a Girl Scout leader, to currently serving as the PTA Vice President. Throughout the years, I've volunteered as a parent liaison, PTA officer, trip chaperone, and International Day chair. Serving on the board gives us the opportunity to show our children the importance we place on education and the value of serving others. As President, I will strive to strengthen the family-school relationship, continue to support our students' enlightenment and make a change for the better.

Sarah Ashley

Sarah Ashley

PTA Vice President

I have 3 children in ACS and we are coming into our 3rd year in Abu Dhabi. In 2023/24, they will be entering grade 6, 4, and 1. I love living in Abu Dhabi and enjoy dragon boating on the mangroves, being active and outside as much as possible (in the winter anyways) and co-leading my 5 year old daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

I have a strong background in administration and leadership, including a Presidential role for an International Women’s nonprofit group with a focus on charitable fundraising for the community. Skills required include leadership, organization, critical thinking, problem solving, financial management, and effective communication - all of which will serve me as I continue on with the ACS PTA.

When we first joined ACS, the community was still following many covid restrictions. This past year, when all that lifted, I really took the opportunity to be involved. I served on this year’s committees for the Fall Festival and International Day, and volunteered with Holiday Extravaganza and on the New Family Welcoming Committee. I’ve also been involved as a class liaison for the past couple of years for my son’s 4th and 5th grade classes. I’ve really enjoyed getting involved in the ACS community and supporting our PTA, administration, teachers, and families and look forward to continuing to do so. I would love to help with the transition to our new campus in 2024 and bridge our ACS traditions and events with this new space.

Jen Bray

Jen Bray

PTA Secretary

We moved to Abu Dhabi in August of 2022 and I have 2 children that attend ACS, currently in 8th and 10th grade. Originally from California, I have had the opportunity to live in different parts of the states, as well as 2 previous overseas assignments.

Since arriving at ACS, I have volunteered with the Book Sale and helped with preparations for the Holiday Extravaganza. Over the years, I have volunteered with various non-profit organizations and PTAs. Of particular note, I have previous experience on the boards of many organizations, including two years as PTA secretary at an American International School. I would love to use that experience to benefit the entire ACS community!

Neha Karumanchi

Neha Karumanchi

PTA Treasurer

I have been a resident of Abu Dhabi since 2016 and am a proud parent of two children – Aanya (Grade 6) and Viraat (Grade 1). I have served as the treasurer on the ACS PTA for 2019-2021 and have been a part of the Fall Festival and International Day committees, in addition to volunteering as a homeroom parent, Grade Liaison and Girl Scouts leader. My experiences in all these roles have allowed me to further immerse myself in the ACS community, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the school.

Nabil Abbas

Nabil Abbas

CV

EOI

Video

OmarAsfour

Omar Asfour

SerenaCarnevale

Serena Carnevale

NaderHebela

Nader Hebela

BradHeming

Brad Heming

Adib Mattar

Adib Mattar

GordonProuty

Gordon Prouty

OmarQandeel

Omar Qandeel

Tejinder Sandhu

Tejinder Sandhu

May-yi Shaw

May-yi Shaw

EliasShehadie

Elias Shehadie

Hanadi Dayyeh Photo.jpg

Dr. Hanadi Dayyeh

Chair, Arabic Institute Council

Hanadi Dayyeh, PhD, is a researcher in the field of Arabic Historical Linguistics. Her research focuses on the evolution of the Arabic linguistic theory and its impact on the teaching of Arabic. Dr. Dayyeh led and audited the Arabic programs in several international and American schools in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. She has trained hundreds of Arabic language teachers in international conferences and private schools.

Hanadi Dayyeh has led Queen Rania Teachers Academy’s (QRTA) project for developing standards for teaching Arabic as a native language. She participated in the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) project as a member of the World Languages team. The team oversees the development, implementation and review of the world languages standards and benchmarks in the international and American overseas schools.  She has also chaired the Near East South Asia (NESA) Arabic Advisory group and was a member of NESA’s Professional Development Advisory Committee.

Dr. Dayyeh has several publications. In addition to her published research in the field of Arabic Linguistics, she has developed an Arabic program for learners of Arabic as a World language in grades 1-8, an Arabic program for heritage learners, and a pre-school Arabic program based on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory. She has also published several children’s stories.

ChristineBrown

Dr. Christine Brown

Dr. Christine Brown is a Regional Education Officer (REO) in the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State covering the Western European Region. Dr. Brown also serves as the DOS representative to the International Child Protection Task Force and to the Educational Collaborative for International Schools. Prior to joining the Department of State in 2013, she served as Deputy Director at the Carol Morgan School in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Brown served as an administrator in the Glastonbury, Connecticut Public Schools for 28 years, first as the Director of K-12 Foreign Languages and ELL, and later, as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.

Dr. Brown chaired the AERO World Languages Standards writing project for DOS. She has testified before the United States Congress on behalf of language education, and initiated and co-chaired the Year of Languages Campaign in the United States. Over the course of her career, Dr. Brown has served as a president of state, regional and national language teacher organizations including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

In February 2019, she was awarded the Keith Miller Innovation Award from the Association for the Advancement of International Education for her work in Child Protection around the world. In March 2019, Dr. Brown received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award at Gwynedd Mercy University for her Doctoral Dissertation, The Effects of Early Foreign Language Study on English Reading Comprehension.

OmimaElAraby

Omima El Araby

A specialist in Arabic language and literature, Omima El Araby has extensive experience teaching Arabic and designing rigorous foreign language programs. She has been teaching the Arabic Language since 1981 in Egypt and Kuwait for native speakers and for non-native speakers in the USA since 1991.

She previously worked for the Defense Language Institute in Monterey (DLI), California as a Language Instructor, teaching Modern Standard Arabic and the Egyptian Dialect. She also served as a Course Developer and Test Writer and co-authored a number of textbooks, digital instructional material and proficiency-based tests for the use of the DLI.

In 2005 she served as an Arabic Language Lecturer at the University of Virginia (UVA), in Charlottesville, Virginia. She joined NYUAD since its establishment in the fall semester of 2010 and was one of the founding team members of the Arabic Studies Program. She served as the Program Assistant Director since the fall semester of 2015. Starting of the fall semester of 2019 she was appointed as the Head of the Arabic Studies Program.

RimaKarami-Akkary

Dr. Rima Karami-Akkary

Rima Karami-Akkary is an Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Policy and Leadership in the Department of Education at the American University of Beirut and the Chairperson of the Department of Education. She is also the program convener for the Educational Management and Leadership program. Her research mainly focuses on understanding the current practices of school leaders and designing approaches to build capacity among them to lead school improvement initiatives. She has published in international and local journals on the principal role, approaches to professional development, program and organizational level evaluation, and models for school-based reform.

Dr. Karami-Akkary is the director and the principal investigator of the TAMAM project, a research and development project serving 70 schools in 9 Arab countries. The TAMAM project launched in 2007 as a grant funded by the Arab Thought Foundation at AUB to initiate school-based reform and research on how to build leadership skills for sustainable schools. The project has received additional funding from the LORE Foundation, the Taawon Association, and Al Maymouna organization. She currently serves as the Chairperson of the executive committee of Shamaa (Arab Information Educational Network); and the coordinator for the Education sector in the AUB based Khaddit Beirut Initiative.

She holds a Bachelor in Science, Diploma for teaching science at the secondary level, and Master of Arts in Science Education from the American University of Beirut (AUB), and a Doctorate in Education from Portland State University with a specialty in [K-12] Educational Administration and Supervision with a focus on school principalship, organizational change and educational policy.

ZeinabTaha

Dr. Zeinab Taha

Zeinab Taha is a Professor of Arabic language and linguistics at the American University in Cairo. She received her BA and MA from the American University in Cairo and her PhD from Georgetown University. She has been working in the field of Teaching Arabic as A Foreign Language for decades. After obtaining her MA in TAFL, she taught in highly reputable universities in the US and Europe in addition to the Arabic Language Institute at the American University in Cairo where she assumed the position of its director in addition to being the co-director of the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA). Most recently, she was the Interim Dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at AUC.

Dr. Taha is currently the Director of the MA TAFL program at the department of Applied Linguistics. Her publications are in the field of applied and theoretical linguistics especially on grammatical theory and language variation.

MaryTadros

Mary Tadros

Mary Tadros is a Senior Manager, Development, Recognition and eAssessment with the IB. She is a lead  IB educator with extensive experience as a workshop leader, consultant, team leader, visiting team chair  and  programme and evaluation leader for school evaluation visits. She also chairs New England Association of schools and colleges (NEASC) visiting teams to accredit schools internationally.

She worked at the Amman Baccalaureate School for 25 years and the last two posts held were head of senior school and head of Middle Years School.

She worked for two years as the senior education advisor at  the office of her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdulla and for 12 years Academic Programs Advisor for Queen Rania Teacher Academy (QRTA) working on Pre-Service and In-Service teacher education programmes in Jordan and the region.

DavidWilmsen

Dr. David Wilmsen

David Wilmsen holds a PhD in Arabic language and linguistics from the University of Michigan. He has spent most of his career teaching in and directing Arabic study-abroad programmes at the American University of Sharjah, the American University of Beirut, the American University in Cairo, and Georgetown University, teaching Arabic as a foreign language, and topics in Arabic/English translation and Arabic linguistics. He is co-editor and contributor to the recent Cambridge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics.

KiaBeguesse

Kia Beguesse

Counselor | Grades 8-9

Kia has spent the past 21 years working in education. In addition to being a School Counselor (EC-12), Kia is a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Board Certified Counselor. Her career began in Texas teaching middle and high school social studies. During that time, Kia realized her affinity for helping students with social, personal and emotional issues. She spent one year as an elementary counselor before becoming a high school comprehensive counselor. Since 2013, Kia has worked in international schools in Dubai and London. Kia is excited to return to the region and to join the ACS community.

Anna Obraztsova

Anna Obraztsova

Health Office Assistant
Dr Victor Guthrie

Haneen Basheer

PM

Students With Chronic Health Issues: Students with asthma, high-risk allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. are required to have a HealthCare Plan completed yearly by parents. We also require supporting health reports and as appropriate, emergency medication with a copy of the prescription. If Middle and High School students wish to carry their own inhaler/epipen, they must discuss with the Health Office first.

When parents inform us of a health concern for their child, a medical alert icon with a brief description becomes visible to their teacher to support student well being/safety across the campus.

Students With Allergies: ACS is an allergy-aware campus and seeks to create an environment in which children with severe allergies can learn to make appropriate choices to keep themselves safe. Due to the high number of students with nut allergies, we advise no nuts on campus.

COVID Management

ACS follows the guidelines required by the authorities to ensure strict infection control measures are in place throughout the campus.

Additional Health Information

Immunizations: Please see the UAE Childhood Immunization Program detailing the DOH School-Based Immunization Program. ACS parents are sent consent forms for completion during the relevant grade. Some students will already have received these vaccinations elsewhere and we will require up-to-date vaccination records for our health data reporting. The Health Office can advise on immunization requirements.

 

Medication Requirements: ACS students are not permitted to carry or administer any medication without consulting with the Health Office. A medication consent form for short-term courses of medication is required. Please email ACS nurses with details.

Health Screenings: Parent consent to DOH School Health Screening G1-12 at the time of enrollment. This is for the DOH Health Data Reporting and includes details around Height, Weight, Distance Vision screening (color vision screening for certain grades). 

At present this is suspended due to the COVID restrictions within schools, unless parents request individually.

 

Sickness or Injury During the School Day: When students become unwell or injured during the school day, communicating with parents and monitoring of communicable disease/illness is undertaken by the Health Office. All visits to the Health Office are recorded within Veracross and, when appropriate, a parent is informed with appropriate follow-up or referral.

For gastric health problems (vomiting/diarrhea), please ensure a minimum of 24 hours clear of symptoms without using any medication prior to the return to school.

Additional Resources from the United Arab Emirates and International Health Agencies

For any medical support or inquiries, contact Department of Health at 8001717