Our Team - Aspen Heights British School

Our Team

Aspen Heights British School staff recognise the responsibility and the privilege of developing and supporting your child to be the best they can be. Our staff care. They work incredibly hard to get to know your child’s strengths and their hopes, dreams and aspirations, enabling them to facilitate a truly personalised education.

Our learning community extends to our staff; we are on a constant quest for personal and organisational improvement, supported by bespoke training and professional development for all staff.

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Emma Shanahan

Principal

Emma Shanahan

Principal

Mrs Emma Shanahan has worked in education for almost 25 years, starting as a primary school teacher in London. A graduate of the University of Durham, Emma considers herself a 'lifelong learner', being awarded NPQH (National Professional Headship Qualification) in 2013, and receiving a MA (ed)(distinction) from Liverpool Hope University in 2016.

She has held strategic leadership roles in high performing schools both in the UK and internationally, with significant Middle-East regional experience. The impact of Emma’s leadership is regional, and externally validated with her school being graded ‘outstanding’ in every category in the unified inspection framework in 2015-16.

Passionate, focussed and ambitious, Emma has exceptionally high expectations of herself and others. She is experienced in establishing and facilitating processes for personal and organisational continuous evaluation and improvement, exemplified by the organisational attainment of the International Investors in People award.

Emma's philosophy of education is centred around building positive relationships, and

+971 2 564 2229 ext 106
My passion is to inspire children to be successful now and equip them to be successful later.

Laura Stevens

Head of Primary

Laura Stevens

Head of Primary

Miss Laura Stevens is a dedicated and enthusiastic educational practitioner with over 14 years of teaching and leadership experience in both the UK and the UAE.

Miss Stevens has been living in Abu Dhabi for the last nine years working in outstanding primary schools and more recently, supporting the transition and set-up of Aspen Heights British School, which is now in its second year.

Miss Stevens really enjoys the experiences that she has encountered living here in Abu Dhabi and the relationships that she has developed within this vibrant and multicultural community.

Miss Stevens believes that in order for a school to be successful in Abu Dhabi, strong community links and positive relationships are vital. She is committed to leading and supporting staff in creating an enjoyable, inspiring and personalised curriculum, as she wants all children to reach their potential and develop a real love for learning.

Strong links and positive relationships between the school are the community are vital.

Kate Plumb

Head of Secondary

Kate Plumb

Head of Secondary

Dr. Kate Plumb has worked in education for over 15 years, with considerable experience in UK schools, having started her career teaching Science in Surrey, UK.  She is a Science graduate of the University of Nottingham and then went on to complete her Doctorate at Keele University where she wrote her thesis on Inorganic Chemistry.

She has worked for many years in the UK and then for a period in Australia before moving to Abu Dhabi.  Dr. Plumb has held senior leadership roles in the region for the past 7 years, with a focus on improving schools, especially the secondary sections. During this time, she completed her Masters degree in Education.

Dr. Plumb is enthusiastic and passionate about education.  She believes that a successful secondary education is underpinned by the simple principles that children are offered quality learning experiences through innovative, enquiry based learning and that they are keenly aware of what

My goal is to make a difference in the world by improving educational standards

Helene Francis

Head of Inclusion (PODCO)

Helene Francis

Head of Inclusion (PODCO)

Mrs Helene Francis is a graduate of University College, Dublin, Ireland, and has been in education for nearly 40 years. She spent the first half of her career teaching Mathematics and Geography to students in KS3 and KS4 in Dublin, Ireland and St Alban’s, UK. With the challenge of state examinations every year, Helene combined a deep knowledge of her subjects with a passion for teaching and learning, and had high expectations of her students. However, she also promoted a holistic education, organising various field trips, outdoor activities and charitable work.

Over time, Helene developed a passion for working with children who have additional educational needs and so she returned to University College, Dublin to qualify in Special Education. Since then she has held SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator) roles in a number of schools. She brings patience and humour to her work, always encouraging children to ‘have a go’, promoting

I always encourage children to ‘have a go’, as self-confidence and independence are the cornerstones of children's ability to succeed.

Leanne Faulkner

Head of Teaching and Learning

Leanne Faulkner

Head of Teaching and Learning

Miss Leanne Faulkner has been a primary teacher for 7 years after graduating from Worcester University with a PGCE. Before this she studied English at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland for three years. She taught across all primary ages in schools in the UK before moving to Abu Dhabi in August 2017.

Leanne has a particular passion for engaging children in phonics, reading and writing and has had some fantastic opportunities to work with Pie Corbett, who created the Talk 4 Writing approach to learning. She has been able to implement this in schools in England and is now very much enjoying doing the same at Aspen Heights British School.

Driven and passionate about the progress of children, Leanne works hard to ensure her colleagues are supported and that the children’s learning in all subject areas is a top priority.

If children are happy and learning is fun and engaging, they will love learning and this is when accelerated progress will be made.

Ouassila Knani

Head of Arabic and Islamic

Aspen Heights British School - Ousassila Knani
Aspen Heights British School - Ousassila Knani

Ouassila Knani

Head of Arabic and Islamic

Miss Ouassila Knani has been a primary teacher for 15 years. After graduating from university in Tunisia in 2000, she completed a Bachelor's degree in Education from Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi. She has taught across all primary ages in schools in Abu Dhabi.

Ouassila has a passion for engaging children in reading, writing and speaking in Arabic; she has some fantastic teaching strategies to use in the classroom. She has implemented these strategies in an outstanding school in Abu Dhabi, and is now very much enjoying doing the same at Aspen Heights British School.

Ouasilla is committed to collaborating with families to ensure home and school work together to raise standards in all Arabic subjects.

If children are happy and learning is fun and engaging, they will love learning and this is when accelerated progress will be made.

Adriaan Nieman

Finance Manager

Adriaan Nieman

Finance Manager

I am very enthusiastic to be the first Finance Manager for Aspen Heights.

I have 11 years’ experience within the finance departments of international educational institutions. All my knowledge gained will be used to make Aspen Heights an exceptional school.

Nature and the protection of our environment is close to my heart, thus it excites me to work at a school that will incorporate these values into the education of the children.

Math and Success Add Up

Ange Sakapaji

Marketing & Admissions Manager

Aspen Heights British School - Ange Sakapaji
Aspen Heights British School - Ange Sakapaji

Ange Sakapaji

Marketing & Admissions Manager

Ange has 18 years marketing experience, since graduating in BA (Hons) Business Studies in Aberdeen, UK in 2001.

Working as a Global Marketing Manager for an oil supply company in Aberdeen, Scotland for 11 years, Angela has experience across the sales and marketing mix.  In Abu Dhabi, Ange has enjoyed marketing and customer service roles in business, relocation and a long-established British school, before joining Aspen Heights in summer 2018.

Ange is delighted to join the team at Aspen and looks forward to meeting and welcoming our current and prospective families.

I love working at Aspen with the wonderful team of friendly, passionate and enthusiastic people. It is lovely to meet all our new families, show them around and see the children settle in so well, and grow and develop.

Sandy Saadeh

Registrar

Sandy Saadeh

Registrar

+971 2 564 2229 ext 106
I believe that working hard and being honest are the main ingredients for reaching your goals and for sure, never stop learning!

Krishna Doherty

Human Resources Manager

Aspen Heights British School - Krishna Doherty
Aspen Heights British School - Krishna Doherty

Krishna Doherty

Human Resources Manager

Krishna Doherty has over 15 years’ of human resources experience including: recruitment and retention, change management, salary administration, performance management, benefits and employee relations across a number of industries.

Krishna holds a Higher National Diploma in Business Studies with Human Resource from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College in Buckshire. She is also certified as a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in Human Resources (CIPD).

She is very passionate and enjoys helping employees reach their goals, building relationships and ensuring best HR practices. Krishna also enjoys mentoring up-and-coming HR professionals where she shares her knowledge and passion for HR.

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Rasha Sandouka

Marketing and Admissions Assistant

Rasha Sandouka

Marketing and Admissions Assistant

Rasha has diversified experience across Education, Customer Service and Administration . She holds a BA in English Literature from AAU in Jordan. At Aspen she is very active team player, playing a pivotal role in the Admissions Team with specific focus on building relationships with parents and helping them understand Aspen Heights values, and ensuring smooth admission for their children.
As an active sociable individual Rasha enjoys staying fit and going to the gym. She says her friends would describe her as spontaneous, easy going, loving, thoughtful and a good listener.

Diana Rayyan

School Administrator

Diana Rayyan

School Administrator

Rouba El-Katib

Finance Assistant

Aspen Heights British School - Rouba El Katib
Aspen Heights British School - Rouba El Katib

Rouba El-Katib

Finance Assistant

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Qusai Meree

PRO

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Ruba Asa’d

Receptionist

Ruba Asa’d

Receptionist

Martine McLuskey

Early Years Leader & Nursery Teacher

Aspen Heights British School - Martine McLuskey
Aspen Heights British School - Martine McLuskey

Martine McLuskey

Early Years Leader & Nursery Teacher

Over the last 13 years, Martine has continually strived to gain experience and knowledge in order to help her to have a stronger understanding of the teaching profession. She has held various roles in early years settings and primary schools, these being; Teaching Assistant, Learning Support Assistant, Setting Based SENCO, Behaviour Co-ordinator and now Teacher. During her employment in these roles, she also studied to obtain a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a Master's Degree in Education.

Although classroom learning and development is at the forefront of a child’s education, Martine is a firm believer in providing pupils with the skills to communicate in the wider world. Her experience in the UK has given her the opportunity to instill understanding and cohesion of different cultures in her teaching. An inclusive curriculum that gives all children an opportunity to learn is vital.

An inclusive curriculum that gives all children an opportunity to learn is vital.

Eimear Morris

Class Teacher - Nursery

Aspen Heights British School - Eimear Morris
Aspen Heights British School - Eimear Morris

Eimear Morris

Class Teacher - Nursery

Eimear has worked in primary education for over 7 years. She has worked in schools across Ireland and the U.K. before coming to the UAE.

She strongly believes in an educational pedagogy that puts children first in order to allow them to reach their full holistic potential. She is passionate and enthusiastic about ensuring teaching and learning is tailored to the needs of each individual child while also developing positive relationships with the children. Eimear tries to instil a love for learning in the children in order to help children develop a positive attitude to education.

Meghan Manica

Class Teacher - Nursery

Aspen Heights British School - Meghan Manica
Aspen Heights British School - Meghan Manica

Meghan Manica

Class Teacher - Nursery

Miss Meghan Manica is an organised, passionate and dedicated educator who has a great love for learning and inspiring young minds. This being her 15th year of teaching, she has taught in the UK and South Africa before coming to Abu Dhabi.
Meghan is loving her time in the UAE and is thoroughly enjoying embracing all this amazing country has to offer.
Meghan has a passion for learning about new insights on the various aspects of teaching, improving her knowledge and skills through courses and workshops that she has attended throughout her career. She is keen to share this knowledge in the development of Aspen Heights, ensuring that every child is given a happy safe environment to learn and develop to their full potential.

Samantha Ribbens

Class Teacher - FS2

Samantha Ribbens

Class Teacher - FS2

Ms Samantha Ribbens joins us from Liverpool, UK, although she has previously taught in the Middle East in Bahrain. She has a degree from Edge Hill university in Early Years education. She has taught both FS2 and Year 1 and 2, and is a passionate teacher of Literacy, co-ordinating this in her previous school.

Hilary Harris

Class Teacher - FS2

Hilary Harris

Class Teacher - FS2

Mrs Hilary Harris has lived in Abu Dhabi for many years and is joining Aspen with her two sons. Hilary joined us from another British curriculum school and has worked in education in Abu Dhabi for 13 years. She is committed to supporting children to develop healthy lifestyles and has an interest in nutrition.

Clare Quick

Class teacher - FS2

Clare Quick

Class teacher - FS2

Amy-Leigh Buckley

Class Teacher - FS2

Amy-Leigh Buckley

Class Teacher - FS2

Mrs Amy-Leigh Buckley has joined Aspen Heights from Cape Town, South Africa. She taught as a Creative Arts educator, and then as a Grade 3 (Year 4) educator, before moving to Abu Dhabi. Amy-Leigh is a lover of the Arts and is extremely passionate about incorporating the Arts into the Teaching and Learning of her class.

Megan Riley

Class Teacher - FS2

Aspen Heights British School - Megan Riley
Aspen Heights British School - Megan Riley

Megan Riley

Class Teacher - FS2

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Kirsty Corcoran

Class Teacher - Year 1

Aspen Heights British School - Kirsty Corcoran
Aspen Heights British School - Kirsty Corcoran

Kirsty Corcoran

Class Teacher - Year 1

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Rachel Roche

Class Teacher - Year 1

Rachel Roche

Class Teacher - Year 1

Rachel Roche has 8 years primary teaching experience both in the UAE and Ireland. Rachel is very energetic, organised and always looks for the best in the children she is teaching. She has a keen interest in sport, especially athletics having competed at All-Ireland and International level in javelin, and also plays the silver flute.

Kayleigh Biles

Class Teacher - Year 1

Kayleigh Biles

Class Teacher - Year 1

Kayleigh Biles has joined Aspen Heights from the UK where she has had experience of teaching both key stage 1 and foundation stage. Kayleigh is a keen sportswoman who is committed to being fully involved in the extra curricular activities in school.

Ashly Walsh

Class Teacher -Year 1

Ashly Walsh

Class Teacher -Year 1

Charlotte Clark

Class Teacher - Year 2

Aspen Heights British School - Charlotte Clark
Aspen Heights British School - Charlotte Clark

Charlotte Clark

Class Teacher - Year 2

Miss Charlotte Clark has been a primary school teacher for 4 years after graduating from the University of Gloucestershire with a BEd. She taught across KS1 in schools in the UK before moving to Abu Dhabi in August 2018. Since arriving in the UAE she has loved being welcomed by the fantastic community at Aspen Heights British School. Charlotte strives to provide rich first-hand opportunities, which are personalised, in order for all children to make progress and she enjoys watching the children grow and develop as learners.
Charlotte has a particular passion for enhancing children's learning by using technology as a tool within the classroom. She has had some fantastic opportunities to work closely with Microsoft to ensure that children become independent self-directed learners. She is excited to see that Aspen Heights British School engage well in using technology and is enjoying working towards developing it further across the school.

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Kassandra Bodenham

Class Teacher - Year 2

Kassandra Bodenham

Class Teacher - Year 2

Ms Kassandra Bodenham recently joined Aspen Heights from teaching Year 3 in the Midlands, UK, and has taught year 2 and Year 3 for the past 4 years. Kassandra is committed to engaging children in healthy lifestyles and has high expectations of her children.

Sam Green

Class Teacher - Year 2

Sam Green

Class Teacher - Year 2

Ms Sam Green has joined Aspen from teaching Year 2 in Birmingham, UK, and has over 18 years experience in schools. Sam is committed to extending children’s learning in the locality and sports.

Jennifer Ryan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Aspen Heights British School - Jennifer Ryan
Aspen Heights British School - Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Caroline Marrinan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Caroline Marrinan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Ms Caroline Marrinan has previously taught in Dubai, New York and Scotland. Caroline has attained a masters degree in education in 2015, and is committed to ensuring children of all abilities make remarkable progress.

Joseph Whelan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Joseph Whelan

Class Teacher - Year 3

Joseph joined Aspen Heights this year from Kildare, Ireland where he taught in one of the biggest schools in the country. He has worked there for 3 years, mostly with Year 3. A native of Tipperary Town, he has a keen interest in Mathematics and sport.

Danielle Radford

Class Teacher - Year 4

Danielle Radford

Class Teacher - Year 4

Danielle joined Aspen this year from Devon, UK where she taught Year 5, she is committed to teaching creatively and enjoys art, design and Music.

Roisin Mahony

Class Teacher - Year 4

Roisin Mahony

Class Teacher - Year 4

Elizabeth Barry-Cutter

Class Teacher - Year 5

Elizabeth Barry-Cutter

Class Teacher - Year 5

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Yasmin Baldoza

Class Teacher - Year 5

Yasmin Baldoza

Class Teacher - Year 5

Ms Baldoza has joined Aspen from teaching a Year 5 class in Buckinghamshire in the UK. Prior to becoming a teacher Miss Baldoza spent many summers doing voluntary teaching in countries around the world; Thailand, Cambodia and Kenya.

Michelle Ralph

Class Teacher - Year 6

Michelle Ralph

Class Teacher - Year 6

Ms Michelle Ralph has joined Aspen Heights from another school in Abu Dhabi, and is particularly passionate about teaching reading to children. Ms Ralph is originally from Ireland, and has also taught in South London before coming to the UAE.

Magdalena Trznadel

Maths Teacher & Year 8 Tutor

Magdalena Trznadel

Maths Teacher & Year 8 Tutor

Jessie Joubert

English Teacher & Year 7 Tutor

Jessie Joubert

English Teacher & Year 7 Tutor

Ms Jessie Joubert has been teaching in schools across Abu Dhabi since 2010 and has over 20 years experience in teaching English. Jessie is passionate about supporting children in developing their English skills, and supporting their personal development.

Stephen Bishop

Humanities Teacher & Year 7 Tutor

Stephen Bishop

Humanities Teacher & Year 7 Tutor

Mr Bishop joins us from Cranleigh School in Abu Dhabi, where he has been teaching Geography and supporting the inclusion team. Mr Bishop is a keen environmentalist who will be working to further develop our hydroponics garden and composting. At Aspen Mr Bishop is also our ECA Co-ordinator and Health and Safety lead.

Elizabeth Lavin

French Teacher

Elizabeth Lavin

French Teacher

Maria Yates

Music Teacher

Maria Yates

Music Teacher

Lorna Harris

Class Teacher - Oasis Class

Aspen Heights British School - Lorna Harris
Aspen Heights British School - Lorna Harris

Lorna Harris

Class Teacher - Oasis Class

Ruth Pateh

Oasis Class Teaching Assistant

Ruth Pateh

Oasis Class Teaching Assistant

Alison Grice-Glover

PE Teacher

Having graduated in 2005, Alison Glover has been teaching both in the UK and Internationally in countries including Kuwait, China and Malaysia ever since. After a short mum career break, she is delighted to have moved to Abu Dhabi with her husband and two children and to be back doing what she enjoys the most.

Alison believes that positive experiences of Physical Education can aid the development of healthy young minds and bodies and that a healthy mind enhances learning readiness and can therefore improve academic performance and achievement.

She has played competitive sports to a high level from a very young age in both netball and football and has competed in many other sports over the years. She still plays both netball and football competitively but now on a more recreational basis for fun and to keep fit. Alison likes to run and has completed many 5K, 10K and half marathon

Aaron Ram

PE Teacher & Year 8 Tutor

Aaron Ram

PE Teacher & Year 8 Tutor

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Ichraf Essaid

PE Teacher

Ichraf Essaid

PE Teacher

Hanan Kabil

Arabic & Islamic Teacher

Hanan Kabil

Arabic & Islamic Teacher

Eldesouki Elsayed Mostafa

Arabic and Islamic Teacher

Eldesouki Elsayed Mostafa

Arabic and Islamic Teacher

Alshaimaa Samir Mohamed

Arabic Teacher

Mohammed Kader

Islamic Studies Teacher

Mohammed Kader

Islamic Studies Teacher

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Iman Gomaa Ahmed

Islamic Studies Teacher

Iman Gomaa Ahmed

Islamic Studies Teacher

Basma Ahmed

Social Studies Teacher

Basma Ahmed

Social Studies Teacher

Ms Basma Ahmed has been teaching Social Studies at Aspen Heights since we opened in 2017. She has ten years experience in teaching, since graduating from Ain Shams University. Ms Basma was a lead teacher for the Moral Education and Identity Program and participated in the partnership between the International Fund for the Protection of Houbara and its integration into the educational curricula and was honoured by the Minister of Education.

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Precious Palaganas

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Precious Palaganas

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Gloria Gana

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Gloria Gana

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Claudette Genova

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Claudette Genova

Inclusion Teaching Assistant

Vineetha John

Lab Technician

Vineetha John

Lab Technician

Sonia Husni

Librarian

Sonia Husni

Librarian

Tiffany Alromaithi

Library TA

Glenn Tantug

IT Support

Glenn Tantug

IT Support

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Elsie Gould

School Counsellor

Elsie Gould

School Counsellor

Elsie has joined Aspen Heights after working as a counsellor in several schools across South London. Qualifying in Psychotherapy and Counselling at the University of East London, Elsie takes an integrative approach to her therapy with both young people and adults

Donnalyn Albay

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Donnalyn Albay

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Girlie Hammis

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Girlie Hammis

Nursery Teaching Assistant

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Merrygie Pumicpic

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Merrygie Pumicpic

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Carmela Abenion

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Carmela Abenion

Nursery Teaching Assistant

Mary Chris Bueque

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Mary Chris Bueque

FS2 Teaching Assistant

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Jeneril Loon

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Jeneril Loon

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Leslie Joy Almagro

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Leslie Joy Almagro

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Juliet Ringanilla

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Juliet Ringanilla

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Racquel Cabotage

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Racquel Cabotage

FS2 Teaching Assistant

Jenelyn Ruiz

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Jenelyn Ruiz

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Glendl Andaya

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Glendl Andaya

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Marivic Nevado

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Marivic Nevado

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Bernadette Eclarino

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Bernadette Eclarino

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

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Desiree Nebrida

Year 2 Teaching Assistant

Desiree Nebrida

Year 2 Teaching Assistant

Kimberley Barratt

Year 2 Teaching Assistant

Kimberley Barratt

Year 2 Teaching Assistant

Joanne Salvamante

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Joanne Salvamante

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Michelle Comia

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Michelle Comia

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Joanna Rojo De Leon

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Joanna Rojo De Leon

KS2 Teaching Assistant

Prashantha Poojary

HVAC

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