Al Yasat Private SchoolIN THIS SECTION
Senior Leadership Team
After graduating with a primary teaching degree majoring in physical education Jake has enjoyed a successful teaching and leadership career across four educational systems throughout Australia and in the international school sector. He has been a principal in six schools over the last thirty years building and leading learning communities. He is passionate about leadership and the positive difference that it can make to teacher and student learning outcomes. Over many years, Jake has led and facilitated the professional learning of principals and staff at school, national and international level in the area of leadership, school improvement and curriculum development. He is widely published in the area of teachers as researchers, authoring six books and a number of journal articles showcasing his experiences and research into leading educational change. He is currently on the editorial board for the International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change.
Asif’s interest in the field of education began when he developed a passion for social justice as a high school student. His enthusiasm led to acquiring a Bachelor of Arts in History and Religious Studies, and subsequently a Master of Arts in Teaching. Upon graduating he pursued a career at the Harlem Children’s Zone: Promise Academy Charter Schools under the leadership and guidance of Geoffrey Canada. The core focus being on ending generational poverty through creating a network of educational services that provided support from cradle to career. Over the course of his years working at the institution he held many roles Lead Teacher, Dean of Student, Assistant Principal, and Principal. His students and school consistently outperformed neighboring school districts. In an effort to deepen his experience and develop as an educator Asif relocated to the U.A.E. and served as a K-12 Vice Principal. Asif has led many professional development workshops on curriculum development, the Common Core standards, instructional design, using data to drive instruction, and other related topics.
Prior to joining Al Yasat private school, Thomas spent over 10 years working in education in a variety of schools in Ireland and Abu Dhabi. His roles included classroom teacher, Coordinator, Head of Year and Head of Middle School. His most recent role was Head of Middle School in a private school in Abu Dhabi. As well as his teaching qualifications, Thomas also holds a Master’s in Education and School Leadership. He hopes to continue his own education further in the coming years. With a passion for rich and challenging, inclusive and cooperative based learning, Thomas believes he brings a wealth of experience to this role. He believes in a Middle/High school-based education system that will prepare students for life after school. He aims to enhance student opportunities and help equip students with a thirst for knowledge that will motivate and help them continue to develop their academic and social abilities to succeed in our ever-changing and challenging world. Thomas is very enthusiastic about the opportunities at Al Yasat school and its community. He looks forward to being part of the school’s journey to being an outstanding provider of high-quality learning in Abu Dhabi. Outside of education Thomas enjoys both playing and watching all sports. He has a huge interest in Gaelic games and has coached and played at the highest level. He also enjoys traveling to new places, reading and spending time with his family and friends.
Tonya Henderson hails from Georgia (USA) affectionately known as the Peach State, home of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and home to the world’s busiest airport (Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport). Tonya has been an educator for 21 years with 9 years of middle school teaching experience and 12 years of senior leadership experience, mostly at the secondary level. For the past five years, Tonya has served as a Vice Principal in the public schools of Abu Dhabi. Tonya has earned multiple degrees, an Educational Specialist in Leadership (2005), a Master of Arts in Education (2001), and a Bachelor of Science (1996) respectively from the USA. Tonya’s educational interests center around the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS--a continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem solving and decision-making are practiced at all levels of the educational system for supporting students) and ensuring that all students leave school future ready to tackle jobs that don’t yet exist. In her spare time, Tonya enjoys reading educational literature, watching HGTV, and spending time with her family.
Ms. Stephens interests in education started in Elementary School. Starting her 18th year in education, she has been an educator in the United States, China, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. With a deep passion for teaching and learning, she obtained a BA in Psychology and later on a Masters Degree in Education (Special Needs -Varying Exceptionalities). She moved to the Middle East in 2012 from South Florida to expand on her repertoire has an educator and gain international experience. Mrs. Stephens has held numerous positions in the field of education, such as a classroom teacher, Math and Science Coordinator, and Assistant Principal. Her top priorities in providing every child the best learning environment to reach his/her fullest potentials are protecting instructional time, ensuring the safety of everyone on campus, keeping the lines of communication open and being available to faculty, students and parents when needed. Outside of work, Kera enjoys running, traveling, reading, and watching Conspiracy Theories.
Reem Rekieh comes from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. She first came to Abu Dhabi in 2007 and has been a part of the Al Yasat family since. She has taught all grades in elementary and has been the subject coordinator for Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education (PSHCE). She completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education with the University of Warwick in England, and is currently studying for an MA in Innovation in Education. Aside from spending time with her children, Reem enjoys cooking and playing basketball in her spare time.