Leadership Team - Al Yasat Private School | Al Yasat Private School, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates | One place, countless opportunities

American curriculum school in the capital city, Abu Dhabi, offering enriched and remarkable educational provision to develop well-rounded transcendent glob…

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Al Yasat Private School


Senior Leadership Team

Dr. Asif Ilyas Padela Executive Principal

Dr. 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 Dr. Asif relocated to the U.A.E. and served as a K-12 Vice Principal. Dr. 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.

Mr. Gary Williams Senior Executive Vice Principal

Mr. Gary Williams is from London, United Kingdom (UK) with over 25 years of teaching and leadership experience including working in London, Dubai and Sharjah. He is immensely proud and delighted to inform you that he has been appointed by the Board as the new Senior Executive Vice Principal here at Al Yasat Private School.

He considers himself to be the ideal person for this role, as he will be aiming to bring his experience, enthusiasm and expertise to the school by making a significant and valuable contribution in supporting the whole community in the process. 

His philosophy focuses upon the importance of challenging students beyond their expectations,
encouraging them to take full responsibility for their actions, demonstrating respect for others in relation to their personal attitudes and behaviour.

Reem Rekieh Secondary Vice Principal

Mrs. Reem Rekieh comes from Toronto, Ontario in Canada. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology specializing in Education from York University. After arriving to Abu Dhabi in 2007, she 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) as well as a department head for the Grade 1-3 sections. She has also served as an Assistant principal of Elementary for 3 years and is currently serving as the Vice Principal of the phase. Reem completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education with the University of Warwick in England with distinction, as well as her Masters in Innovation in Education. Her thesis focused on the effectiveness of assessment for learning strategies on improving students’ writing particularly in the UAE. This interest stems in part from her experiences over the years delving into reasons why students particularly struggle in the strand of writing, with the goal of discovering innovative ways to improve attainment of writing in the UAE social context. Aside from spending time with her children, Reem enjoys cooking and playing basketball in her spare time and has aspirations in the very near future to continue her education with plans to pursue a Doctorate in Education.

Victoria Diane King MS/HS Curriculum Coordinator

Victoria is an educator with 10 years of post-certification experience, three of which in the United Arab Emirates. She was trained at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. Prior to certification, she worked as an English Composition tutor and a preschool support teacher. Throughout her time as an educator, Victoria has built strong relationships with her students and colleagues. As a result of her dedicated service to her students and increased rigor in all classrooms, consistent performance, and exceptional leadership, she was named Teacher of the Year for both her local school and the entire school district in 2016. Victoria describes herself as transformational empowering students to take ownership of their learning to develop analytical skills. She has come to realize that giving feedback to students is the most important aspect of the teaching-learning process. She believes that the classroom experience should be diverse and the curriculum should focus on teaching students to develop an academic curiosity.

Norma Morris Vice Principal (K-5)
Alberti Strydom Curriculum Coordinator Kindergarten and Elementary

Alberti Strydom completed her teaching degree in both English and Accounting from the North West University (South Africa) in 2010.She was an English teacher for five years and Head of Performing Arts in Hartbeespoort High School in South Africa. Alberti loves drama and music and is keen to perform in community theater. She enjoys the arts, traveling and spending time with family. Alberti aspires to advance her studies in Education and teaching English as a second language.

Mohamed Abdelaziz Khairat Saleh K-12 Ministry Subject HOD

Middle Leadership Team

Abdallah Higazy Math Head of Department
Chad Robinson Head of English Department

Mr. Chad Robinson hails from the radiant island of Jamaica where the beauty of nature is only matched by the warmth of its people. A firm believer in the value of humanity, Chad considers each life to be the most important resource this world has to offer. This philosophy translates directly into the classroom as he focuses on the holistic development of his students; training and challenging them to become their best social and academic selves. Chad believes that the classroom is a space for action research and that each lesson provides an opportunity to improve pedagogy and ultimately maximize the teaching and learning process. He is a lover of the literary arts who enjoys reading all genres of literature but is most passionate about poetic criticism. He devotes his time, effort and skills to imparting knowledge and impacting learners at the secondary and tertiary levels. For Chad, the most rewarding thing about the field of education is taking a student from the limiting shades of the unknown into the enlightenment of the known.

Nida Fatima Faisal HOD of Math and Science in Elementary & Elementary School Teacher

Nida has been teaching for the past 12 years, catering to multiple and diverse curricula. She is an experienced teacher, curriculum advisor and subject coordinator. Nida completed her Masters in Economics and Finance with first division. She went on to complete a Bachelors in Education and gained CELTA certification from the University of Cambridge. Nida has performed stupendously in her academic and professional life. She enjoys reading, watching movies and spending quality family time. Nida is looking forward to an exuberant learning year ahead to achieve year-end teaching and learning goals.

Joanne Lynne Diedericks HoD English and Social Studies (ES)

Joanne embarked on her teaching career in 2002, teaching for a school as part of a Learnership Programme, whilst studying part time toward her Bachelor of Education degree. In so doing, Joanne cemented her passion and love for teaching. Being determined to excel in her studies, but not able to take on a heavier academic load while teaching full-time, Joanne enrolled to complete her degree on a full-time basis. During her third year at university, Joanne was selected by the Dean of the Education Faculty to participate in a Student Teacher Exchange Programme in Scotland. This experience had a great impact on Joanne and planted a seed to teach internationally. Joanne went on to graduate Cum Laude, in the top four of her class, specialising in Intermediate Phase teaching. After graduating, Joanne took up a Grade 5 teaching position at a primary school in her hometown of Port Elizabeth. She thoroughly enjoyed this position and viewed her colleagues as her extended family. She took on many roles outside of the classroom, coaching mini-cricket and mini-hockey, being the Editor of her school magazine, being the Secretary of the school’s Sport Supporter’s Club, as well as being involved in preparing and rehearsing students for stage productions. After eight years of teaching at this school, her yearning to teach internationally prompted Joanne to seek a teaching position in the UAE. Joanne has taught in the UAE for the past three years and has gained very valuable experience.

Manal Steitiyeh MS/HS Science Teacher/HoD Science
Manal graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Biology and Environmental Sciences from Beirut Arab University. Then she earned her Master's Degree in Molecular Biology (Genetic Engineering) from Beirut Arab University in cooperation with the American University of Beirut. With an experience of 9 years as a science teacher and Principal’s assistant with the UNITED NATIONS SCHOOLS, Manal has gained valuable knowledge and expertise in curriculum development and planning. Manal has a teaching diploma from the UN Education Department and was a lecturer of the undergraduate’s science strand for new staff in the UN. Manal prepared remedial courses in science for different classes and provided targeted intervention for boys and girls across a number of UN Schools.
Steluta (Stela) Samuela PE Teacher/HoD Creative and Performing Arts MS/HS
Stela Samuela has lived in Abu Dhabi for 12 years. Before being appointed at Al Yasat, Stela taught PE at GEMS American Academy School, The Cambridge High School and Choueifat School. She spent her childhood at the Romanian National Gymnastics School in Deva and in her teenage years studied dance at the Romulus Ladea Ballet and Theatre School. At Babes Bolyai University in Cluj –Napoca Stela graduated with a BA in sports and physical education and a MA in Sports management. She has a keen interest in fitness, gymnastics, soccer and mixed martial arts. This is her second year at Al Yasat Private School and is the current head of department where she is teaching the middle school students PE. She has a passion in making learning fun, and inspiring students be the best they can be. In addition to her work at Al Yasat, Stela had the privilege to coach at the Manchester United Soccer School in Abu Dhabi. For more than 10 years she coached U11 to U19 boys’ and girls’ soccer teams. Stela has coached swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, basketball, cross-country and track and field.
Samia Zaigham MS/HS ICT/STEM Teacher/HoD Design Technology
Samia graduated in Computer Science and has completed her Masters in Education, Planning and Management. She has taught for 10 years and is enjoying her teaching and learning experience with diverse group of students and institutions. Samia is a dedicated, resourceful and innovative instructor who strives to help students to improve their grades and transform their study periods into an exciting experience. She believes in supporting student’s social and intellectual growth by creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication.
Alaa Shalaby MS/HS HoD Arabic

Mr. Alaa Shalaby graduated from Cairo University with BA in Arabic Language and Islamic studies 1998. Hold higher Diploma of modern pedagogy for Arabic language issued by Tanta university- 2001. and hold second diploma of SEN teaching (intellectual disability and disorder) issued by Menoufia University - 2005 Mr. Alaa has worked in the Egypt Ministry of Education for 10 years teaching Arabic language and Islamic studies and then moved to the KSA to teach in International schools for about 5 years. and then moved to the UAE to teach in international schools in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for about 4 years. He is delighted to work with Al Yasat team. He is a social and open-minded person who likes to have friends from all over the world. He has the ability to deal with all the individual students and their differences easily by using the 21st century skills and using the student’s capabilities.

Thabet Awad Issa Obeidat MS/HS Career Guidance Counselor and SEN

Thabet Obeidat has a B.A degree in counseling and mental health graduated from University of Jordan 1999 and has been working in the field of student services since 2000. After five years in Jordanian schools, he shifted to join the Emirate of Abu Dhabi community from 2005. Thabet has more than 13 years of experience inside the UAE with my wife and four kids, helping and supporting school environments to gain more developed skills and increase students awareness toward the best of their shining future. Thabet collaborates with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community helping students and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.