Staff Directory

  • Coba Burger

    KG1 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Secondary Title: Grade Leader
  • Lisa Pollitt

    KG1 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
  • Sam Coghill

    KG1 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
  • Sarah-Jane Pattison

    KG1 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Originally from Harare, Zimbabwe, Sarah-Jane has been teaching in South Africa for several years. Newley married, Sarah-Jane and her husband relocated from Cape Town to Dubai in 2016.
    After graduating with an Honours degree in Writing, Strategy and Communication, Sarah-Jane completed her PGCE, specializing in Foundation Phase Teaching and Early Childhood Development. Sarah-Jane has taught from KG1 up to Grade 3. She is a keen sportswoman and was involved in many extracurricular activities at her previous school. Sarah-Jane was instrumental in starting the Debate Society as an extracurricular activity for Grade 6 and Grade 7 students. In addition, she is a music enthusiast and started a Junior Choir for Grade 1 to Grade 3 students at her previous school.
    Sarah-Jane is passionate about education and she puts her heart into every challenge. She feels privileged to work with young children and to help them grow and develop into independent learners.
    In her free time, Sarah-Jane enjoys drawing, photography and exploring the UAE.
  • Kathriena Joyce

    KG1 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Kathriena was born and raised on the Aran Islands in Ireland. She graduated from the National University of Ireland with a Bachelor Degree in Arts in Irish, English and Philosophy. She also graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Primary Education. She has worked in the United Arab Emirates as a teacher since 2013. She has worked in Ras Al Khaimah American Academy for Girls for two years and as a Private Teacher for three years teaching in different schools throughout that time. While in Ireland she worked as a Learning Support Teacher and a Resource teacher teaching children with Special Education Needs and Learning Disabilities.
    Kathriena places a great deal of emphasis on the holistic approach to learning. She strives to create a safe and secure environment where children gain confidence personally and emotionally and learn to express what they know as well as their needs and what they would like to learn. She believes that if a child feels secure and confident, this can translate into their approach to learning and dealing with new situations. This gives them the confidence to be responsible and considerate citizens within their community and abroad.
  • Carly Jones

    KG2 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Carly graduated from South Bank University in London in 1998 and begun a teaching career in Inner-city London. For the next six years, she worked with EAL children from a range of backgrounds in East London. Carly then moved to Ras Al Khaimah where she spent eight marvellous years at RAK Academy in Key Stage 1 and then in Early Years. After two years in Bangkok, Carly returned to her second home of Ras Al Khaimah. They say home is where the heart is!
    Carly is now into her third year as a KG2 teacher at AJAC. She is looking forward to many more years to come working with the Ajman community.
  • Hayley Beresford

    KG2 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Secondary Title: Grade Leader
    Hayley is from South Africa and has been living in the UAE for 18 years. Hayley has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology through The University of South Africa and her Post Graduate Certificate in Education through The University of Sunderland in England. Hayley has been teaching young children for 18 years, specialising in Early Years. Hayley taught in a Nursery school in Sharjah for seven years and then moved to a school in Dubai for another seven years. During her experience, she progressed to being the Foundation Stage Leader in her previous school. Hayley is currently the KG2 Grade Leader and KG Read, Write Inc. Co-Ordinator at Ajman Academy. She is married and has one daughter. Hayley enjoys spending time with family and friends and being outdoors; in the pool, camping and having Barbeques.
    Hayley aims to create a fun and safe learning environment for her students who will be active, engaged and become independent learners. Hayley believes students learn best through real-life experiences and being involved in their learning as well as working in different areas including inside and outside the classroom.
  • Elaine Luies

    KG2 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Elaine Luies was born in Gauteng, South Africa. She gained her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pretoria in Learning Support while simultaneously supporting herself, working as a grade 5 teacher. She moved to South Korea in 2011 to teach conversational English and completed an inspiring and successful year in South Korea after which she moved to the UAE and taught for two years in a very successful Foundation Stage Class in a school in Sharjah. She has been teaching Kindergarten 2 for five years at Ajman Academy. She loves living and working in the UAE, and has settled happily here.

    She enjoys reading and travelling and has recently visited Eastern Europe. She loves to experience new culture, to explore different places and meet new people. She also enjoys an active lifestyle too.

    Education has always been Elaine’s first love, and the fact that supportive teachers and quality teaching can impact a child’s life: to inspire, empower and liberate children to learn, question, investigate and believe in themselves has always been at the heart of Elaine’s teaching philosophy. Each child is unique, and that she, as an educator can help them to reach their full potential, by guiding and helping them through all areas of school life.
  • Famia Arnaout

    KG2 Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Famia was born and raised in Sydney-Australia. She graduated from college with a Diploma in Accounting, her early work career began in a family owned business in the financial sector. Famia took a two-year break from the workforce to start a family. During this time she returned to tertiary education and completed her Diploma in Children’s Services (Early Childhood Education and care), working at various childcare and preschool setting in Australia. To further develop her skills and experience Famia continued her education to obtain a Bachelor in Teaching from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia.
    She moved to the UAE with her husband and four children in 2016. She spent a year working at a school in Sharjah as a support teacher, before moving to Wesgreeen International School in 2007, where she taught kg1 and kg2. In 2016 she was commended for her work at Wesgreen for her commitment, hard work and dedication.
    She has the determination and passion for striving and believes that every child has a right to succeed through the facilitation of hands-on learning provisions allowing children to explore, experiment, question and make sense of their world which is indeed a significant learning opportunity.
    In the little spare time, Famia has she enjoys meeting up with friends, baking and has a keen interest in cake art.
  • Daniel Canning

    Learning Support Assistant

    Departments: Secondary School
  • Mark Pollitt

    Learning Support Team

    Departments: Secondary School
    Secondary Title: International Award Team
  • Alaa Abdulhay

    Librarian Supervisor

    Departments: Administration
  • Khulood Ibrahim

    Library Assistant

    Departments: Primary School
  • Mahmoud Naffa

    Manager of Facilities, Maintenance and Projects

    Departments: Administration
    Mahmoud Naffa is Jordanian. However he was born and raised in Ajman, this means he has a huge love for this country like it is his country
    He graduated from the Hashemite University in Jordan with a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering. He has six years experience in construction after working as a contractor with Darwish Engineering in Ajman & as a consultant with Eng. Adnan Saffarini office in Dubai. Mahmoud joined Ajman Academy in 2016 as the Manager of Facilities, Maintenance and Projects.
    He is engaged will marry soon.
    Mahmoud’s work goal is to ensure he provides a safe, tidy, & hygienic environment for students & teachers to support the teaching strategy at AJAC.
  • Esme Halpenny

    Marketing & Communications Manager

    Departments: Primary School, Secondary School, Administration
  • Rebecca Barry

    Mathematics Teacher

    Departments: Secondary School
  • Ekhlas Barakat

    Ministry Liaison

    Departments: Administration
  • Hashim KC

    MIS System Administrator

    Departments: Administration
  • Javier Carrasco

    Modern Foreign Language Teacher & ICT

    Departments: Secondary School, ICT
    Javier was born in Valverde del Fresno and has lived in different cities in Spain, France and the United Arab Emirates. He is passionate about languages and speaks Spanish and French. In his free time, he enjoys studying and playing chess or visiting new places.
    He has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Extremadura, Spain, and a postgraduate certificate in education from University of Sunderland, UK. Furthermore, he is a certified teacher of Spanish from Hemingway Institute, Spain. He has taught IB Spanish Ab Initio, and Diploma Programme at Emirates International School – Jumeira, Dubai, and he has tutored IGCSE students and adults from all over the world.
    Javier believes that education is the essential element that new global citizens must have developed so that the world becomes what everybody expects of it, and communication is, in the end, the only tool we have.
  • Deborah Vincent

    MYP Coordinator

    Departments: Secondary School
    Secondary Title: Individuals and Societies Subject Leader
    Originally from Durban in South Africa, Debbie has spent many years teaching in countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Qatar, Oman, Mauritius and the UAE.
    After graduating from the University of Natal with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Geography, Debbie completed her Higher Diploma in Education in English as a First Language, English as a Second Language and Geography. Debbie has a wealth of experience in teaching all levels of Secondary School, from year 7 to year 13. She has experience in the National Curriculum, the IGCSE and AS/A levels, as well as the MYP and Diploma Program. In her previous schools, Debbie held the posts of Head of Humanities Faculty and Head of Year 7. She is currently the MYP Coordinator at Ajman Academy and Head of the Individuals and Societies department.
    Debbie is passionate about teaching and helping her students to develop a positive learning experience. After 33 years in education, she continues to feel privileged to work with young adults and to watch them grow and develop.
  • Farah Mahmoud

    MYP Mathematics Teacher

    Departments: Secondary School, Maths
    Farah is originally form Jordan, she was born in Kuwait and has spent most of her life travelling with her family. She is happily married and is a proud mum of two children, Elena and Omar.
    In 2012, Farah graduated from Isra Private University, Amman, Jordan with a Bachelor’s degree of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In the same year, she started her teaching career as a whole school Computer Studies Teacher in one of the international schools in the UAE. She found a passion in teaching and was keen to work on her professional development towards her new path in the educational field.

    Farah joined Ajman Academy at the beginning of 2015 as a Primary Classroom Teacher for three years in a row. In 2016, she managed to successfully complete her teaching certification PGCEi from The University of Nottingham, London, UK.
    Farah participated in the Incyte Learning Leaders/ Leaders of Learning Programme that was offered by the school in 2017 to develop teaching and learning methodologies that are on an outstanding level. In 2017/2018 she handled an additional responsibility as the Grade 2 Grade Leader, where her main role was to contentiously provide support to staff and look after pupils on both pastoral and academic levels.
    In 2018, having had experience with PYP and a very strong background in Maths and Physics, Farah joined the Secondary department. She is currently teaching MYP Mathematics and a class of International Advanced Mathematics. Farah is very passionate about creating lessons that are very meaningful and in sync with the practical requirements of the real world experiences of students.
  • Zeina Rabbat

    PA to School Director

    Departments: Primary School, Secondary School, Administration
    Secondary Title: Executive Adminstration Leader
  • Gabrielle Denvir

    PA to Secondary Principal

    Departments: Secondary School, Administration
    Gabrielle has spent most of her working career in administration. Her working history has been mainly spent in Australia working in law firms where her skills have been put to use in dynamic property law departments and as executive secretary to a managing partner for over 15 years. She spent a year working in the UK as an executive assistant to the partner in an actuarial company and this experience ultimately led to a decision to work abroad with her husband, Andrew. Prior to arriving in the UAE in 2014, she worked in Muscat, Oman in a large international law firm and also, as a principal’s PA in an international school.
    If she were stranded on a desert island, she would take her Kindle, her husband and a never-ending supply of quality tea!
  • Mammar Balia

    PE Assistant

    Departments: PE
  • Maysoon Ali

    PE Teacher

    Departments: PE
    Maysoon Ali is from Jordan, and a graduated from the University of Jordan with a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education. While at University, she was a member of the Jordanian National team for Volleyball.
    Maysoon views Ajman Academy as the leading school in the region and is excited to observe how the young students learn, progress and evolve through her lessons. She is the PYP subject leader which means she integrates the IBPYP philosophy into the Primary Physical Education planning. As well as her teaching role she has worked as the whole school ECA’s Coordinator for the last four years. She is also fully responsible for the choreography of the schools National Day production that is attended by H.H Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi and other distinguished members of the Royal Family.
    As a mother of two children, she understands how valuable is a positive primary experience is and will strive every day provide lessons that are fun, active, and knowledgeable, providing every student with a positive learning experience and a love for physical education.
    What she like best is the fact that it is the children who are responsible for leading these exciting lesson of learning. She also really values our fantastic school community.
    More than anything it is the success of every child that makes her job as a PE teacher such a rewarding one. When Maysoon is working, she enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with her family.
  • Carolina Gonzalez

    PE Teacher

    Departments: Secondary School, PE
    Secondary Title: Grade Leader
    Other Titles: Secondary Student Leadership Coordinator
    Carolina completed her bachelor’s degree in physical education and a Master’s degree in High Performance from Argentina. After moving to the United Kingdom and completing her teacher training, Carolina earned her Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Over ten years of teaching at state schools in the UK followed, with Carolina taking on some leadership positions supporting staff to raise the standards of teaching and learning, implementing healthy schools’ program and improving girls’ participation in physical education. Soon after moving to the UAE, it was her passion for education that led her to further pursue a Master’s degree in Education from Murdoch University in Dubai.
    Carolina is an experienced educator who believes in values, fairness, honesty and lives with passion, dedication, and perseverance. A natural leader and an advocate of enjoyment as fundamental for effective learning and of excellence as a way of living; she is committed to holistic student development and supporting them in achieving their personal best in all areas with endeavour.
    Carolina has a great passion for student wellbeing, leadership and health and Physical Education as an essential part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and brings these, along with her leadership qualities, everlasting smile and enthusiasm for education, to the team at Ajman Academy.
    In addition to education, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and learning languages as a hobby.
  • Luiza Marghescu

    PE Teacher

    Departments: Primary School, PE
    Luiza was born in Romania and lived there until 2013 before moving to the U.A.E. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Romanian language. Away from school, Luiza likes to travel, listen to music and swim.
    She graduated from the University of Sports Movement and Health Sciences in Romania, specialising in P.E and swimming. Before coming to Ajman Academy, she was teaching swimming from Kindergarten to grades 10 in the International School of Chouiefat, Ras Al Khaimah, U.A.E.
    Currently, Luiza is teaching secondary students and KG1 and KG2.
    Luiza believes that everything happens for a reason; education is a particular type of human action or intervention that influences our future. She is a firm believer that humanity will improve through education and that we can all reach our goals through persistence. She is eager to teach the students to swim and to have them represent Ajman Academy in swimming competitions in the future.
  • Max Thomson

    Physics and Biology Teacher

    Departments: Secondary School
    Secondary Title: Science Teacher
    Max was born in the Solomon Islands where his parents ran a Leprosy Mission for eight years. He is very proud of his two daughters. His youngest daughter at 18 served as a volunteer worker in Malawi for six months and is now in second-year architecture. His eldest daughter after completing a degree in Media Communication is in the fashion industry.
    After graduating with a BSc in Otago and a Teaching Diploma with distinction in Christchurch, Max taught in a rural, co-educational school for two years before shifting to a school with over 2500 boys in Auckland. At Auckland Grammar School Max had various roles that included being a Housemaster for six years, Head of Biology and Head of a Science Department with over 30 staff. He was Head Tutor for the NZ Biology Olympiad organisation and co-ordinated a national Year 12 and year 13 examination marking team. He co-lead the inaugural Australasia Youth Leadership Programme to the USA in 2014 and was awarded a National Woolf Fisher Fellowship and a Staff Scholarship that allowed him to investigate schools in Australia, the UK, Europe and the US.
    Outside the classroom, Max has a deep love of the mountains of the South Island and has run hiking trips within NZ and Nepal. He enjoys coaching badminton, football and javelin.
    Max views it as a privilege, to have taught some of the most amazing students in NZ and enjoys helping students reach their potential. He loves the way science provides the reasons that explain the challenging questions that students ask.
  • Sulene Rheeder

    Physics Teacher

    Departments: Secondary School
    Sulene Groenewald (nee Rheeder) is from South Africa, and she is married to Johan Groenewald – an I&S teacher at Ajman Academy. She graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor Degree in Education in 2014 and with a Bachelor degree in Chemistry and Physics in 2017.
    They moved to the UAE in April 2018 when they both joined the AJAC team. Sulene’s teaching motto is a quote from Einstein - “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is inadequate”. In her classroom students work towards realising what their unique abilities and talents are. They are then challenged to reach their full individual potential. Sulene encourages students to treat each other with respect and kindness and to help each other to succeed. There is also a strong emphasis on commitment, responsibility and hard work in the class.
  • Safiya Sada

    Pre-KG Teacher

    Departments: Primary School
    Safiya has seven years of experience working in Early Childhood Education and six years of experience working within the IB curriculum (PYP). She also has nine years work experience in many different areas of work which include personal shopping, retail, customer service, legal administration and hospitality management.
    Safiya was born in Kuwait to a British mother and Palestinian father but lived and completed her whole schooling life in England.
    Having studied at Leeds Metropolitan University UK, She obtained a BA (hons) Degree in International Business and Tourism. During these four years, Safiya spent one vocational year working in the UAE. It was here during the time she spent volunteering in a summer camp that she discovered her passion for working with children. Safiya went back to studying and qualified as an Early Years Practitioner.
    She believes that every child is a unique individual and has the potential to bring something different to the world. By believing in them as capable individuals, she helps children to develop to their full potential. Safiya is continuously researching and looking for new ideas on how to continue to help the children in her class’s academic, social and emotional wellbeing. She also regularly attends professional development courses which contribute to her achieving these goals.
    In her spare time, Safiya loves to travel all over the world, spend time with her family, socialise with friends, keep fit by going to the gym and taking part in outdoor activities.

Ajman Academy

We are perfectly located off the E311

Sharjah - 15 mins
Mirdiff - 20 mins
Ras Al Khaimah - 35 mins
Silicon Oasis - 25 mins