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School Leaders


 

Ed Pearce 
School Director

As the Director of Fairgreen International School, Ed Pearce is an experienced and knowledgeable leader with a lifelong passion for sustainability. He has more than 20 years experience leading high performing international schools from all corners of the globe. He has previously served as a leader at prestigious schools in the United States, China, Malaysia, Dubai and the United Kingdom. 

Ed works to actively build teams committed to delivering outstanding learning experiences for students. He also strongly believes in the powerful and productive relationship between schools and the families they serve. He has a strong track record in fostering community among families in the schools he has led. 

Considering the opportunity to serve as Fairgreen’s director a dream, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Ed is thrilled to be able to combine two of his passions: sustainability and education. His passion for environmental sustainability was developed from a young age and has been a guiding principle as an international educator. In 2019, Ed received a prestigious Cannes Award for his school’s “Floating Gardens” conservation project, aimed at rehabilitating river banks and local wildlife, in consultation with Chicago-based Urban Rivers. This passion for promoting sustainability for both the environment, as well as personal sustainability and wellbeing, complements his promotion of international mindedness and character building in the communities he has led across the world.

Starting off his career as a teacher in Australia and the United Kingdom, Ed first moved to Dubai in August 2008 where he served as the Deputy Head of Repton Preparatory School for three years. He then joined The Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Assistant Principal for four years, during which he led a whole-school improvement planning initiative including curriculum review, facility upgrades and technology upgrades. Moving to China, Ed then led The British School, Guangzhou, part of Nord Anglia Education  for two years. Prior to joining Fairgreen International School, he served for four years as Head of School at Nord Anglia’s The British International School Chicago, Lincoln Park in the United States.

Ed is originally from Australia and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with the University of Cumbria (UK), in conjunction with Robert Kennedy College, Switzerland.  He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management from University of Western Sydney. He is also a fully accredited school inspector under the British Schools Overseas inspection framework.

Ed is happy to be back in Dubai with his wife, Sarah, who herself is an experienced and passionate educator who is currently completing her Doctorate in International Education.  Their two children, Oscar and Lachlan are looking forward to attending Fairgreen International School from August 2021.  As a family they enjoy spending time in the great outdoors (never far from the water) and exploring different cultures across the globe. In his spare time Ed is a keen sportsman and is particularly fond of golf and cricket.


Matt Greenwood
Primary Principal

Matt has been an educator for twenty-five years, having held middle management and whole school leadership positions, in the UK and internationally, including latterly as Assistant Principal at a successful state primary school in Worcestershire, UK. When he was classroom based he taught children from as young as Grade 1 up to Grade 6. He also has a wide range of international experience having worked in Brunei, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Thailand. His experience encompasses four different curricula including the Primary Years Program (IB), International Primary Curriculum (Fieldwork Education), American curriculum, and the English National Curriculum.

 

Matt’s academic interests include; pedagogical approaches to the teaching of maths, use of data to support school improvement, Mindfulness, and theories of teacher motivation- which was the subject of his Master’s Degree Dissertation. He gained his Master’s in School Leadership from Leicester University in 2005 and he also holds an undergraduate degree in Humanities. He recently completed further leadership training at University College London. He is a qualified visiting Team Member for the Council of International Schools, and a trained Mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness In Schools Project. He believes that children’s wellbeing is essential for their academic success.


Seema Desai
Secondary Principal

Seema has been in education for over 15 years and has previously worked in schools in the UK, Australia and Dubai. After completing her undergraduate degree and PhD in the UK, she worked in academia before completing a PGCE in Secondary Science (Chemistry) at the University of Exeter.

Seema has been in Dubai for over 10 years and grew up in various parts of the world including Oman, UK, Dubai and Sri Lanka. She has experience in different curricula that includes the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), IB Diploma Programme (DP), the British Curriculum and the Victorian (Australian) Curriculum.

Seema believes in unlocking the potential of every child academically, personally and socially by providing a caring, happy environment where students can build successful relationships and challenge themselves.


Ashley McCarthy
Inclusion Lead

Ashley believes that every young person has the right to an education that allows them to grow and flourish as an individual and that each child has the right to learn alongside their peers in an environment that is tailored and modified to meet their needs and prepare them to be independent, lifelong learners.

Ashley began her career as an educator and student advocate more than 10 years ago. She has worked with numerous external agencies to bring bespoke and quality inclusion provision into mainstream schools. 

She has worked with PYP, MYP, HPL, UK and American curriculum schools, so she is familiar with a spectrum of learning pedagogies. Originally from Ireland, Ashley has called Dubai home for the past 11 years. Having joined Fairgreen in June 2021 as our Head of Inclusion, Ashley’s focus is to intentionally plan for the success of all Fairgreen students.


Jackie Greenwood
Head of Counselling

Jackie Greenwood has 15 years of international experience as a School Counsellor, Mindfulness Teacher and Head of Counselling and Wellbeing Services in school settings and private practice. Previously, Jackie trained and practiced in the UK as a social worker with children and families, both in child safeguarding and mental health settings. Jackie is qualified at Masters level in Social Work and Counselling and is an accredited member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Jackie has been a Mindfulness Teacher since 2009, having undertaken training with Mindful Schools, Mindfulness in Schools Project (MISP) and Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at the University of California, San Diego. She is certified to teach teachers in Mindfulness (MISP) and has taught over 200 teachers so far, as well as running groups for parents and students.

Jackie has successfully established and led a Counselling Team at Renaissance College, Hong Kong and the International School of the Hague. She also established and delivered the Mindfulness programs at the International School of the Hague and the International School of Bangkok, in addition to her role as a School Counsellor. In her last position before Jackie joins Fairgreen, Jackie was a Lecturer in Social Work at Birmingham City University, teaching on the BSc and MA in Social Work degrees. Jackie has also lectured at Webster University, in Leiden, Netherlands in counselling psychology. With her safeguarding experience and professional wisdom, Jackie has helped International Schools develop their safeguarding protocols, to ensure children are safe and well enough to thrive at school.

Jackie has led and co-led a number of student service programs including, Peer Support, Peace Jam, Because we are Equal (BWAE) and Student Ambassadors. She is an experienced facilitator of workshops for students, parents and educators. Jackie is excited to develop the counselling and wellbeing program at FIS in the coming years.


David Gerber
Primary Vice Principal & PYP Programme Coordinator

David has been an influential member of the International Baccalaureate community in the Middle East for the past eight years. Currently he serves as the lead PYP coordinator for all IB schools in the United Arab Emirates and has been a contributing member of the Middle East IB Association since moving to Dubai.

David has worked around the world including New Zealand, Alaska, Thailand, Seattle, and Germany. He has learned a great deal about the curriculum needs and areas of focus for national curriculums and he is passionate about helping community members understand the benefits of an IB education while transitioning to and from their home countries.

David’s 13 years of teaching experience spans from kindergarten to Grade 4 and the facilitation of the PYP Exhibition in Grade 5. He enjoys developing students inquiry through play in the early years as well as facilitating focused guided inquiry in the older grades. David‘s commitment to the development of passionate lifelong learners was evident in his six years of leading the PYP curriculum with another IB school in Dubai.

David’s other passion lies in his love for the environment. As an avid outdoorsman, he has been advocating for environmental action in the region for years. David has been a leading member of the Eco Schools student environmental organization and helped his previous school to earn the prestigious Green Flag Award for the past three years. Mixing his passions for the environment and education is what makes Fairgreen International School a perfect fit for David.


 

Nassiba Zouinati
Business Manager

Nassiba Zouinati joined Fairgreen International School as Business Manager in March 2021, after spending 20 years in various roles in the hospitality industry. Nassiba spent most of her hospitality career in operational roles where she led large teams in North America, the Middle East and India. Having opened hotels in Vancouver, Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Jaipur and Makkah, Nassiba joined with a wealth of experience in strategic planning, customer service excellence and employee relations. Hailing from Morocco,  Nassiba is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Arabic and has worked with very diverse teams of different backgrounds.

As Business Manager at Fairgreen, Nassiba is overseeing all the non-instructional aspects of the school, which include departments such as Human Resources, Accounts, Health & Safety and Procurement, to name a few. Nassiba is also overseeing all school projects and will be the main liaison between Fairgreen, ESOL and exterior partners. Nassiba also plays a key role in all parent school relations and works closely with the Director to ensure that all administrative disciplines work in unison with the instructional side of the school. Nassiba also works closely with the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, Dubai Civil Defense, Dubai Health Authority and the KHDA to ensure that Fairgreen is compliant with all local authorities’ requirements.

Nassiba holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the Vancouver Premier College of Hotel Management and an Associate’s Degree in Business Communication from Saint Louis University, Madrid, Spain. Nassiba is also one of Fairgreen’s founding parents and her two children Nadine and Youssef have been students here since day one.