“Alice” Was Awesome and so are Granddaughters!

Greetings parents and welcome to the exciting world of the UAS Middle School!

I want to give a HUGE shout out to the cast, crew and directors for the recent Middle School production of Alice in Wonderland Jr.  I had the good fortune to see the entire show three times over two days last week, and I am still in awe with how well our young people performed.  As the Principal of the UAS MS, I couldn’t be prouder.  Produced and Directed by Cris Mejia and Emma Gordon, and ably supported by Hannah Donald, the show was simply magical from start to finish.  The acting was sensational, the energy second to none, and the smiles non-stop for one hour!  All in all, 30 actors performed in the show, and 22 other students helped with prop design, make-up, or as a crew member.  Fifty-two student participants represent nearly 20% of our entire student body – which I find simply incredible!!  If your child was in the show, you too should be extremely proud! So today I extend my heartfelt congratulations to anyone/everyone who helped with the show – each person deserves a HUGE “pat” on the back for their positive contribution to this awesome musical production!  BRAVO!!!  MABROOK!!!  WOOHOO!!!

I must admit – and please forgive me – but I am really looking forward to the upcoming winter holiday.  Truly I tell you, I love my job, and I love working with MS kids – and for the record, I love working with your children – and of course I love living in Dubai.  That said, this winter break is different for me on a very personal level.  I am flying back to the US this weekend, and I will have the pleasure of meeting my granddaughter for the very first time.  I recall fondly the joys and unique challenges (albeit positive) of being a parent of a newborn baby – and I have had that honor twice in my lifetime.  But the delight of holding a granddaughter is a joy that I have not yet experienced, which will all change on December 16. I suspect that the exhilaration of cradling this beautiful little girl in my arms will be unequaled by anything I have ever felt or known. So please forgive me if I am counting the days until my departure.  Rest assured I will return to my post in January with pictures on my phone and a BIG smile on my face!  Wish me luck!

Please note that due to circumstances beyond my control, I have had to cancel my Principals coffee which was previously scheduled for Monday, December 11. So sorry for the short/late notice. I look forward to meeting and greeting parents again in 2018!!!  Please stay tuned.

On behalf of the entire staff of the UAS Middle School, I want to extend to you and your family my heartiest wishes for a wonderful, relaxing and rejuvenating holiday season.  May you and your children enjoy each other’s company, whether you are staying in Dubai or traveling.  In addition, I wish for you and your family peace, prosperity and good health in the New Year.

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Upcoming dates and activities:

  • December 6 & 7: MS Musical – Alice in Wonderland Jr. – MPH @ 6:30
  • December 14 – ½ day schedule – students are dismissed @ 12:00
  • December 15 – January 6: Winter Break
  • January 7: First day of school in 2018!  WOOHOO!!!!

It’s Time to Pause and Give Thanks!

Greetings parents and welcome to the exciting world of our UAS Middle School – WOOHOO!!

As an American Citizen living overseas, I find it challenging at times to be away from my family – especially during holidays such as American Thanksgiving, which as you may know was celebrated on November 23. As a child growing up in Montana, USA, Thanksgiving was a festive occasion celebrated with turkey and all the trimmings, pumpkin and apple pie, lots of family gathering, and of course American Football!  Whether it was raining, snowing or the sun was shining brightly, my family would always gather.  It was a heartwarming tradition that I would not fully appreciate until many years after my youth.

Even though, I now find myself thousands of miles away from my family, and holiday gatherings are fewer and farther between with my siblings and my own children, I still have many reasons to take pause and be appreciative. I truly have very much for which to be thankful, and not a day goes by that I do not feel richly blessed.

What exactly am I thankful for?

  • I am thankful to have the privilege of working with a talented and dedicated staff of teachers at the UAS Middle School. I am proud to share that I have been an educator for 36 years, and I would count this group of teachers as one of the most exceptional I have ever worked.
  • I am grateful for Beverly Kempley, my loyal Assistant Principal, in who’s company I have had the good fortune to be since August 2012. We began our journey together at AIS in Egypt, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this adventure together with her these ½ dozen years.
  • I give thanks for Hana Malek, who’s dedication to UAS and to the MS is exemplary. Given the number of years Hana has been at UAS, she is without a doubt also a gift to the entire community.
  • I am thankful for the students with whom I have been so very fortunate to work during this current year and the three previous. With MS students, every day is a new adventure, and the students have always been a source of joy for me, continually causing me to laugh and grin shamelessly from ear to ear.
  • I am grateful to the parent community for their unwavering support. As we were building the MS “plane” three years ago, we endured some challenging times together. My oh my we have come so far in such a short time!  Parents have been encouraging along this path, and for that I give thanks.
  • Finally, I am grateful to have had the golden opportunity to work at the Universal American School for the past four years, and with Esol for the past 9 years. When the 2017-2018 school year comes to an end in June, my tenure here will conclude and I will be moving on to my next Esol school adventure – Dunecrest American School, Dubai.  The countless blessings for which I am truly grateful will continue, of this I am certain.

I am truly fortunate, and I sincerely thank you for your contributions to the personal joy I am feeling.  Until June 28, rest assured I will be counting my blessings daily and working diligently to ensure that you and our students receive the very best care possible.

May this article be a reminder to us all.  Let us pause, reflect, and count our gifts and blessings one by one.

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Upcoming dates and activities:

  • December 6 & 7: MS Musical – Alice in Wonderland Jr. – MPH @ 6:30
  • December 14 – ½ day schedule – students are dismissed @ 12:00
  • December 15 – January 6: Winter Break
  • January 7: First day of school in 2018! WOOHOO!!!