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Meet our Teachers

Information Center

Rania Al-Zain

Information Center Assistant


Degree: Diploma Degree in Business Management from Damascus University

Hometown: Syria, Damascus

Background: This is my fourth year at American United School as Middle School Information Specialist Clerk. You will find me in the Middle School Library. I am indeed honored to be a part of the best school in Kuwait and looking forward to contributing my complete dedication and proficiency to making AUS….a better choice!

English Department

Merri Ann Drake

High School English Language Arts


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education; Spanish/English as a Second Language; Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership; Master of Arts in Spanish Literature.

Hometown: Blackfoot, Idaho

Background: I am grateful to be a part of the AUS team. I came into teaching to inspire and help students exceed their capacity to think and to express themselves. I recognize this type of growth demands boundaries and freedom within those confines and I provide this structure. I have taught children grades 2-12 and specialized in teaching English and ESL to students 9-12. I also worked with teachers and administrators as a literacy coach with the Idaho Coaching Network on behalf of the Idaho State Department of Education for five years. During that time, I also served on a national panel to evaluate high quality educational materials with Achieve Inc. I believe all children can learn and deserve the best opportunities to grow and achieve.

Rhonda Guitroz

K-12 Literacy Coach/ English Language Arts


Degree(s): Bachelor of Middle Grades Education, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina; Masters of Business Administration, Texas A&M-Commerce, Commerce, Texas.

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Background: Before coming to Kuwait, I was the Language Arts Skills Specialist for a middle school in Houston, Texas. As Skills Specialists, I worked with teachers to implement curriculum and utilize best practices to reach a diverse population of students. I have six years of experience creating and leading professional development opportunities for teachers. This year I will be doing the thing I love the most: helping both teachers and students as the K-12 Literacy Coach.

Fine Arts Department

Genete Robles

Culinary Arts


Degree(s): Bachelor of Secondary Education in English, Cor Jesu College, Digos City, Philippines. Masters of Arts in Technology Education, University of Southeastern Philippines.

Hometown: Digos City, Philippines

Background: I have completed 22 years in public service in the Philippines. I taught English for 5 years and Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) specializing Cookery for 17 years. I have enjoyed many opportunities for culinary seminars, training, and certification through National Certificate II from TESDA, Philippines. I have coached students in culinary competitions.

Mathematics Department

Anna Merquita

Mathematics Co-Teacher


Degree(s): B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A.T. in Math, Saint Joseph College, Southern Leyte, Philippines

Home: Makati City, Philippines

Background: After getting my degree, I taught Elementary and Secondary Math in the Department of Education. I was also the District Coordinator for the Out-of-School Youth education and the School Head Teacher. I transferred to the University of Makati as a Math College Instructor. I have my endless love to teach students to reach their goals.

Kenneth Johnson

Math Coach/ Teacher


Degree(s): Business Administration/Marketing, Minor in Accounting, Barber-Scotia College –Masters of Educational Studies (M.A.E.D.S), University of Phoenix

Hometown: Columbia, SC (United States)

Background: I have discovered that my philosophy on education and teaching is one that is global and pertinent for all scholars: “You have to reach them before you teach them.” I believe that as educators, we should demonstrate respect for others, encourage interaction between diversities, and hold high expectations for all learners. Whether we like it or not, our expectations of our students play a role in determining their success or failure.

Leland DuNomes

Math Teacher


Degree(s): Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Concordia University; Bachelors of Arts in Mathematics - Marygrove College, Detroit, Michigan.

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Background: I have been teaching high school mathematics and coaching basketball for the past 5 years in Houston, TX. I have taught all levels of Algebra and have provided learning intervention services for struggling students.

James Reede

Math Teacher


Degree(s): B.A.E. Mathematics Education (Secondary), Arizona State University B.S. Mathematics (Statistical Emphasis), Arizona State University, M.A. Education Technology, Ottawa University Will be working toward M.S.T. Mathematics, University of New Hampshire

Home: Phoenix, AZ U.S.A.

Background: I believe in the constructivist theory of education, and in particular mathematics. When a learner takes information that is useful to him or her and creates their own construct of that information, the application is learning that becomes useful to him or her. I have taught all levels of mathematics ranging from 7th grade through 12th grade including AP Statistics and AP Calculus AB. I have taught courses in multiple formats like Online, traditional (both year-long and semester based), and hybrid style formats. I have been teaching for over a decade.

Michael Libron

Math Co-Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education; Notre Dame of Kidapawan College, Kidapawan City, Philippines, Masters of Science in Teaching High School Mathematics; Mindanao State University - General Santos City Campus; General Santos City, Philippines. Philosophy of Education in Mathematics Education (9 units); University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato, Philippines.

Hometown: Manongol, Kidapawan City, Philippines

Background: I began my career right after graduation in 2002 in the city planning office of the city LGU of Kidapawan City for six (6) months as Clerk I. I entered the Department of Education in June 2003 up to January 2017. From then on, I started here in the AUS as Elementary Co-Teacher.

Rhea N. Alagar

Math Co-Teacher


Degree: Bachelor in Secondary Education, Major in Mathematics, The National Teachers College, Manila, Philippines

Hometown: Quezon City, Philippines

Background: In my first year of teaching, I worked as an elementary teacher where I taught 4th and 5th grade Mathematics at the Dominican School Manila. Also, I was given a chance to work with the elementary kids in a Mathematics Club as their club adviser. Two years after that, I was given the opportunity to work in the Department of Education as a High School Math teacher specifically in North Fairview High School where I handled 10th grade students and taught Advanced Algebra with Trigonometry and Statistics for almost 3 years. Being a teacher is really challenging, yet I had so much fun and gained experiences which helped me a lot to improve personally and professionally. Teaching is my passion and making my students achieve their goals in life and become lifelong learners is my greatest desire.

Chau Mai

Math Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies; Master of Arts in Teaching; Certification in Mathematics 7-12

Hometown: San Diego, California

Background: I have been teaching high school mathematics since 2014. I use math as a tool to teach students critical thinking and problem solving skills and to develop character growth. Mathematics is a universal language that can bring diverse groups and cultures together. It can be experienced in a fun and engaging way which is why I have been involved in state and national mathematics competitions in the US. Students learn best when they enjoy the subject, and I am constantly exploring new ways to present a concept to meet the needs of the students.

Physical Education Department

Ahmad Abdulrazzak

Physical Education (Swimming)


Degree(s): B.S. of Physical Education and Swimming training department

Hometown: Mansoura, Egypt

Background: I began my teaching career as a swimming teacher at Mansoura University in Egypt for 4 years. Then I moved to Kuwait to work as PE teacher and swimming trainer for the last 6 years. I still work as a Swimming trainer at the Gulf University for Science and Technology..

Marjan Gholamrezaiee

Physical Education (Swimming)


Degrees: B.A. in Physical Education and Sport Science Teacher Training, Tehran, Iran

Hometown: Tehran, Iran

Background: I have International Life Guard and 1st Grade Certificate in the field of Life Saving from the Life Saving and Diving Federation, Iran 2003 and 2nd Grade Certificate in Swimming Coaching, from the Life Saving and Diving Federation.

Raul Feliciano

Physical Education (Swimming)


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education specialized in Music, Arts and Physical Education (M.A.P.E), Philippines.

Hometown: Romblon, Philippines.

Background: I taught for 5 years in the High School department. I have had the opportunity to function in a variety of educational settings. I will be responsible for student’s safety in the pool as a Lifeguard. I have been a Lifeguard at Armed Forces Officers Club (Ministry of Defense and Aviation – MODA) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 2 years and 10 months. I have also trained in Philippine RED CROSS for the same line of duty.

Simone Bazgan

Physical Education Teacher (Female)


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Physical Education; Master of Science in Sport Management and Marketing.

Hometown: Iasi, Romania

Background: I started my teaching career in 2007 at an International School in Bahrain where I taught Physical Education from Pre-K to 9th grade. In 2013, I moved to an international school in the UAE where for 5 years I taught students from 3rd grade to 10th grade. I have coached both basketball and football in national and international tournaments. As a former basketball player, I am passionate about physical activity and sports, and I like to get involved in different kinds of athletic programs. In my free time, I like to travel and experience new cultures.

Religion Department

Abdulkarim Abdulrazzaq

Islamic Studies Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Art In Islamic Sharia from the Damascus University in Syria

Hometown: Syrian

After graduating, I spent six years in Syria teaching students the Holy Quran. In 2008, I moved to Kuwait and worked as a teacher of the Holy Quran and Islamic Education for nine years straight. I am very excited to join this wonderful team at the American United School. My goal is to help students apply Islamic principles and values in their daily lives and to make them adhere to ethics and the spirit of cooperation. I enjoy reading and playing chess

Alaa Jaber

Islamic Studies/ Qur’an


Degree(s): B.S in Islamic studies. From Mutah University, Jordan.

Hometown: Jordan

Background: I worked as an Islamic studies and Quran teacher for 12 years before I started teaching at AUS. my journey with teaching started in Dubai teaching Arabic, Islamic studies and Quran for primary students for 6 years, then I moved to teach secondary students. I had one-year experience of teaching in Jordan last.

I was interested in teaching Quran, so I finished 3 advanced levels in teaching and memorizing Quran.

I do like applying our curriculum into actions and projects so that students can benefit and use their lessons in life.

Haitham Farhat

Islamic Studies Teacher


Degree(s): BA in Islamic Law

Ba'albak Lebanon

I am excited to be joining the AUS team. I have over 20 years experience as a classroom teacher in multiple subjects including PHSE, Islamic Studies and English. I also have many years of experience as an IT Manager and am fascinated with the amount of technology that AUS has for its students.

Heba Ahmed

Islamic/ Arabic Guest Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and Islamic

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Background: I have nearly 17 years of experience teaching Arabic & Islamic studies in International and American schools in Kuwait. I have taught students of all grade levels from elementary to high school. In my leisure time I enjoy cooking, swimming, decoration and socializing with family and friends.

Ibrahim Tahan

Islamic Studies Teacher


Degrees: Master degree in Hadith Studies and a bachelor degree in religion essentials, Kuwait University

Hometown: Syria – Lived in Kuwait since 1983.

Background: I have nearly nine years of experience teaching Islamic studies in International and American schools in Kuwait. I have taught students of all grade levels from elementary to high school. I also have experience as the Head of Islamic Studies and the Activities coordinator.
In my leisure time I enjoy playing soccer, swimming and socializing with family and friends.

Rasha El-Ghalayini

Islamic Studies / Qur’an


Degree(s): B.S. in Islamic Studies, Al Imam Al Ouzai University, Beirut, Lebanon

Hometown: Palestine

Background: I began my career as an Elementary teacher in different schools in Kuwait. I taught different curriculum in addition to teaching Quran and Arabic. Passion and preparation are the key factors on which I focus my teaching. I earned honors as the Teacher of The Year. I am active in volunteer work and always encourage my class on participating in such activities. I use an advanced, modern and very unique approaches for teaching my topics especially the bibliography of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Science Department

Fritzie Rodriguez

Science Co-Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Education Units (1995) ,Master of Arts in Education Major in Educational Leadership and Management (2014) , Doctor of Education (Complete Academic Requirement)

Hometown: RUW-MPC & Habitat Homes, Singao, Kidapawan City, Philippines

Background: I started my teaching career in the Philippines after I graduated in 1995. I was employed as a high school science teacher in a private school for more than two years. I moved and transferred in the city and was absorbed as a Chemistry college instructor in a university for another more than two years. After getting married in the year 2000, I took the challenge to serve the Philippine government through the Department of Education where I handled high school chemistry/science subjects for more than 15 years. Prior to my coming here in AUS, I was promoted as a school head and supervised a secondary school for 5 months. I like being a classroom teacher where I could share and impart my expertise in a learner-centered way of instruction.

Jamil Abou Halloun

Physics Teacher


Degree(s): Masters Degree in Education and Teaching diploma in Physics, Notre Dame University Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon Bachelors of Science in Physics, Lebanese University, Fanar, Lebanon.

Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Background: I have three years of experience in teaching Physics to High School students in Lebanon. Teaching is rewarding and provides me with the opportunity to create situations where students become independent and take responsibility for becoming life-long learners.

Tossy Vaughese

Science Co-Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor Of Science in Chemistry From Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India; B.Ed in Physical Science From Mahatma Gandhi University; Masters of Science in Information Technology from Sikkim Manipal University; Diploma in Computer Government of India (National Council Of Vocational Training)

Hometown: Alapuzha District, Kaerala State, India

Background: After completing my bachelor’s degree in education I started working with Jabriya Indian School, Kuwait as a secondary chemistry lab teacher cum science teacher in the Middle School since 2001. During these 15 years of my service in Jabriya School I had the opportunity to work as house monitor, examination in charge time table coordinator, substitution in charge, assembly in charge, academic coordinator, co-curricular activity in charge, and now working as the academic supervisor. I am very much interested in teaching profession and I am so compassionate to my students and always ready to help them to my best.

Social Studies Department

Daniel Leritz

Social Studies Teacher


Degree(s): Masters of Science (Educational Leadership, Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall Minnesota, USA; B.S. in Secondary Social Studies Education, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA

Hometown: Willmar, Minnesota, USA

Background: I have taught junior and senior high social studies for 12 years at KMS High School in west central Minnesota, including the last 4 years teaching AP US History. This past June I was invited to help score this year's AP US History exam in Louisville Kentucky and help present at this years’ AP Summer Institute. In 2011-2012, my wife and I taught at ICARADA International School in Aleppo, Syria. My wife, Barbara, teaches ELL at AUS and we have 3 children; Annie, Nolan, and Franklin.

Erma Calawood

Social Studies Co-Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor in Elementary Education, Romblon College, Odiongan, Romblon Philippines.

Hometown: Poblacion, Looc, Romblon Philippines

Background: After graduation I spent 6 months in a private school and was assigned to Pre-Kindergarten. For the past 13 years I have been teaching at Public Elementary School where I taught English, Music, Arts and P.E. in the 5th and 6th Grades. I’ve been an adviser for the pupil government and for the young campus journalists. I was a soccer coach also for our school’s soccer team

Mariam Sidarose

Middle Eastern Studies Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Education, Elementary /Middle/ High School, Assuit University, Egypt

Home: Egypt

Background: I taught Elementary School ESL/English at Canadian Bilingual School in Kuwait for four years and Elementary School English at Salam Modern School in Egypt for three years. I strongly believe that learning needs to be student centered and that students need to be equal partners in the learning process. My role involves using my expertise to put the necessary resources in the hands of the students to make sure that they are well equipped to find and evaluate the resources they need to answer their questions. I’m thrilled to join such a dynamic and energetic team at AUS!!

Ronald Grant

Social Studies Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Kentucky; Master of Arts in Teaching, University of Louisville

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky

Background: I served in the U.S. Army before beginning my teaching career and worked in the private sector. I have 14 years teaching experience and several years coaching football and basketball. I view teaching as a marathon, it does not matter where you start but where you end. My hobbies are reading, traveling and technology.

Preston Denson

Social Studies Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in History; Master of Arts in Secondary Education - Social Science; CUNY- Brooklyn College

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Background: I have 15 years of experience teaching high school in New York City and Atlanta, GA. The best part about teaching social studies is helping students make the real-world connections to course content and preparing them to be active, engaged citizens in their communities.

Technology Department

Les Moskaliuk

Technology Teacher


Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education in Industrial Arts/Design Technology

Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Background: During my seven years as an educator in Canada, I enjoyed teaching High School graphics, photography, airbrushing, technical drafting and Design Technology. Since moving to Kuwait ten years ago, I have taught Middle School Computer Technology and am excited to continue this endeavor at AUS. Throughout my career, I have worked on many committees to develop curriculum, organize new teacher training, create professional development opportunities for co-workers and promote teacher wellness. Due to my great love of sport, I have also dedicated my time to coaching many Middle and High School Ice Hockey and Badminton teams during my career. My wife, Leah, and I often dedicate our spare time to sports (especially skiing) and traveling the world (over 50 countries to date!).

World Languages Department

Ahmad Sabbagh

Arabic Teacher


Degree(s): B.A in Arabic Literature & Diploma of High Studies (Semitic Languages), Aleppo University, Syria.

Hometown: Aleppo City, Syria, SAR.

Background: After graduating from university I worked as a teacher of Arabic language at several government schools in Aleppo. I first came to Kuwait in 2005 where I have worked at American International School then at Kuwait English School before I settled down at American United School. In my leisure time, I enjoy attending social clubs. Such as Reading and Poetry clubs. I also enjoy Swimming and Yoga.

Anushka White

French and Spanish Teacher


Degree(s): MBA, Babson College, Boston, MA, USA, DELF(Diplôme d'études en langue francaise) French diploma, Academie de Nice, Nice, France, B.A. in International Business/French, Simmons College, Boston, MA

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Background: I have recently taught Spanish and French in Calgary, Canada for the last 6 years as well as in Southeast Asia and Scotland. My teaching career began in Southeast Asia after studying International business and French at the University of Paris, Sorbonne and at the Academy of Nice. Prior to teaching, I earned an MBA at Babson College in Boston and worked with French and South American banks on a fixed income-trading desk.

Asmaa Hegazi

Arabic Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor Degree from Ain Shams University/Egypt, Faculty of Arts, in Arabic Language.

Home: Egypt, Cairo

Background: My preferred educational philosophy is progressivism, and my teaching goals are: incorporate out-of-box thinking and new ideas. Make sure every student understands the subject matter.

Brian De Maggio

Spanish Teacher


Degree(s): M.A. in Teaching, B.A. in Spanish & B.M. in Music Performance, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Background: Since becoming a Spanish teacher more than 10 years ago, I have had the pleasure of sharing my love of the Spanish language and culture with thousands of students. I have lived in Argentina and Brazil, and am fluent in Portuguese, in addition to Spanish. Besides acquiring new languages and travelling, I enjoy playing the guitar and reading. My passion is guiding my students towards proficiency in the Spanish language by facilitating meaningful communication in the classroom.

Yasser Ibrahim

Arabic Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts Arabic, Cairo University, Agreement for teaching Arabic language for Middle and High school from Private Education (1997)

Agreement for teaching Islamic Studies for High school (2000)

Home: Egypt

Background: I have over 25 years of teaching experience where I’ve served in the following positions: Head of Arabic department in American Middle East Bilingual School 2016, High school teacher, Dasman Model School, Kuwait City, Kuwait (2002-2016), Head of Arabic Department (Middle & High School) DBS, Arabic team leader in the accreditation committee, Arabic teacher – High school –Kuwait International English School (1998 -2002), Teaching Arabic- as a first language [IGCSE] (1998-2002).

I’ve also served on the committee selecting new teachers – DBS.

My favorite sports are football, table tennis, and volleyball.

Eman Salama

Islamic/ Arabic Guest Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in History/ Egyptian Monuments (1999), University of Cairo, Egypt

Home: Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Background: Taught Arabic and Islamic studies at the Islamic School of Greater Kansas City, Missouri. I strive to provide a fun, learning environment that motivates students to learn.

Abdul Moniem AlShahadat

Arabic Teacher


Degree(s): PhD in Arabic, Masters of Art in Arabic Linguistics ; Bachelor of Arts in Arabic Linguistics .

Hometown: Dura'a, Syria

Background: After graduating from the University of Damascus in 2001, I worked in several high schools in Syria for a period of 4 years. Following this, I moved to Kuwait and taught at a school (Cambridge), then I taught at the American Creativity Academy School for Boys, and lastly I worked at the center for strengthening and teaching children until I reached my current status of working in the American United School of Kuwait as a teacher. Outside of work, I partake in many hobbies such as: walking and taking part in volunteer work

Maha Sandeh

Arabic Teacher


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Arabic for Middle School and High School

Hometown: Aleppo City, Syria

Background: I graduated from the Kuwait University College of Education Arabic teaching department in 2007. Teaching languages is a passion of mine. I worked 11 years in Kuwait Ministry of Education schools. I have also created a book and resources for non-native Arabic students. I believe that love and compassion is the only way to create the best educational environment for our students.

Instructional Support Department

Dareen Tawil

HS Counselor


Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Home: Orlando, FL

Background: It’s so exciting for me to join the AUS family and begin this extraordinary journey!I’ve been in the education field for 12 amazing years.I’ve worked as a Teacher, Employability Instructor, Academic Advisor, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, MBA Advisor, and a High School Counselor over these years.My mission is to empower all students to achieve their highest potential and acquire the academic, career, and personal competencies necessary to achieve life-long success.A goal of mine is to make sure that all students are successful in High School and are able to smoothly transition into University, and achieve their educational and career goals! I believe that every day is precious and a new opportunity awaits!