Excitement, enthusiasm, and energy best describe the start of the 2012-2013 academic year at ACS Doha International School. Students began classes on Sunday, September 9, following several orientation and parent conference days.
ACS Doha began the school year with a new Head of School, 470 newly-enrolled students, 40 additional staff and two inaugural Grade 9 classes, representing the official opening of the High School.
Diane Hren has been appointed Head of School at ACS Doha following the retirement of founding head, Tom Lehman. Diane previously served as Deputy Head working extensively on preparing the programmes to open the school back in September 2011. An experienced international educationalist, Hren has taught on both sides of the Atlantic in Middle and High School roles. She has also spent 10 years as a school administrator, including the positions of Middle School Principal and Deputy Head of School at ACS Cobham International School in England, before relocating to Doha.
Diane will build upon the foundation laid by Tom Lehman to develop an exceptional strategic educational framework that will guide the school’s outstanding faculty for years to come. Her goal remains to create an outstanding educational environment to serve the needs of local and expat communities in Doha.
In line with Qatar’s national vision 2030, which highlights the importance of investing in Qatar’s human development to become an advanced knowledge-based society, ACS Doha has gone through a significant expansion in its first year. With the number of students more than doubling to well over 750, the number of teachers, teaching assistants and staff joining the school has also increased significantly, reaching 100. This is almost twice the number employed by the school in June 2011. Thirty more classrooms and office spaces have been furnished and opened this summer, which means occupation of the entire building and campus.
Pre-K student enrolment alone has exceeded 250, and teachers in the division are proud of the important role they play in establishing the vibrant culture and ethos of the school amongst the youngest children.
“Children are involved in their learning,” asserts Susan Leese, Early Childhood Principal at ACS Doha. “Some are building a house with blocks. Others are writing stories. A group role-play being scientists. Teachers and assistants energise, acknowledge, and encourage the efforts of every child – whether individually or in groups, each child is a picture of happiness and contentment.”
The recent appointment of Leese exemplifies the school’s determination to reinforce its leadership and infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of a growing student body.
With over 40 different nationalities, global citizenship is encouraged and promoted as the norm. Stimulating an open international community to engage and affect the world around them ensures that ACS Doha students become truly multi-cultured, tolerant and knowledgeable about the community around them.
“By understanding each other’s cultures we empower knowledge, embrace tolerance and create a school community where all belong, and where all are valued,” asserts Hren.
High school is now open with two classes in Grade 9, representing around 40 students and 10 teachers. The ACS vision is clear; teachers teach students before teaching subjects. Their insights help identify and guide each student’s ability, interests, and enthusiasm.
“High School will quickly become a second home to our students. It’s the natural place where young adults explore and strengthen their personalities and embrace individuality,” underlines Dale Taylor, Middle School and High School Principal.
ACS Doha International School aims to inspire students to become confident and independent learners. Through a challenging academic programme, the school wants to equip each one of its students with the ability to attend and excel at the University of their choice anywhere in the world.
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