Washington Arabic School is proud to have a staff of teachers that are passionate about making a difference in students’ lives through tireless dedication to education. Get to know each of our team members below.
DR. HANI ABO AWAD
Founder and Head of School
Dr. Abo Awad has been an educator for 18 years in the elementary and high school levels on two continents. Dr. Abo Awad was graduated from Howard University’s Urban Educational Leadership and Policy doctoral program after having received two Masters from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, one in teaching Arabic and one educational leadership.
DR. VALAIDA L. WISE
Dr. Wise served as the Head of School in the DMV area for more than 20 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology from Syracuse University, a Masters of Art in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Trinity College, and earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the George Washington University. Dr. Wise also holds an AMS Primary Montessori certification and Charlotte Danielson Teaching Framework Certification.
JAYME SHORES GUBARTALLA
Director of Special Education and Inclusion
Ms. Gubartalla is excited to have the opportunity to support WAPCS mission and further the vision for a unique and timely dual immersion environment. Ms. Gubartalla has received her Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from American University and Graduate Certificate in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners from George Washington University.
Arabic Curriculum Coordinator
Ms. Fatima Abdulkazem holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and a Master of Arts in Language, Reading, and Culture, both from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Her mentor for her Master’s program was Dr. Kathy Short, a world-renowned pioneer of enhanced teaching through inquiry and children’s literature.
After receiving her K-8 teaching certificate, Fatima taught at an IB Public school in Tucson, AZ. She then successfully developed and implemented progressive curricula, using cutting-edge concepts in language learning, in top-notch international schools in Morocco, Dubai, and Kuwait. Fatima's own schooling was at a private, bilingual immersion school in Beirut. That experience impressed on her the profound value of a good bilingual curriculum and a nurturing, multicultural environment. Her passion is now to develop and implement a similar program at WAPCS.