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OUR TEAM

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

Founding Principal

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.

FATIMA ABDULKAZEM

Arabic Curriculum Coordinator

Ms. Abdulkazem was born in Dubai and grew up in a bilingual immersion private school in Beirut.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona and received her K-8 Teaching certificate. She felt she was missing a critical component that could solidify her philosophy as an inspiring and effective teacher. She then earned her Master of Arts in Language, Reading, and Culture from the University of Arizona where she worked with Dr. Kathy Short, a pioneer of teaching through inquiry and children’s literature.