Dr Kotarski has worked across public, private, and charter schools in the US, UK, and MENA region over the past 15 years as a school leader and teacher. He holds a Doctorate in organisational change and leadership from the University of Southern California. Apart from school leadership, his area of research interest is in teacher education and professional training and development.
MEET OUR LEADERSHIP
Principal of Elementary
Mrs Kathryn Head brings over 28 years of educational experience to West Yas Academy, including fourteen years in leadership positions. She has a Bachelor of Education qualifying her to teach from KG - Year 10, with her Post Graduate studies in Educational Leadership and Administration. Mrs Head also recently completed a MIT Course, 'Launching Innovation into Schools', completing a cycle of study and experimentation as a change leader in instructional improvement. Before moving to the UAE, Mrs Head worked in both Asia and Australia and has experience in US, UK, IB, Australian and International Curriculum.
Furthermore, Mrs Head has extensive experience in curriculum development, specialising in the Inquiry-based approach. With her extensive skill set in curriculum and leadership, she has had the privilege of training and upskilling teachers and mentoring leaders. Mrs Head promotes learning through creative thinking skills and values innovation, promoting 21st Century learning skills to enhance teaching and learning. Mrs Head is passionate, dynamic and embraces international mindedness, valuing diversity while embracing the UAE culture in which she lives.
PRINCIPAL OF SECONDARY
Mr. Nelson brings more than eleven years of educational and leadership experience, with over six years within the Middle East. He maintains a Master of Arts qualification in Educational Leadership, accompanied with a plethora of pedagogical expertise, blended across pastoral and curriculum leadership positions. Furthermore, he has taught and led curriculums across the US, GCSE, BTEC, and IB frameworks throughout his career to date.
Initially trained and qualified as a teacher in the United Kingdom, Mr. Nelson taught Physical Education in various educational settings. After relocating to Dubai in 2015, he was appointed Head of Boys; Physical Education at a large multi-cultural international school. During this time, his career progressed to becoming a Head of House, leading pastoral initiatives to heighten students support and wellbeing within the school.
In 2019, Mr. Nelson joined West Yas Academy as the Dean of Students, leading change in student wellbeing and behavior for learning reforms. He is passionate about developing students holistically, equipping them with the skills required for students to flourish within an ever changing global society. As Head of Secondary, he is passionate about driving improvements at West Yas Academy, with the relentless energy to work in partnership with parents, staff, and the school community to ensure a high-quality education is made available to every child at West Yas Academy.
DIRECTOR OF SPORT AND PERFORMANCE
Mr Weaver has been teaching for 18 years. As a full-scholarship student-athlete, he graduated with a BSc in Sports Management from Liberty University in Virginia, USA.
Mr Weaver began his teaching career at a large sports college in East London where he held various roles and responsibilities during his 11 years of service, progressing to Assistant Director of Sport. Seeking a new challenge, his family moved to Dubai in 2013 where he took up the position of Head of Secondary Physical Education at GEMS Wellington International School, before moving up to Director of Sport and Performance at GEMS FirstPoint School in 2017.
Whether playing, coaching, watching or supporting, he has always had a love of the sport. He has coached at the collegiate, high school and club level and still plays competitive football weekly.
At West Yas, one of his objectives is increasing the opportunities for students to participate in Sport and Performing Arts and to develop links that will enrich the school community for all stakeholders. Mr Weaver firmly believes in the positive benefits that come from participating in sports and performing arts and hopes that all students find activities that will ensure lifelong participation.
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - ELECTIVES AND SCHEDULING
Mr Millington is one of the founding teachers at West Yas Academy and joined the school initially as a lead teacher of Science and Engineering in 2016. Originally from the United Kingdom, he has over 15 years of teaching and leadership experience in secondary schools. His role at West Yas Academy currently centres around overseeing the leadership of the upper school’s elective studies program. Mr Millington ensures that there is a pathway to success for all students in a wide range of subject disciplines offered in Middle and High School. This year Mr Millington will focus on making links with external organizations in education and industry further to enhance the curriculum experience for West Yas students. In addition, he will also take the lead on scheduling at the school.