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
Vice Principal and Head of Elementary
Mrs Kathryn Head brings over 25 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.
HEAD OF SECONDARY
Mr Nelson brings more than ten years of educational and leadership experience, with over five years being in the Middle East. Having moved to the UAE from the United Kingdom, Mr Nelson produces a plethora of pedagogical experiences, blended across pastoral and curriculum leadership roles.
Initially, teaching in socio-economically deprived areas of the UK, Mr Nelson taught Physical Education to students' with a range of behavioural and social difficulties. After relocating to Dubai, he was appointed Head of Boys' Physical Education at a large multi-cultural international school. His career progressed to becoming a Head of House, undertaking pastoral duties to heighten the wellbeing of students within the school. During this period, he also completed his MA in Educational Leadership and management whilst continuing to teach Physical Education and Theory of Knowledge across GCSE and IB levels.
In 2019, Mr Nelson joined West Yas Academy as the Dean of Students, leading on student wellbeing and behaviour for learning reforms. With this, he strived to develop students holistically, equipping them with the skills that are required to flourish within a global society. Mr Nelson has been appointed as Head of Secondary and continues to drive the school improvement agenda, with the relentless energy 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 the Middle and High School. This year Mr Millington will focus upon 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.