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As CEO and founder of Pansophic Learning, the global technology-based education company that operates iCademy Middle East, Ron Packard is highly regarded in his field. He is well known as an educator, entrepreneur, and visionary and is the author of ‘Education Transformation’ – a book that demonstrates why technology is critical to the future of education.
Mr Packard was the long-time CEO and founder of K12 Inc and in that role oversaw the growth of K12 from an idea to a billion dollar business. It is now one of the world’s leading education companies. Before K12, Mr Packard was vice-president of Knowledge Universe and CEO of Knowledge Schools, one of the USA’s largest early-childhood education companies.
He was instrumental in the successful investments in Learn Now, Children’s School USA, Leapfrog, TEC, and Children’s Discovery Center. He has also received the Education Industry Association’s James P. Boyle Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS
Co founder and chief Operating Officer,
Maria Szalay brings more than 20 years of strategy, operations, and development capability to Pansophic Learning. She joined K12 in 2000 and was instrumental in growing it from a pre-revenue startup to a $900 million public company. In this time, Ms Szalay served in a variety of roles including product management, product development, operations, strategy, and corporate development.
Before joining K12, she was practice director at Operon Partners, an e-business consulting firm where she led consulting teams assisting clients with business strategy, product management, and business transformation consulting services. She worked directly in client organisations developing business plans to obtain funding, and assisted with the implementation of online initiatives, with specialized expertise in integrating these solutions with their bricks-and-mortar business.
Executive Vice President, Pansophic
Martha Burnige is a senior education executive with more than 10 years’ experience of working with schools and education institutions. After seven years as a lawyer in London with two leading education law firms, Stone King and Veale Wasbrough Vizards, she became the in-house lawyer for Prospects Services, a large UK education and training group with a turnover of more than £80m.
In 2013 she was recruited by a former client, Mosaica Education, an international education company operating charter schools in the US and private schools overseas, where she worked on international business development focused on the Middle East. In July 2015 Mosaica was taken over by Pansophic Learning. As Executive Vice President, Martha Burnige is responsible for all UK operations and is a trustee and a member of the executive team of Aurora Academies Trust, a group of five UK schools sponsored by Pansophic Learning.
As well as being a governing board member of iCademy Middle East, she is also a board member of the International School of Berne in Switzerland.
Rasha Shammout is a highly accomplished finance executive and General Manager with experience in the education sector. She currently serves as the Vice President of Accounting at Pansophic and General Manager of iCademy, an innovative online learning platform that provides K-12 students with personalized, engaging, and interactive learning experiences.
In her current role at iCademy, Rasha Shammout oversees the company’s accounting, and operations functions, with a focus on driving growth, profitability, and operational efficiency. She is responsible for developing and implementing financial strategies that support the company’s goals. She is known for her strategic vision, financial acumen, and commitment to innovation and excellence.
Rasha Shammout holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from George Mason University. She is a certified public accountant (CPA) and Project Management Professional (PMP). In addition to her work at iCademy, she is actively involved in supporting middle eastern entrepreneur women in her community.
HEAD OF SCHOOL
Diane Claver serves as the Head of School for iCademy Middle East, bringing over twenty years’ experience in online and blended-model education as a teacher, special education coordinator, and academic leader.
Under her leadership, iCademy became one of the first online schools to be accredited by the prestigious New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in 2017. Throughout her career, Diane has been committed to providing innovative and personalized learning experienced for students, working to ensure that iCademy provides a high-qualify education to students from around the world. Her vision has helped to shape the school into a vibrant and dynamic learning community, where students are challenged to reach their full potential.
Diane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, and a Master of Public Health with an emphasis in policy from A.T. Still University, as well as graduate studies in Curriculum and Instruction from Northwest Nazarene University. She is a previous winner of the “Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education”, a UAE education leadership award.
KHDA & KNOWLEDGE HUB PRINCIPAL
KHDA & Knowledge Hub Principal
Suzanne Watson joined iCademy Middle East in January 2023 as the KHDA and Knowledge Hub Principal. Suzanne graduated from Florida Atlantic University of Boca Raton with a BA in Elementary Education and subsequently earned her MS in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Suzanne gained valuable educational experience in a variety of school settings as a teacher and educational leader in South Florida for 14 years prior to moving to the UAE.
Suzanne has proven herself as an accomplished teacher and leader for KG-G12 schools in the UAE over the past nine years. She is licensed in Educational Leadership in the UAE and is also a certified school inspector. Suzanne is an innovative academic leader who believes in providing the kind of leadership and guidance that will facilitate a safe and inclusive school environment, supporting the individualized instruction that is essential to meet the needs of all students.
Suzanne believes that the best approach to learning is one which focuses on the whole child, promoting the long-term development and success of each child. She is passionate about the education and wellbeing of students and prioritizes building a highly effective home/school partnership to maximize the academic and social development of all students. She is committed to working in collaboration with staff, parents, and students to create a vibrant, optimistic, and energetic learning community.
Maya Sleiman is the High School Department Chair at iCademy Middle East. As a member of the senior leadership team she assists in the academic and operational aspects of High School and supports efforts to improve student performance. Maya is from the United Kingdom and has now been residing in Dubai for the past 15 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from North London University in the UK and holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sunderland UK. She brings significant teaching and management experience in the education field. Over the past 10 years she has assumed teaching positions educating students across different grade levels. Before her current position she served 4 years as an Academic Advisor for Middle and High School here at iCademy. She is very passionate about Education and providing student with high quality personalized education to achieve student potential.
Angela Johansson is from Sweden and has a Bachelor with Honors Degree from the UK in Criminology and Sociology, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. Angela joined iCademy Middle East in 2012, and this is her 8th year working in the Learning Center. Ms. Angela is the Middle & High School Lead Learning Coach and enjoys working alongside the students in helping them reach their potential. ‘’I love teaching and seeing students’ progress and develop’’.
Caitriona Lane has worked with iCademy Middle East for 6 years, first starting as a homeroom Lower School teacher before moving to the Middle School team to work as the Life and Physical science teacher. In 2016 Caitriona became the Lead Teacher for Middle School before transitioning to her current position. Caitriona graduated from the University of Limerick, Ireland, with a Bachelor of Education in Biological Science with Physics and a Master of Education in Mentoring. During Caitriona’s 12 years of teaching experience, she has remained student focused, seeking to actively engage students and incorporate fun and creative ideas to allow her students to become proficient in science. In her leadership role she has a desire to cultivate holistic education for children throughout the world, trying to actively engage the minds of future leaders.
Ms. Paula, one of our qualified SEN Teachers from Ireland at the iCad+ programme here in iCademy Middle East. Having graduated with honors from Trinity College Dublin with a Bachelor of Education in Home Economics she taught for 8 years in the Irish education system in both mainstream education and in the area of special needs. 6 years ago, Paula moved to Dubai and spent her first two years working as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist. Paula has been working with the iCad+ Group for 4 years now, it has been an amazing and rewarding experience for her. Every day here is truly different. The iCad+ programme is unique, just like the students there. Ms. Paula and her team, under the guidance of Ms. Jo, provide a safe and intimate environment where the students are given the opportunity to develop not just academically but personally and socially. The teams aim is to offer a diverse curriculum that covers not only academics but many essential skills such as life skills, communication, social, health and employability skills. real life, age appropriate skills and to promote future independence