our team



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.



Ron Packard

CEO and Founder of Pansophic Learning


Maria Szalay

Co founder and chief Operating Officer, 

Pansophic Learning

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.

Martha Burnige

Executive Vice President, Pansophic
Learning UK

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

General Manager

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.


Diane Claver

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.


Diane Claver


Suzanne Watson


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.