The UAE's Education Influencers, 2017 launches its very first educational influencers for 2017. Through their hard-work and pioneering initiatives these individuals share one thing in common - they are all shaping and changing the UAE's education landscape for the better...
The UAE's Education Influencers, 2017
By C Hoppe
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 Sue Johnston 

As the longest serving principal in Dubai, and described as ‘inspirational,’ by the KHDA, Johnson has been on the radar for quite some time now.

She’s grown Al Salam from a small nursery in the 80s to the full Foundation to A Level school it is today.

She has done this while keeping things highly affordable: Al Salam still asks parents for only AED 16130 for Foundation to just under AED 29750 for Year 12 in annual fees.

In return, parents at the school receive an impressive educational service. An active and engaged SEN department in which the KHDA in 2015/16 could not find fault and outstanding GCSE results (for two years now, they have been second only to Dubai College).

Even the KHDA seems to concur, awarding rating Al Salam Very Good to Outstanding for most criteria in its latest 2015/16 report.


How long have you been here in the UAE?
Since 1981

What made you choose the education sector?
I have always loved children and as a primary school teacher it was a natural transition to remain in this sector upon moving to the UAE.

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the industry in the UAE?
Staff recruitment and retention.

What are the milestones in your career so far?
To see the growth of Al Salam from a Nursery in 1985 to an all-through school (Nursery to A-level) that it is today and the exceptional outcomes it produces year in, year out.

What do you think is your greatest achievement in education to date and why?
The establishment of Al Salam and being able to follow the careers of our former students and their contributions and positive changes to the world that we live in. 

Name three things which get you up and motivate you each day.
The children.
The children.
The children. 

What would you still like to achieve in your professional life?
The expansion of Al Salam; so that many others can benefit from the high quality education that we provide. 

What is your advice for others hoping to emulate your success?
Always put the children first and maintain the moral purpose to do what is right for them at all times.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of working in education?
The children.


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