As Superintendent of arguably Dubai's leading and only not-for-profit American curriculum school - ASD - Mutsch has spent five years developing the school’s already excellent reputation among the US expat community and leading its relocation from the original premises in Jumeirah to a new state of the art campus in Al Barsha with expanded facilities and student numbers. Within a year of moving the school was once again full to capacity and is now contemplating further expansion.
Equally importantly Mutsch has made the school less remote and more engaged with the Dubai school population. The range of co-curricular activities and impressive involvement of parents has ensured that ASD maintains its reputation as a Community School in the traditional US sense. At a time when other schools in Dubai – particularly those at the Premium fee level – are feeling the economic pinch, ASD continues to attract families seeking the quintessential US experience.
How long have you worked in the UAE?
This is my fifth year working at the American School of Dubai.
What made you choose the education sector?
I've spent 44 years in education and believe that I've been richly blessed to have been in a profession that has resulted in my believing that I've not worked a day of my life.
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the industry in the UAE?
The greatest challenges facing educators today is the shared responsibility with parents of preparing young people for a world that will be dramatically different from the world many of us as adults grew up in over the past several decades.
What are the key milestones in your career so far?
I spent 21 years in public education in the U.S. serving as a teacher, counselor, associate principal, principal and superintendent. The past 23 years have been spent serving four international schools (International Schools Group in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Aramco Schools in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Singapore American School in Singapore and the American School of Dubai in Dubai) as superintendent.
What do you think is your greatest achievement, in education, to date - and why?
Bringing school communities together to share a common mission has been one of my greatest achievements. When a school community has clarity around why they exist and what they're trying to accomplish, the number of good things that can occur specific to the quality of the student learning experience being made available is truly amazing.
Name three things which get you up and motivate you each day?
Making a positive difference in the life of the school and therefore in the lives of students, parents, faculty and staff. Creating a learning environment in which the dreams of students can become a reality. Modelling the ASD Core Values in a manner that serve as an example for those with whom I have the pleasure of interacting.
What would you still like to achieve in your professional life?
There are a variety of things to yet be accomplished. The hiring of outstanding learning leaders, faculty and staff. The further expansion of the school so that we can continue to make outstanding education available to an increasing number of students. The design and implementation of systems that serve to further improve the quality of the student learning experiences.
What is your advice for others hoping to emulate your success?
While keeping an eye on the future in terms of planning and execution, be in the present and celebrate each moment.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of working in education?
Knowing that you've been a small part of wonderful gifts to the future in the form of young people who will shape that future.