Nargish Khambatta wins Exceptional Head Award

The principal of GEMS Modern Academy won the inaugural award with 273,000 AED as a cash prize. She is going to donate half of it to a fund to help teachers within her school.
Nargish Khambatta wins Exceptional Head Award
By Veathika
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

GEMS Education has announced Nargish Khambatta from GEMS Modern Academy as the winner of its inaugural ‘GEMS Exceptional Head of School Awards’.

The awards recognise outstanding Heads of Schools, including bothPrincipals and Superintendents, who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for all their students.

Nominated by peers, and chosen by a judging panel, Nargish Khambatta was taken by “surprise” when her name was announced as the winner.

“I didn’t apply for this and it was a very overwhelming experience. I feel its not about me or my work but my peer group. Leadership is a privilege and I was a representative of my peer group. Its also a manifestation of what the school stands for and the work the whole team does. I am just a face to receive the award.”

She received a cash prize of US$75,000, which she said she found difficult to digest and convert into Dirhams (273,000 AED).

We asked Ms Khambatta what she planned to do with the prize money…?

“I have been to my accountant to find out how we can set up a staff welfare fund, as I would like to put 50% of the prize money into that. This is basically for the staff who need extra cash and instead of taking a bank loan, we can help them from within the school. It’s the contribution of my team that has got me to where I am and this is my way of honouring the award itself. It’s a legacy I want to leave.”

Apart from the staff welfare fund, Nargish also want to go on a relaxing holiday for a few days.

The nominated Heads of Schools were evaluated using several criteria including responsiveness to needs and strengths of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds; understanding of the curriculum; and assessment and reporting requirements, while also demonstrating innovative practices that engage and support all students.

Simon O'Connor, Principal & CEO of Jumeriah College was named the runner–up and received a cash prize of 91,000 AED (US $25,000). The other three finalists received US $10,000.

The top five finalists of the GEMS Exceptional Head of School were - Matthew Burfield, GEMS Founders School- Al Barsha; Asma Gilani, Our Own English High School- Sharjah Girls; Ruth Burke, GEMS Wellington International School; Nargish Khambatta, GEMS Modern Academy; and Simon O’Connor, Jumeirah College.

Latest UAE articles

School Uniforms: The Good, Bad and The Pricey!

At, we know that there are a couple of topics that will have UAE p…


Thank you! Schools Praise Their 'Unsung Heroes'

Lifeguards, bus drivers, bus attendants, nurses, canteen staff, cleaners, security guards…

School Performance

Cognita Acquires Ranches Primary School

The acquisition by Cognita of Ranches Primary School follows that of Horizon English Sc…


PCR for Worried Kids: Where, Why, How Much

Children and adults across the UAE can now count PCR testing as part of their regular hea…


Part Time Jobs on Horizon for Dubai Teens

The UAE’s teenagers will soon be able to take on paid employment alongside their st…


Parents Fume as Bus Journey Times Jump

Parents from a number of UAE schools have expressed frustration at the length of time the…

New Schools

New French School Opens in Meydan

Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé – Meydan has opened a new campus, …


Back to School 2021: In Pictures!

After a long summer break, UAE schools have reopened for the 2021-22 academic year and in…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All