Thank you! Schools Praise Their 'Unsung Heroes'

Today is World Gratitude Day, and for those of us lucky to reside in the UAE, there is a lot to be thankful for! To mark this day, our team have asked schools across the country to share words of gratitude about the unsung heroes in their workforce. Every school has a 'behind the scenes' team who keep things running smoothly, and their roles have been all the more vital during the Covid19 pandemic. Here's our (and your!) chance to show your gratitude for these very special people.
Thank you! Schools Praise Their 'Unsung Heroes'
By Jenny Mollon
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Lifeguards, bus drivers, bus attendants, nurses, canteen staff, cleaners, security guards, school administrators and more...behind the scenes at every UAE school there is a whole host of people working hard to create a safe and happy learning environment for our children.  Tuesday 21st September is World Gratitude Day, and a chance to share all our thanks to these 'unsung heroes'.

If  their is someone in your school you would like to show gratitude to for this feature, please email [email protected].

Kirsty, Receptionist, Repton Al Barsha


"A wave of gratitude goes to our Foundation Stage Receptionist Kirsty. Her fantastically calm nature and warm demeanour are the very first things to greet our FS community each morning. She works tirelessly to ensure that both teachers and parents alike are kept up to date and does so with impressive efficiency. Kirsty is always happy to lend her wonderful organisation skills to keep our happy department a bright and effectual setting. Her strong work ethic and dedication is the foundation of what we strive for here at Repton Al Barsha. Thank you Kirsty!" The Team at Repton Al Barsha

Nina Ramirez, Office Assistant, Blossom Nursery, Dubai Hills


"To someone who never says no to extra tasks, a positive proactive, right hand to everyone at the nursery! Our office assistant is definitely one of a kind, Nina Ramirez; from morning greetings, to finishing tasks on time, to knowing all children and parents.

The perfect addition to Blossom Dubai Hills Nursery, and definitely someone we cannot live without. Thank you Nina!" The Team at Blossom Nursery, Dubai Hills

Ms Trinity Stewart, Head of HR, RGS Guildford Dubai


"Mrs Trinity Stewart is our Head of Human Resources at RGS Guildford Dubai. She was one of the very first members of the RGSGD team, setting up the school from scratch! She moved out to Dubai with her son Ryan last August from the UK together with our Head of Prep Mrs Clare Turnbull. Her and Mrs Turnbull did the incredible work of going through more than 1400 applications for teaching positions and setting up interviews to ensure RGSGD would have the most motivated and qualified teachers to make the school a real success and ensure the quality of teaching would reflect the excellent standards as RGS Guildford!

"Aside from being a pillar of RGSGD’s tremendously successful launch in Dubai, we want to thank Trinity for her good mood, positivity and kindness. She is a wonderful person to work with and we are all very fortunate to have her!"

Ms Rica Ramos, Environment, Health and Safety Officer, Deira Private School


At Deira Private School, we understand well that Happiness is an Attitude of Gratitude. It is not happy people who are thankful, it is the thankful people who are happy.

Whilst there are many team members who work behind the scenes and ensure the smooth operations at our school, on World Gratitude Day, we would like to offer a special mention and Thank You note to Ms Rica Ramos - The Environment, Health and Safety Officer at DePS.

Fondly called Aate Rica (Aate means elder sister in Tagalog) Ms Rica has been part of the founding group - Chubby Cheeks Nurseries for 8 years and we are grateful for her loyalty. Now at DePS she ensures that Health and Safety policies are developed, reviewed, communicated and executed within our school. She does daily risk assessments and supervises the medical, cleaning, security and maintenance teams at DePS.

She lives by the ethos that a Healthy Child is a Happy Child, and a student who feels safe will learn. The entire faculty, student and parent community at DePS would like to thank Aate Rica for keeping the students, staff and community at DePS safe and healthy. We wish you and your family, more happiness, more health and more power.


Nurse Joy Orlina - Children's Oasis Nursery


"Nurse Joy truly goes above and beyond at Children’s Oasis. It is clear to anyone who meets Joy that she truly cares for all of us. Being a Mum herself, Joy understands how difficult it can be for parents when their little ones become unwell. Thank you Joy for doing what you do to such a high standard and for making us all feel safe. We love working with you at Children’s Oasis and feel so blessed to have you on our team." Susan Roberts, Nursery Director, Children Oasis Nursery

Ukaegbu Ikwuagwu Egbe, Security Guard, Safa British School


"Uke is our main security man. He has the memory of a computer and knows each child and matches them with the car and parent from 100's of metres away. He has worked at Safa British School for 6 years and in that time has seen the children grow and flourish. He is treasured and respected by all and he keeps our school safe." Zara Harrington, Principal, Safa British School

James Sornito, Head of Security, Kent College Dubai


"Our Head of Security, James Sornito has been with Kent College Dubai since the very first day the school opened its doors. We are so grateful to be greeted by his warm smile and jovial demeanour each morning. James brings the same level of enthusiasm and happy energy every single day, and continually goes above and beyond his duties. He knows most parents and students by name and is instrumental in helping ensure our end-of-day procedures run smoothly. James, our KCD family is richer for having you be a part of it!" Anthony Cashin, Principal, Kent College Dubai

Sunita, Caretaker, Little Land Nursery


"In 2014 Sunita was recommended to Little Land as a great worker with a good heart and has been the caretaker at the nursery ever since.  Her real strengths shone through when we relocated premises. Sunita spent every day for three months supervising the work, translating for the tradesmen and making sure that everything was attended to. She was the ultimate project manager!  It is such a pleasure to work with a lady like Sunita who is kind and loving and has great initiative. We are grateful for all her hard work, dedication and the positive energy she brings to the nursery". Siog Moore, Director, Little Land Nursery

Roralyn Delfin, Administrative Assistant, Clarion School


"Ms. Roralyn Delfin is the smile that greets us every day.  She is the one who goes to every room to double check attendance each morning.  She delivers the ordered lunches to children each day.  She is a bus monitor, caring for children on their route each day to and from school. But more than all of the above, she is a kind, gentle person, always with a smile on her face and the lilt of kindness in her words. Schools run on many things, but what helps Clarion run is Roralyn and her kindness and care."  Jim Pastore, Principal, Clarion School

Harindran Kambrath, Facility Foreman, GEMS Al Khaleej International School


"A big thank you goes to Harindran, who works closely with our Manager – School Operations. Even in the face of so many last-minute changes around KHDA’s announcement for back to school, Harindran once again proved his leadership abilities, working efficiently and displaying the utmost commitment to his duties and responsibilities. As soon as KHDA gave its directives, Harindran made things happen through his meticulous planning and by providing every support for school operations. His dedication ensured all academic requirements were met in no time".  Ghadeer Abu-Shamat, Superintendent-CEO, GEMS Al Khaleej International School

Prashant D'Costa, Maintenance-in-Charge, Dubai Scholars Private School


"Mr. Prashant D’Costa is the maintenance in charge at Dubai Scholars. He hails from the small town of Kundapur, India.  The most endearing quality of Prashant is that he takes immense pride in the work he does.  Being dependable, hard-working, and composed, he has a superhuman ability to repair nearly anything that’s broken. All stakeholders have a great amount of respect and appreciation for his relentless hard work, commitment, and dedication towards the entire community.  A special and a big 'thank you' from all Students of Dubai Scholars to their very own Prashant Uncle".  From all at Dubai Scholars Private School

MD Saidul, Support Staff, GEMS International School – Al Khail


"Saidul has been with GEMS for over 10 years. He is soft spoken and has a welcoming smile at all times. An extremely hardworking member of the school operations, Saidul has an eye for painting across the school and has been instrumental in maintaining the internal areas in top condition. He is also passionate about gardening, and gets his skills from his father who has been working as a gardener in Dubai Municipality for many years. Saidul is married and has two daughters, aged 11 and four. We are proud to have Saidul with us".  The Team at GEMS International School - Al Khail

Subith Kumar Kappiyil, Multimedia Coordinator, GEMS Modern Academy


"Subith, or ‘Subi’ as he is fondly referred to, is one of the most wanted people at GEMS Modern Academy! In the last 14 years, he has cemented his position as one of the most recognisable faces and best loved people at the school. From classroom recordings, assemblies, sports, musicals and all major school events, there is nothing that happens at Modern without Subith’ s involvement and magic touch.  GEMS Modern Academy is filled with gratitude for the blessing that Subith is to our community, and for his continued love and dedication to the school."  The Team at GEMS Modern Academy

Mr. Arivalagan Veerappan, Transport and Facilities Co-Ordinator, Scholars International Academy


"It is always really important to recognise those around us for their contribution to creating an amazing environment for the children at SIA. One of our best in doing this is Mr. Ari.  Mr. Ari has been an all-arounder at SIA since his arrival, being a jack of all trades, from transport to facilities, knowing every corner of the school as well as ensuring all jobs are effectively completed. Working night and day, he takes pride and honour in calling SIA his family. Mr. Ari has been working with his heart and soul without a single day off for almost 14 years of his tenure at SIA".  James Batts, Principal, Scholars International Academy

Gladys Graciosca, School Nurse, Dwight School Dubai


"Our school nurse, Gladys Graciosa, provides excellent health care through assessment, intervention, and follow-up for all children. On World Gratitude Day we would like to give thanks to Gladys for her caring, empathetic, flexible and selfless work in school."  The Team at Dwight School Dubai

Manju, School Nurse, Brighton College Dubai


"Manju makes a huge impact every day, running the Brighton College Dubai clinic. Her knowledge and kindness are obvious to all who visit the clinic and she is incredibly calm when dealing with many pupils at busy times of the day. She advises and informs parents, delivers health awareness sessions to pupils and knows the pupils’ names when they come to her with their aliments. Manju’s commitment to the College adds huge value to our goal of keeping the pupils safe and happy so that they can learn well". The Team at Brighton College Dubai

Mr Alan Loxton, Facilities Manager, JESS Jumeirah and JESS Arabian Ranchesundefined

"Alan manages a diverse team of 67 people who speak over 7 different languages and deal with all the school’s facilities and maintenance needs. They have ensured the JESS community are kept safe and healthy throughout COVID and ensure all maintenance, security and safety requirements are dealt with promptly and all with enormous smiles.  Without Alan and his team we would not be the school we are and we would like to thank them all on this #WorldGratituteDay!" The Team, Jumeirah English Speaking School

Mary Rose Umali, Cleaning Staff, Victory Heights Primary School


"Mary Rose always goes above and beyond on a daily basis, she is so fast with all her work and she always has a huge smile on her face (you may not see it with the mask on but you can hear her giggling).  She has great attention to detail, is hard working and she has a beautiful soul".  The Team at Victory Heights Primary School

Santosh Kumar Krishnankutty, Facilities Supervisor, GEMS Royal Dubai School


"Santosh Kumar Krishnankutty has been with GEMS Royal Dubai School since 2009.   Every member of staff knows him, as he has such an impact on how we all work. The RDS team is free from stress and able to focus on delivering outstanding lessons and events, as we know Santosh is there to support us with whatever we need, no matter how great the task. Thank you, Santosh, for everything you do.  You are a wonderful example of why GEMS RDS is ‘a school where people love to be’".  John Bagust, Principal-CEO, GEMS Royal Dubai School

Melanie Labrador, Safe Squad Member, Universal American School


"We would like to thank our Safe Squad member Melanie Labrador for your tireless efforts to keep our school community safe. As a cancer survivor, you fought back and continued to work your way through the pandemic, demonstrating an extremely high work ethic. Your focus, resilience, and passion inspire all of us every day at Universal American School. We truly appreciate all your hard work and efforts".  The Team at Universal American School

Amir Muhammad, Security Guard, Deira International School


"We would like to thank our Security Guard Amir Muhammad for your outstanding dedication and level of customer service. Your special welcome salute every morning is something the whole school community notices and appreciates. Your impeccable level of customer service, care, and focus on health and safety around our school makes every student, parent and staff member feel like a VIP at Deira International School. We are so grateful to have you at DIS".  The Team at Deira International School

Tapash Ray, Facilities Supervisor, Arcadia School


"Tapash will always go above and beyond to ensure that our school is kept spotlessly clean and looking immaculate, this has been particularly important during the past year. He is a very popular member of staff and most students, faculty and parents know him by name. His smiley nature and willingness to help in all departments does not go unnoticed and Arcadia is very lucky to have him as part of our team and school community"The Team at Arcadia School

Jackie, Security Guard, Brighton College Abu Dhabi


"Jackie is thought of with fondness and respected by all staff, children and families.  She makes a point of learning the children’s names, what class they are in and remembering the adults that collect each and every child. This is no small feat for a school of nearly 600 children.  Jackie is always willing to help and even after the loss of both of her parents, she came back to work because she knew the temporary guard would not know who the children are. We would love to show our huge appreciation of Jackie through this small gesture of recognition".  The Team at Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Ismail Panjala, Multi-Technician, Brighton College Al Ain


"Today, on World Gratitude Day, we would like to say a special thank you to our Multi-Technician, Ismail Panjala. Ismail has a positive, "can-do" attitude and a dedicated and hardworking character.  Ismail has stepped up on several occasions to ensure operations run smoothly. We cannot thank Ismail enough for his efforts and are delighted to be given the opportunity to recognise the huge impact he has on our community"The Team at Brighton College Al Ain

Marian Lofty, Regulatory Affairs Coordinator and Senior School ECA Coordinator, Repton Abu Dhabi


"Marian Lofty is Repton Abu Dhabi’s Regulatory Affairs Coordinator and Senior School ECA Coordinator. She succeeds in this complicated and difficult role with a beaming smile. Marian has supported and offered advice to every single member of our large staff team at one point or another. What many of our team don’t realise is that Marian also believes in serving her wider community, which she does during the evening and at weekends.  In the future Marian hopes to make an even bigger impact in students’ lives. She is modelling the importance of life-long learning, as she currently completes her studies to become an Art Teacher".  Gillian Hammond, Principal, Repton Abu Dhabi

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