Senior Leadership


Andrew Torris joined Universal American School in Dubai as Director in August of 2014.

Mr. Torris is a native of eastern Oregon and worked in school districts in the Portland, Oregon area before moving overseas in August of 2001.   He has served most recently at the Shanghai American School as the Deputy Superintendent and prior to working in Shanghai Mr. Torris served as a K-12 principal and supervising campus administrator for International Schools Group-Yanbu International School in Yanbu-Al Sinaiyah, Saudi Arabia. He began his career as an elementary classroom teacher and taught for 10 years before moving into the administrative role.  His administrative career has included work as an elementary vice principal, middle school vice principal, elementary principal, PK-12 principal, and middle school principal. 

Mr. Torris holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Oregon University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Pacific University and will soon complete his doctorate in organizational and educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.  Additionally, Mr. Torris holds educational specialist certificates in educational leadership and educational administration from Lewis and Clark College.

Mr. Torris is married to Amanda DeCardy and they have two children who attend the Universal American School.

High School Principal

Ole Bernard Sealey joins us as the High School  Principal after having served as the assistant principal at UAS for the past academic year and  for the prior three years as the Head of Secondary at Greenfield Community School in Dubai.

In that time, he was responsible for three IB programs (MYP, DP, and CP) overseeing 50 teachers and 470 students from Grades 6 through 12. Prior to that, he spent five years at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver, British Columbia. During that time, he worked as an MYP Coordinator, Humanities Teacher, and IB Diploma History Teacher for three years and two as a Vice Principal of Middle School. Mr. Sealey is very proud of his work with the IB; he is a school evaluator, workshop leader, a former executive member of the British Columbia Association of IB World Schools and has been involved in two global curriculum development initiatives. His other career passions include instructional design and school improvement. Mr. Sealey implemented a successful school improvement plan at Greenfield Community School; one of a handful of schools to have it's KHDA rating upgraded last year. He is passionate about learning and leadership and is looking forward to celebrating the academic success of the UAS community.

OB is  excited about getting involved in other aspects of the school. He credits the foundations of his success in educational leadership to the skills he learned as a multi-sport athlete in high school. It was on the sports fields that he learned about teamwork, communication, role development, goal-setting and hard work. This knowledge helped him embark on a successful amateur rugby career where he won provincial, state and national championships on teams in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong from 1997 to 2009. These days he and his wife Kristi are avid golfers who enjoy reading, cooking, traveling, and the symphony. 

High School Assistant Principal

Kyle Coppes is originally from Little Falls, MN and has a bachelor’s degree in social studies education. He will earn his master’s degree in educational leadership in December of 2016 from George Washington University. Kyle joins UAS with a decade of international teaching experience. He has been with Esol for seven years at two different schools. Kyle spent three of his six years in Egypt working at UAS’s sister school, AISE. While at AISE, he was promoted to Head of the Social Sciences Department. He has since spent the last four academic years as the IB coordinator at Esol’s AIS in Cyprus. He and his wife Dina have two young children. Ramzi will be joining UAS as a grade 2 student and little Sophia will attend a local nursery school. When not at work—nor looking for lost Legos or hunting down diaper rash cream—Kyle enjoys golfing and fishing. 


Middle School Principal

Mr. Pat HouldPrior to coming to UAS, Patrick’s educational home was the American International School (AIS main campus) in Cairo, Egypt, which is also an Esol affiliated school.  Patrick served as the Middle School Principal at AIS his first three years, and he was the Deputy Director/Elementary School Principal the past two school years. The great state of Montana is Patrick’s home state in the US, where he worked as a teacher and a principal for 25 years, including 18 years as a Junior High School Principal prior to his “first” retirement. Patrick has two adult children – Daniel and Mary - who are both married and live in Seattle, Washington, USA.  He loves to play golf, travel, read, laugh, and watch movies.   Patrick has always found encouragement and motivation in this quote by Mahatma Gandhi that reads: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” 

As the person enlisted to lead the newly created UAS Middle School, Patrick most definitely envisions positive changes on the horizon at UAS. He is extremely excited to lead this charge, and to do his best to make a difference in the future of this amazing school!  Rest assured that creating the first Middle School at UAS will, without a doubt, be a most excellent adventure, of which we all can be exceptionally proud – WOOHOO!!

Additionally, Patrick will oversee the development of the Universal American School Elementary School.  His passion for learning, his belief in teams, and a focus on what is best for children are foundational beliefs of his leadership.

Middle School Assistant Principal

In August 2015, Beverly Kempley started as the Assistant Principal for the newly formed Middle School.  Beverly joined UAS as the Elementary Assistant Principal in August 2014.  Ms. Kempley’s experience includes working with children of all ages, infant through adolescent.  She has served as Assistant Principal at the Elementary and Middle School level, including two years as Elementary Assistant Principal at our sister Esol school, The American International School in Egypt. After working in public schools for 30 years in the state of Arizona Beverly began her international career as Director of Learning Support at The American School in Switzerland.  Through this role, she founded, established, and built the Learning Support Program from the ground up.  Ms. Kempley has Master’s Degrees in the areas of Special Education and Educational Administration. She holds current Arizona Principal, Supervisor, Elementary Education, Special Education (Hearing Impaired and Learning Disabled), TESOL/TEFL, and Community College Certificates as well as a Structured English Immersion Endorsement.

Elementary School Principal

David Dorn has a wealth of school leadership experience, having served 29 years as an elementary school principal, middle school principal, high school principal, and a director of special education. Throughout David’s career, his professional mission has been to create an environment where children and adults alike will have the opportunity and support to reach their optimum potential.

 David holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois, plus a master’s degree with additional coursework in school leadership, curriculum design, and business management from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He has eight years of experience within international school leadership having worked in both Saudi Arabia and Myanmar. David has worked in a variety of stateside educational schools ranging from urban settings, such as Seattle, Chicago, and Los Angeles, to rural settings, such as Alaska and Montana. He has come to love and cherish the international setting as an exceptional educational environment due to the quality of students, the parental-community partnerships, and the high value placed upon education by the families and faculty alike.

David and his wife, Barbara, have a blended family of three adult children and three grandchildren. Their children live in Philadelphia, Oklahoma City, and Las Vegas. David and Barbara enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, jazz music, opera, reading, and playing (‘FaceTiming’) with the grandkids! They are both extremely excited to become part of the UAS family and part of the UAS Dubai community!


Elementary School Assistant Principal

David Jones has been an educator for 10 years, gaining experiences through multiple roles and with students from multiple backgrounds. David started his career in education in a Support Staff role after graduating from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor's in Math and Spanish. His love of teaching and supporting student success drove him to return to Northern Kentucky University to pursue a teacher certification. After two years as a Spanish teacher and three years as a Math teacher, David received a Master’s degree for Principalship after others encouraged him to become an administrator. He was promptly hired as an Assistant Principal where David spent three more years, completing a total of nine years at Florence Elementary. Looking for new challenges and continued growth, David accepted a position as Vice Principal at Conner Middle School, a high-performing school of distinction.

 David’s goal as an educator is to develop an intrinsically motivated desire within each student to succeed at their highest possible level. His objective is to create a safe, collaborative, and innovative building environment where teachers are supported and each student gets instruction tailored to their individual learning styles and needs.

Outside of school duties as an administrator, David enjoys playing sports (especially soccer and basketball), exercising, and woodworking. The majority of David’s time outside of school is spent with his wonderful family. David and his wife, Jessica, are thrilled to join the UAS team as they begin working outside of the USA for the first time in their lives. Their children, Kindra (7), Karlee (4), and Reed (3), are also excited to go on this adventure to Dubai and join the UAS community.

PK-12 Curriculum Coordinator

Lisa Gibson is in her third year at the Universal American School where she is currently the K-12 Curriculum Coordinator. Before coming to UAS, she worked at Dubai International Academy for four years as a Primary Years Program Coordinator.  Lisa has worked in education for a total of sixteen years, eleven of which have been within International Baccalaureate schools, four in British state schools and one in a British International School in Caracas, Venezuela.  Lisa is Canadian, she earned her Bachelors of Education at the University of Victoria, British Columbia and is currently studying for her Masters degree in Leadership in Aboriginal Education at Western University in Ontario.  

 Lisa has experience teaching children from 3-18 years of age. She has worked as an elementary homeroom teacher, a music teacher K-12, a PE teacher K-12 and a Geography and Humanities high school teacher. Lisa also works as a visiting team member for the International Baccalaureate Organization in which she completes evaluation and verification visits for other IB schools in this region. Lisa is passionate about many things including music, sports, traveling, but most importantly taking action in the community. Lisa is actively involved with a few different charity organizations and believes in the importance of helping others if you are able.

Lisa wears many hats at UAS, however her favorite role is that of an Under 14 Girls soccer coach.  Go Scorpions!!

  • Universal American School
  • P.O. Box 79133, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • +971 4 232 5222
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