Meet our Senior Leadership Team
The Senior Leadership team at Universal American school is made up of a group of experienced professionals with broad administrative and management skills under their belt. They, along with our carefully selected faculty, are passionate about learning and are wholly committed to guiding the school’s mission and beliefs across the school. Meet them here.
School Director – Ole Bernard Sealey
OB joins us as the Director after having served as the High School Principal at UAS for the past two academic years and the High School Assistant Principal before that.
Prior to joining UAS he spent three years as the Head of Secondary at Greenfield Community School in Dubai. OB has also worked as a Middle School Vice Principal, MYP Coordinator, and has taught IB Diploma History, IB MYP Humanities, IB MYP Physical Education, and Geography.
OB 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. OB is experienced in developing plans that improve a school’s KHDA rating. He was a leader on the team that oversaw the school’s journey from “Good” to “Very Good” and is intent on taking UAS through to “Outstanding”. In his time at UAS, the number of students who successfully completed the IB Diploma have doubled – going from 37 in 2015 to 70 in 2018.
As passionate as OB is about the IB, he is equally excited about the opportunities developing at UAS in the American Stream. 2018-19 will be the last year that all students in Grade 11 and 12 must take IB Diploma courses; a parallel American stream is under development. In 2019-20, students entering Grade 11 can choose to take some Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as choose from a selection of US Common Core options. It’s an exciting time!
OB understands the importance of educating the whole child. 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. Retired from rugby, these days he enjoys playing golf with his wife, Kristi. When not at school or on the golf course, OB enjoys reading, writing, cooking, traveling and the symphony.
School Deputy Director – David Dorn
David 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. 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!
High School Principal – Kyle Coppes
Kyle is now in his third year at UAS and is eager to take on his new role as High School Principal after serving as Assistant Principal for the past two years.
Kyle began his career in education fourteen years ago at an American international school in Egypt where he taught in the social studies department. Before leaving Cairo, Kyle served as head of the humanities department and taught in the IB Diploma Program.
Kyle also proudly served as the IB Diploma Coordinator at an American School in Cyprus prior to joining UAS. During his tenure as a DP Coordinator, his focus on school improvement efforts yielded an increase in the school average from 30 to 34 points overall. Additionally, students scoring two or more core points went from 23% to 100% over the course of his four years at the school.
Kyle considers himself a lifelong learner and will embark on a journey to earn his EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership from the University of Southern California beginning this fall. He also holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from George Washington University.
Education is a family business for Kyle as his lovely wife Dina works at the school as an instructional coach. They have two amazing children, Ramzi and Sophia, who attend school here at UAS. Their greatest joy is random interactions in the library or cafeteria with their kids throughout the work week.
When not working, studying or parenting, Kyle enjoys the occasional round of golf or spending time with friends.
High School Assistant Principal – Brian Mcmanus
The 2018-2019 school year marks Brian’s thirteenth year as an educator.
He started his career in education in 2005 working as a high school English teacher at Everglades High School in Miramar, Florida. In 2008, he moved to Beijing where he taught IB Literature, Language and Literature, and Theory of Knowledge at the International School of Beijing. In 2015, he transitioned into the role of Strategic Learning Coordinator, where he focused on incorporating experiential learning opportunities and Chinese cultural elements across all divisions of the school.
Brian earned a Master of Arts in Writing and Literature from Deakin University, as well as a Master of Education and Post-Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey.
Having grown up on the beaches of central New Jersey, Brian spends his summers with his feet in the sand and a fishing rod in his hands.
Middle School Principal – Amanda Solivan
Amanda was the Senior Manager of Teacher Development at the Denver Schools of Science and Technology (DSST), a network of thirteen American charter schools.
There she led instructional coaching, helped teachers in all content and grade levels improve their teaching strategies. In doing so, Amanda trained the Directors of Curriculum and Instruction at each school on the best coaching practices and strategic planning for professional learning.
Prior to joining DSST, Amanda was the Secondary Girl’s Assistant Principal at the American International School in Abu Dhabi and an Assistant Principal at South Middle School in Aurora Public Schools, an American school district. There, Amanda was in charge of instructional leadership, led strategic planning and professional development, and was responsible for student discipline.
Amanda started her educational career in public and private schools in the US. She taught high school history for ten years. During this time, Amanda traveled internationally to write curriculum as part of the Hanban Delegation to China and the National Consortium for Teaching East Asia to Japan. Amanda presented her curriculum at the American National Council for the Social Studies, and lead professional learning in several capacities, including running professional learning for all Social Studies teachers within Aurora Public Schools. Her work in curriculum and instruction was recognized when Amanda was awarded as the Colorado Teacher of the Year in 2013.
Middle School Assistant Principal – Kurtis Trottier
Kurtis Trottier is currently entering his 8th year at UAS and 11th year in Dubai.
He comes from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and has previously served as an English teacher in the High School as well as an Athletic Directors at UAS. Previous to that, Kurtis spent 3 years teaching English at another international school in Dubai as well as a couple of years teaching English as a second language in Korea.
Having recently completed his Masters in Educational Leadership through the University of Northern Iowa, Kurtis is excited for the opportunity to move into his new leadership role as the Assistant Principal in UAS’s Middle School.
In his spare time, Kurtis enjoys playing basketball and golf, and he is excited to be joined this year at UAS by his oldest child Mason who will be entering Pre-KG.
Elementary School Principal – Stephanie Chattman
Dr. Chattman has been dedicated to serving families for the past twenty-five years.
She is a native of Alabama and served as a social worker there for ten years specializing in children and family services. Throughout this time, she realized the most effective and impactful way to empower children was through education. She then decided to move to Atlanta to become a special education teacher at Hawthorne Elementary in the DeKalb County School District.
During this time, Dr. Chattman took on positions of leadership including curriculum designer, professional learning facilitator, and director of the after school program. She was then appointed Assistant Principal of Laurel Ridge Elementary and served in that position for three years. As a result of her performance in the district, she was promoted to be the principal at Evansdale Elementary where she has served for the past four years. While there, Dr. Chattman and her team developed one of the first dual language programs in Georgia while also designing and implementing a STEM program where they received AdvancED STEM certification. Eager to meet the next challenge in her career, Dr. Chattman has been given a tremendous opportunity to become part of the UAS team. She wants to prepare students to compete on a global level and be prepared for college and their career no matter where they decide to go.
Throughout her career, Dr. Chattman has positioned herself to be a professional educator. In order to stay ahead of current trends in education, she continuously educates herself, encourages team members to do the same and sets a standard of excellence for herself, her staff, and students. Initially, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in Sociology. Once Dr. Chattman decided to dedicate her life to education, she went on to earn her Master’s, Specialist, and Doctorate advanced degrees in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University. She is certified in special education in Kindergarten-12th grade, Educational Leadership and Gifted education. She is also certified in the Orton Gillingham phonics program, Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), and Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Dr. Chattman also currently served on AdvancED teams which conduct reviews for educational institutions to determine accreditation. She was awarded the distinct honor of Teacher of the Year for Hawthorne Elementary in 2009. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping, cooking, and watching movies with her husband and three children. Dr. Chattman is very excited to be joining the UAS team.
Elementary School Assistant Principal – David Jones
David 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.
PK-12 Curriculum Coordinator – Jessica Jones
Jessica is from the United States and came to UAS as the Curriculum Leader for high school English during the 2017-2018 school year.
She has 11 years of experience teaching a variety of English courses in both the US and Dubai. After graduating Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Louisville, she went on to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching from Northern Kentucky University.
During her career, she has worked extensively with Common Core, Understanding by Design, the IB program of studies, and DuFour’s model of professional learning communities. In her former school district, Jessica was a foundational member of the Curriculum Committee whose charge was to ensure a smooth, successful transition to the Common Core Standards. In addition, she has a passion for technology and 21st century learning.
While a teacher, Jessica’s favorite aspect of teaching was creating a classroom environment conducive to taking risks and inspiring students to embrace the struggle of challenging tasks; it is with this same perspective that she steps into her new role as PK-12 Curriculum Coordinator. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did. So… sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain.