Our educators

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Veronica Griffin
Director

Ms. Griffin is an American educator with over 25 years of experience as a teacher, instructional coach, university instructor, educational trainer, school director and principal.  Her vast experiences have shaped her purpose and passion for preparing all learners for success beyond their life at school, by developing and nurturing the whole child. She holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from National-Louis University and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University. Ms. Griffin inspires, in others, a belief in the endless possibilities and benefits of life-long learning. She passionately promotes the power of learning to transform individuals, circumstances and the communities in which we live.

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Dalia Hesham
Director of Curriculum and Inclusion Champion

Ignite School welcomes Dalia Hesham to the Founding Faculty Team. Dalia will serve in a leadership role as our Director of Curriculum and Inclusion Champion. Born and raised in New York City, Dalia acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, and dual Master of Science degrees in General and Special Education, each from the City University of New York, Brooklyn College. She has fifteen years of experience working with students of varying abilities, helping them reach their highest potential in the USA, UK and the UAE. She has worked as a teacher, specialist, middle and senior leader. Dalia is an active advocate for individualized learning for all, and passionately promotes inclusion in the UAE.

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Stacey Boyer
Early Learning Educator

Ignite School would like to welcome Stacey Boyer as a founding faculty member and Kindergarten teacher for the 2018/2019 school year. Stacey hails from Indianapolis, Indiana originally, however she has called Amarillo, Texas home for the past few years. Stacey graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2015 with a degree in elementary education and is certified to teach Early Childhood through 6th grade. Stacey’s previous teaching experience includes working with English language learners. When asked about her strengths, Stacey replied that she has a great deal of expertise with successfully implementing RTI strategies for individualized student support. In her spare time, Stacey enjoys taking pictures and listening to music.

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Claire Dent
Early Learning Educator

Claire Dent joins Ignite School this September as a Pre-K teacher. Claire, a US resident, is from Atlanta Georgia and holds a BS degree from Mercer University and Georgia state certification in Early Childhood Education. Claire has worked with young children for over 6 years and  feels that not only can she offer a lot to the children but that she can learn from them as well. “Being a part of the molding and shaping of the child’s mind is the most important thing I can be part of, as an educator”, says Claire.  Claire’s hobbies include dancing, reading, listening to music, movies, and going to concerts.

Jessica Scanlan
Jessica Scanlan
3rd Grade Educator

Ignite School presents Jessica Scanlan as our 3rd grade educator and founding faculty member. Jessica has called the state of Georgia home for the last several years and has taught first and third grade. She states, “I knew I wanted to be a teacher since I graduated kindergarten and has always had a passion for helping others learn”. Jessica received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of West Georgia and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree with a concentration in STEM. She is an avid believer in personalized learning, project-based learning, and STEM education. Her hobbies include scuba diving, music, reptiles, and a love for anything science. Jessica looks forward to igniting a passion for learning, in each of her students.

Alex McGlinn
Alex McGlinn
4th Grade Educator

We welcome Alex McGlinn, from New York state, to the Ignite School family. Ms. McGlinn will join us as a founding faculty member and 4th grade educator.  Alex earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s in Elementary Education in Elementary Education. She has over 10 years of US and international teaching experience she has taught in classrooms in Saipan, Hong Kong, Kwajalein, Japan, and North Carolina giving her 10 years of formal teaching experience. Alex is extremely enthusiastic about all Dubai has to offer. She hopes to instill in her students a sense of adventure, a thirst for knowledge, and a curiosity and appreciation for other cultures that lasts a lifetime!

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Briana Billings
PE Educator

Ignite School welcomes Briana Billings, to our founding faculty team. Briana is from Houston, Texas and has over 10 years of as a PE educator and head of the Physical Education department. She also has prior experience teaching in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Her passions are playing, coaching, and talking sports, and she is enthusiastic to teach anyone, anything sports related. When she is not engaged in sports related activities she is somewhere around music. Ms. Billings has a real gift of getting the students excited about the endless was of enjoying physical education. Ms. Billings looks forward to sponsoring extracurricular activities and developing programs to engage the interest of all students.

Stephanie Durocher
Stephanie Durocher
English as a New language (ENL) Educator

Ignite School welcomes Stephanie Durocher, of Raleigh, North Carolina, as our new English as a New language (ENL) Educator and founding faculty member. Stephanie’s passion for teaching began at six years old, when her parents adopted her sister from Russia. She helped her older sister learn English and became fascinated with learning about other cultures. She has taught French and English as a Second Language in the U.S., France, and South Korea. Miss Stephanie received her Master of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her interests include soccer, running, and cooking. She loves learning about other cultures, traveling, and trying new foods.

Taylor Hogan
Taylor Hogan
Early Learning Educator

Ignite School presents Taylor Hogan as a founding faculty member and Kindergarten Educator. Taylor was raised on the northwest side of Chicago. Ms. Hogan received her Elementary Education degree from Northeastern Illinois University and is certified to teach grades K-9 and English as a Second Language. Taylor has worked as a classroom teacher, after-school program Site Director, Special Education Paraprofessional, and after-school ESL Teacher. Taylor says, “My passion for meeting the needs of every student has contributed to my successes and will continue to contribute to successes at Ignite School.” Taylor likes to listen to music, play with her two dogs, and enjoy the many fests/events that Chicago has to offer.

Katie Waters
Katie Waters
2nd Grade Educator

Please help us welcome Ignite School’s 2nd grade educator, Katie Waters, from Denver, Colorado. Katie studied Communication and Art History in college.  After graduation and spending a year volunteering with inner-city Chicago youth, she went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.  Ms. Waters has taught for over four years in Denver and in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Katie has gained a wealth of experience in working with children of all abilities, including students with Autism.  Katie states, “I have been working with children in a variety of capacities for over 18 years and I am thrilled to be a member of the Ignite School founding faculty team.”

Danielle Lewis
Danielle Lewis
Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Educator

Ignite School welcomes Danielle Lewis, as our Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Educator and founding faculty member.  Danielle acquired her bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education from the University of Central Florida, and a Master of Science degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University all in the city of Orlando, FL. She has four and half years of experience working with students of varying abilities. She has the drive to want to challenge herself and be the best educator that she can to be a role model for students.  Danielle states “I love to have fun, love fashion and make-up, and I also love my job as an educator.

Matthew Frey
Matthew Frey
Student Counselor

Ignite School presents Matthew Frey as our Elementary School Student Counselor and founding faculty member. Matt is from New York state and received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from State University of New York (SUNY). Matt is a certified International School Counselor with experience in the US and abroad. As a Student Counselor, Matt has a strong passion for helping young people with overcoming any obstacles they might encounter in or out of the classroom. He strives to bring a vibrant sense of enthusiasm to every environment. Matt says, “The school is a place where a young mind can become anything and I am dedicated to that endeavor. I want to create an energy that is contagious about learning and growth”.

Evan Johnson
Evan Johnson
1st Grade Educator

Ignite School is pleased to welcome Ms. Evan Johnson, to our founding faculty team. Ms. Johnson is from the state of Alabama and received her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama. Evan has a passion for educating young children how to read and will be teaching 1st grade here at Ignite students. She has taught a range of elementary grade levels, including 1st, 3rd and 6th grades and will be entering her second year of living and teaching in the United Arab Emirates. Evan’s classroom philosophy is built upon the foundation of making the classroom feel like home. She believes that when a learner is comfortable in their learning space, the possibilities of growth are endless.

Colin Donovan
Colin Donovan
5th Grade Educator

Please help us welcome our 5th Grade educator, Colin Donovan, to the Ignite School founding faculty team. Mr. Donovan has 7 years of experience working with children of all ages, in the US, South Korea and Chile. He is originally from the state of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Elementary School teaching certification. Most recently, however, he has been living and teaching in Phoenix, Arizona. Colin states, “I am very excited to be joining Ignite School this year and looking forward to meeting and learning all about my new students!”  In his spare time, Colin likes to spend time exploring new places with his family.

Jacey Eikenbary
Jacey Eikenbary
Visual Arts Educator

Ignite School is pleased to welcome Jacey Eikenbary to our founding faculty team as Visual Arts educator. Jacey was born and raised in Van Wert, Ohio. She received her Bachelor’s degree, in Visual Arts Education from Ball State University, in Indiana. Jacey has worked with children in the US and abroad. She has a passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. Since completing a portion of her student teaching in New Zealand, she has visited 8 countries. Jacey states, “I am a big believer that learning takes place everywhere and we can learn a lot from other people and other cultures.” She feels that it is important to be open minded to new experiences, which is why Jacey is headed to Dubai and Ignite School.

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