Raised in the city of Dubai, Navin Valrani went on to graduate with honours from the Wharton School of Business and then backed it up with a distinction in his MBA at London Business School. He currently is pursuing a Masters of Science in Education Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
Navin today heads up the Al Shirawi Group’s foray into Education and Building Services, overseeing 11 companies, 7 Joint Ventures, over 5000 employees. He is also the CEO of Arcadia Education, the group’s education investment arm. Navin sits on the board of the Al Shirawi Group, a conglomerate that also has interests in Printing, Oil and Gas, Logistics, Electronics, Heavy Equipment and Manufacturing Industries.
Navin served as the Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Emirates Chapter during the 2014-15 year, having served over 5 years on the chapter board. In his spare time he enjoys giving back to his alma mater: serving on the Wharton Alumni Board from 1997 through to 2003; presently on the Wharton Executive Board for Europe, Middle East and Africa; serving as the Chairperson of the UAE Alumni Interviewing Committee for the University of Pennsylvania for the last 20 years; and a member of the International Alumni Council at London Business School since 2013.
In 2014, Navin furthered his commitment to the University of Pennsylvania and London Business School by instituting the Monica and Navin Valrani scholarship fund at both institutions to support female students to attend both schools. Navin was also an integral part of the Campaign Committee at London Business School to successfully raise over £100 million in the school’s first ever fund-raising campaign.
Navin has been happily married for the last 23 years and has two wonderful sons, one pursuing a Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at the University of Pennsylvania and the other attending the American School of Dubai. His wife, Monica, runs the Ladybird chain of nursery schools in Dubai and has a passion for early years education. Navin also teaches the renown Jr MBA programme at The Arcadia Preparatory School, a primary school business program that he founded and is extremely passionate about.
Pamela E. ChikhaniTeacher
With over 14 years of experience in business and finance and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Pamela is passionate about shaping the future of organizations and helping them deliver growth. A high-energy, tenacious and goal-driven leader, she has a proven track record of identifying new opportunities, forging long-term strategic alliances, and offering clients real and innovative solutions to their problems.
Presently, Pamela is the Director of Strategic Alliances at Arcadia Education. In this capacity, she manages all non-academic activities like communications and digital strategy, events, partnerships and more. At the same time, she also serves as the General Manager of Secure Parking UAE where she oversees its day-to-day operations and drives its business growth. Previously, Pamela served as the Head of Business Strategy at London Business School (LBS), where she defined, set-up and delivered LBS Dubai business development and outreach strategy for the MENA region. Prior to that, she was Head of Customized Solutions at Thomson Reuters and spent eight years at Zawya where she led and managed the Financial Solutions Division.
Pamela is also a co-founder, board member and mentor at Reach, a non-profit organisation registered in DIFC that is dedicated to helping young professional women unlock their true potential through structured mentoring and professional support.
Ms Chikhani believes in continuous learning and self-development and holds several certifications from various prestigious institutes such as the Coach Training Institute (CTI), Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM). She is also a certified digital marketing expert, having earned this distinction from the prestigious Columbia Business School in the US. She has completed with Honors a Masters in Economics from the University of London in the UK and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
Alice FoleyHead of Year 3
Alice Foley is an organised and creative teacher who ensures strong relationships with children, colleagues and parents, as well as making learning fun and engaging for all abilities.
Previous to working at Arcadia, Alice Foley taught at a Primary School in Lancashire in England for 3 years and her degree was completed in Leeds, where she specialised in Key Stage 2. Alice Foley has a passion for dance and movement and has thoroughly enjoyed being involved with school productions and performances at Arcadia.
Alice Foley believes that the staff and children at Arcadia benefit from an amazing learning environment and state-of-the-art facilities that enable her as a teacher to deliver creative, innovative and challenging lessons.
Lucy GrierKey Stage 2 Teacher
Lucy Grier graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Edinburgh. Since then, Lucy Grier has taught in Scotland, Spain and has spent the last 4 years teaching in an English curriculum school in Dubai. She has gained a breadth of experience working with children from all over the world. Lucy Grier has taught across a wide range of year groups from Foundation Stage 1 to Key Stage 2. In her previous schools, Lucy Grier has joined the school in their founding year and has helped develop the curriculum and policies.
Lucy Grier describes herself as a positive and compassionate professional who is dedicated to meeting the needs of every child. She enjoys building relationships with parents and colleagues to support a whole community approach. In addition to this, Lucy Grier has been involved in the Parent/Teachers Association and has coordinated the Dubai Well-being Census.
Outside of the school, she enjoys taking part in sports such as golf and skiing. Dubai has provided Lucy Grier with fantastic opportunities to travel and she looks forward to exploring the city further and the new and exciting experiences Arcadia has to offer.
Emily MurphyKey Stage 2 Teacher
Emily Murphy graduated in 2015 from the University of Winchester, England, after completing a Primary education degree. She has experience of having taught children in both the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage classes. Emily Murphy is an enthusiastic and caring teacher who focuses on delivering lessons that are innovative, fun and creative. She believes in creating an inclusive and safe environment for children where children are nurtured to help develop a lifelong love of learning. Outside of school, Emily Murphy enjoys skiing, volleyball, going to the gym and being active. She also enjoys travelling to new places and experiencing different cultures.
Charlotte CorkhillKey Stage 2 Teacher
Charlotte Corkhill graduated from the University of Cumbria with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Primary Education QTS with the specialism of Science. Since university, she was teaching at a local school in Blackpool, UK. Charlotte Corkhill has a passion for sport, playing hockey at the international level. Throughout her school and university career, she had the opportunity to play hockey for her country, travelling to many places around the world to compete.
As a teacher, Charlotte Corkhill describes herself as creative, encouraging and dedicated; having always encouraged children to take pride in their achievements, both by the way she responds to their work and the way it is displayed in a classroom. She sees this as a delicate balance; ensuring children celebrate their success and have a sense of pride in their work while giving them constructive feedback for improvement. Charlotte Corkhill believes that every child, whatever their ability, should feel they have achieved at the end of each lesson.
Charlotte Corkhill designs and delivers learning programmes that motivate, excite and challenge children. She feels Arcadia encapsulates her philosophy of being a teacher ensuring lessons are meaningful and targeted; ensuring each child develops a lasting desire to continually learn, grow and develop.
Edel Hickey was qualified with a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Limerick in 2014. She spent the first part of her teaching career in Ireland where she gained wide experience teaching across a range of rural and city primary schools. Prior to moving to Dubai Edel Hickey was promoted to the role of Acting Deputy Principal.
Edel Hickey has taught for two years in Dubai, as a Class Teacher and Science Coordinator. Edel Hickey prides herself on her active and engaging approach to teaching and learning. She is an organised and enthusiastic teacher, who is practical and creative. She believes building positive relationships with children and parents is the key to a successful learning journey.
Bryan CahillHead of Year 4
Bryan Cahill began his working life in journalism, having gained his Bachelor of Arts, before transferring to teaching in 2007. After initially working as an English teacher with second language students, in Dublin, he then moved to London to undertake his PGCE, graduating from London South Bank University in 2010. Bryan Cahill describes himself as hardworking, friendly and passionate about teaching.
Prior to joining Arcadia, Bryan Cahill was teaching in a school in Westminster, London. This included roles as a subject lead, Year 4 Leader and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. In addition, Bryan Cahill was a Key Stage 2 Writing moderator for the last seven years, moderating writing samples for the Standards and Testing Agency across London.
Donal Devenney Key Stage 2 Teacher
Donal Devenney qualified with a Bachelor of Education degree from Dublin City University in 2016. Donal Devenney began his teaching career gaining experience working in a large Senior Primary School in Ireland. He then spent two years working as a Key Stage 2 Teacher in Dubai before joining the team at Arcadia. He has worked on his previous school’s Innovation and IT committees, helping them to implement the creative use of IT into the teaching and learning process.
Donal Devenney prides himself in his interactive and engaging style of teaching. He always centres the students’ interests at the forefront of his lessons and he places a strong emphasis on building positive relationships with students and parents. Outside of teaching Donal Devenney has a keen interest in football, athletics and swimming. He loves sharing his passion for sports to the students he teaches.
Liam CainHead of Year 5 & 6
Liam Cain is a highly skilled teacher and has experience of delivering the new English National Curriculum to primary aged children.
As a passionate teacher, Liam Cain believes positive relationships to be at the centre of a successful learning experience for children. Liam Cain has a proven track record of working successfully with students, parents and staff to generate excellent outcomes for learners in his care.
Before gaining employment at Dubai, Liam Cain taught at a Primary School in the North East of England for 3 years and completed his degree at Newcastle University, in which he completed a PGCE. He also has a passion for all sports, in particular, football, keeping fit and has been involved in teams in both Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
Liam Cain is a firm believer that children learn best though inspiring, fun lessons and uses this as the foundation for his teaching.
Muhsina FerdousiKey Stage 2 Teacher
Muhsina Ferdousi is an innovative, organised and enthusiastic teacher who has a passion for education. She thoroughly enjoys using different techniques to ensure that all children get the most out of their time at school, whilst acquiring a love for learning.
Before her career at Arcadia, Muhsina Ferdousi had been working in a Primary school, in an exciting and diverse part of London. Muhsina Ferdousi is experienced in teaching upper KS2 children and is dedicated to ensuring that learning is personalised for all. She believes that this is imperative, as it allows each and every child to thrive and reach their full potential. She has also mentored a number of trainee teachers and guided them to becoming impactful teachers.
Eleanor HickeyKey Stage 2 Teacher
Eleanor Hickey qualified as a teacher in 2014, graduating from The University of Lancaster. She has just completed her fourth year teaching at a primary school in her home town of Manchester in the north west of England and has also completed her Master’s Degree in Education studies during this time.
Before gaining employment in Dubai, Eleanor Hickey taught across Key Stage Two and also led school-wide programmes aiming to improve reading attainment and engagement at the primary school level. She has a particular interest in reading and the teaching of this across the school.
Eleanor Hickey is an organised and enthusiastic teacher who believes firmly that successful teaching requires a passionate teacher and strong relationships with children in the class. She makes her lessons engaging, inspiring and purposeful for all abilities.
Away from the classroom, Eleanor Hickey is a keen traveller and enjoys visiting new countries and learning about other cultures. Eleanor Hickey enjoys continually furthering her own education and believes Arcadia’s ethos of nurturing lifelong learning is key when educating young children.
Emma Brown Key Stage 2 Teacher
Emma Brown graduated from the University of Northampton with a Bachelor of Education and has four years of experience teaching in the UK across Key Stages 1 and 2. She brings creativity and dedication to provide a positive learning experience for all students and provides engaging lessons that embed a love of learning in her students. Emma Brown believes in listening to her students, to parents, carers and colleagues and working together to build positive relationships so that children are well supported and nurtured throughout their learning journey. She wants her students to feel proud of every step they take towards reaching their full potential.
Away from the classroom, Emma Brown continues her lifelong love of learning through reading and travelling.
Zaida GulamaliKey Stage Teacher
Zaida Gulamali achieved a Bachelors of Arts with Honours from Middlesex University and a PGCE from Leicester University. Her career of working with children began in London where she managed, led and supported a team of professionals in meeting the learning and development needs of children in accordance with the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
Before moving to Dubai she taught Key Stage students at a school in Peterborough. Her teaching experiences of working with children of various backgrounds have developed her philosophy of valuing each child as an individual and challenging them to achieve their best. Zaida Gulamali enjoys travelling and is passionate about playing badminton and netball.
Susan RaniKey Stage Teacher
Susan Rani is a highly experienced teacher who has taught in schools across Birmingham, Abu Dhabi, and now in Dubai for over 15 years. During this time, she has worked with all primary age groups, from Foundation Stage through to Year 6, and has undertaken a variety of roles.
Susan Rani is very passionate about children’s education and believes that every child has the potential to achieve regardless of their ability. She firmly believes in making children feel comfortable, confident, and motivated to progress with their learning.
Outside of teaching, Susan Rani loves to travel and explore different countries and cultures.