Our Team


Our Team





Mr. Conor Doherty    
1   I was born and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, although I lived and worked in Calgary, Alberta before moving to the U.A.E. earlier this year. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary in 2014 and I have been teaching since then. My background includes multiple different teaching assignments, including Social Studies, English, and Physical Education, along with various elective courses as well. I have been at Maplewood for one year, and my current assignment is High School English.

Miss. Candice Gonsalves


Although born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, I’ve lived and worked across four provinces. Before teaching, I worked as a school counsellor. In 2011, I convocated from MacEwan University with a Bachelor of Arts and from Nipissing University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education, specializing in middle years math and science. Having travelled Canada, I felt ready to venture further and have chosen Abu Dhabi as home (for the past two years). Here, I have taught Math and Science to Grades 7, 8, and 9. My spare time is spent enjoying the cultural sights and sounds of the UAE and fishing for salmon with my Dad and beloved Jack Russell, Moo, off the coast of Vancouver Island during the summers.

 Laura Menard-Lee    
 3   I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada.  I graduated from Bishop’s University in 2011 with a Bachelors of Education and a Bachelors of Arts.  For a year after graduating I taught English as second language in South Korea, later to return to Montreal and teach French as a second language for 2 years.  I then found my way to Abu Dhabi in 2014 and taught grade 1 and grade 3 english, math and science in an ADEC school for 3 years. I then transferred to Maplewood International where I now teach French as a second language for the second year in a row from grade 2 all the way to grade 11.  
 Ms.Janie Hudgens    

Born and raised in California, educated in Iowa, Idaho and Washington State, Ms. Janie has lived in several states and countries. Earning her undergraduate degree in Communications from Graceland University and her Teaching Certification from University of Idaho she went on to gain a MA in Theatre from Central Washington University. She holds American certification to teach English, Speech, Dramatic and Speech Arts, Theatre and Vocational Special Needs, and has taught English, Drama, Speech, Social Studies and Theatrical Makeup Design while at Maplewood.  Ms. Janie has been a teaching professional for 27 years. She and her retired principal husband Henry have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Having taught in the UAE for 3 years, she feels she has rediscovered her Los Angeles roots in Abu Dhabi, due to the multi-ethnic diversity and culture of the city. She loves the bustle of the city and being able to reconnect with the salt and sand of Saadiyat Beach.


Ms. Morgana Larsen

5   I hail from a very small town in Alberta, Canada. I have three beautiful children who are now adults. I convocated from the University of Alberta in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education, elementary generalist degree, and moved to the UAE in 2017. I have taught Gr 5 here at Maplewood for the last two years. My time here in the UAE has been a great experience, both working here at Maplewood School, and socially, meeting wonderful people and travelling. I will be moving on to teach at another Alberta curriculum school in Guangzhou, China for the 2019 beginning school year.

Mr. Cian Connolly


I am from a town called Roscommon in Ireland. I moved to the the UAE earlier this year and started teaching in Maplewood School in February. I have a Bachelor Degree in Commerce from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Masters in Education from Hibernia College, Dublin. I have taught various subjects throughout my teaching career, primarily Business Studies and Economics. My current teaching assignment is CTS/CTF for grade 8-12 and also Moral Education for grades 8, 10 and 11.


Ms  Nagat  Naguib


I was born and raised in Egypt, I graduated from Al azhar

university with a Bachelor  of Education in Arabic and Islamic Studies and high diploma in Arabic Education ,I have children's boy and girl, I have been in UAE since 2005 and i have 13 years' experience with multiple  teaching assignments , along with various elective courses as well.

It was my pleasure worked at Maplewood since one year, it's a great experience working here and   teaching Arabic to native Arab students for G-9 to 12.


Ms. Marlee Hutchings


Hello! My name is Marlee Hutchings and I am thrilled to say that this is my 6th year teaching elementary. I grew up in St. Albert, AB, Canada and graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta in 2012. During the first couple years of my teaching career, I gained experience working on a First Nations Reserve, Hutterite Colony, and in a rural community. In 2016 I accepted my first international teaching contract in Abu Dhabi, which eventually led me to Maplewood. I am currently a Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher and Division 1 Head Teacher. Along with teaching, I enjoy teaching children’s yoga, travelling to different places, and reading.


Miss Christy Brabben


I am an elementary teacher from Oxford and I currently teach Grade 1. I hold a B.A in English Literature and Cultural Anthropology and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from the University of Waikato in New Zealand. I have taught at MWIS since 2014 and have experience in bicultural education, cross-cultural communication and supporting students with special education needs. I am committed to inspiring all students to reach their potential, and working to establish a nurturing classroom environment for young learners.


Mr. Joel Lane


I am from Cork City in  Ireland. I studied Music and Geography at University College Cork and went on to do a Professional Master’s in Education at University of Limerick.

I teach music to all ages and work with students to produce shows and performances as part of the extra curricular programs. My main instruments are piano, voice and saxophone. Outside of music my interests are Rugby, Scuba Diving and Freediving.  


Mr. Michael Gabert


My name is Michael Eduard Gabert and I was born and raised in Kitchener, Canada. I have an honours degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education. I have had the opportunity to teach in several different countries around the world including South Korea and China, and have now lived in Abu Dhabi since 2006. I truly enjoy working with young children as these are the most important years when their habits will be shaped.

When I’m not working I have several passions. A few of these passions include playing ice hockey here in Abu Dhabi as well as studying Muay Thai Kickboxing.


Miss Zeenat Patel


My name is Zeenat Patel. I grew up in a small town called Klerksdorp in South Africa, and achieved my Bachelor in Education with Honours specializing in Educational Management through the University of South Africa.  

Most of my teaching experience was based in South Africa where I worked as a Math and Physics teacher as well as a College Lecturer. I have also taught in Saudi Arabia for a year which was my first teaching assignment abroad.  I have been at Maplewood International School since 2017, and currently teach Middle School Math and High School Physics.

I am truly passionate about education and believe that children can learn anything if they are happy and motivated, as long as they are given the chance.

Hello My name is Sharonella Greve and I was born and raised in Bombay, India. After completing my IGCSE, I went on to get my Bachelor of Arts as well as a Bachelor of Education specializing in Social Studies.

I moved to the UAE in 1992. With over 26 years of teaching in the UAE, I feel I have the knowledge and skills to teach a variety of subjects. I am a social person and enjoy building relationships. I enjoy and respect the diversity and multiculturalism of the UAE. I am self motivated and this allows me to perform well under pressure. Being a highly analytical thinker, I am able to quickly identify, improve and organise my workload accordingly. I live with my children and grandchildren here in Abu Dhabi and have been teaching at Maplewood International School since 2015


Mr Tadhg Morrissey


I’m from a town called Virginia in Ireland. I graduated from Dublin City University with a degree in Education Studies. Following this I completed a Postgraduate degree and taught in London as well as Dublin, before coming to the UAE. I love working with young people because every day is different. I teach Career Technology Studies to Grade 10,11 and 12.  Outside of teaching I love sports and being outdoors as well as spending time with my friends and family.


Mrs. Abigail Lane


My name is Abigail Lane. I’m from beautiful West Cork, Ireland. I graduated from the University of Limerick with a BA in Applied Languages including French and Spanish with TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). I have spent time in South America and France teaching English and  improving my language skills. I am passionate about both learning new languages and teaching them. I came to the UAE in 2017 and started at Maplewood as a support teacher for English and French in 2018.

Kari Persson    

My name is Kari Persson and I am from Ontario, Canada. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I also have a specialist degree in both Computers and the Visual Arts. Before moving to Abu Dhabi with my husband, and 2 children, I spent 19 years teaching a variety of grades, but mostly focused in the 4-6 grade level.

My first international teaching experience took place last year in China, then a hop, skip and jump brought me here  to Abu Dhabi. No matter where I am, my passion for education and instilling this in my students remains my main priority as an Educator.


Ms. Angela Marks


Hello and bonjour, my name is Angela Marks. I was born and raised in South Western Ontario, in the Tri-City area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. I moved to the picturesque East Coast of Canada to the bilingual city and province of Moncton, New Brunswick. This is where I raised my son and received my degrees at Atlantic Baptist University, now known as Crandall University. As a mature student, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, minor in Mathematics and Religious Studies, and a Bachelor of Education with a Certificate in Special Education and Resource. I have taught for nearly 12 years at most grade levels and various subjects, and have been a math mentor/numeracy lead for my district in New Brunswick, but have found where my heart, soul and passion meets … in elementary education. I have been teaching Grade 3 in Abu Dhabi for three years, and look forward to a long career of international teaching here. My personal interests are music, art, singing, volleyball, books, traveling, diverse culinary cuisine, and beaches.

Aviwe Kitshini    

My name is Aviwe Kitshini. I am from South Africa. I have a bachelor's degree in education, specializing in Sciences. I teach Biology grades 11 and 12. I've been been teaching since August 2014 (almost 5 years now) and have taught grade 8 science, grade 11 and 12 physics and biology from grades 10-12. It is my first year in the UAE, and I learn new things everyday. I believe everyday has something new to teach us, regardless of our age and I learn from my students as much as they learn from me.

The 2 things I try to teach my students in every class I teach are

  1. Kindness doesn't expire… It is the one thing that crosses all boundaries and binds us to one another.
  2. Learning is not an event.. It's a lifelong process and you have to give it time.

Mrs. Tanya Fourie


I was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education from the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. I majored in Sports Science and have been teaching Physical Education in the UAE since 2009. I love teaching and playing various sports. My main sport has been Field Hockey and have coached and managed many teams over the years. I have a passion for animals and am involved in animal rescue here in Abu Dhabi. I have been at Maplewood for 3 years.

Ms Rachel Smith    
18   My name is Rachel Smith and I am from Central Illinois in the United States. I studied Physical Education at Illinois State University with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Education (PE for students with special needs). I then moved on to the University of Wisconsin to pursue my Masters in Adapted Physical Education. I have been teaching in the UAE since 2012 in both private schools and government schools in Abu Dhabi. I have no real interests or passions outside of teaching the young people of Maplewood International School.

Mr. Ľubomír Zelený


My name is Ľubomír Zelený and I am from Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia. In university, I studied Physical Education and Coaching at the University of Matej Bel. I have been living and working in Abu Dhabi for the last five years. In addition to my role as a Physical Education teacher here at Maplewood International School, I worked with the Abu Dhabi Police College where I trained candidates for the UAE Police force. My interests include strength and conditioning, travelling, and ice هوكي.


Mr. Matthew


My name is Matthew Loewen and I am from Alberta, Canada.  This is my second year teaching in the UAE and Maplewood; however, I taught in grades 3, 4, and 5 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.  Also, I have work substitute teacher and taught in every grade level. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Alberta in 2011.   At Maplewood, I teach grade 4 Math and Science. I met my wife, Bitania, at Maplewood and we are now expecting our first child - a girl. I love to play sports, relax at the beach, travel,  and spending time with my wife.

Mr. Cale    

My name is Cale Wright and I am from Foremost, Alberta Canada. I received my Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education from the University of Lethbridge. I taught for one year in Lethbridge before making the move here to Abu Dhabi. Here at Maplewood I have had the pleasure of teaching High School Math and Chemistry. Away from work I like to travel, play hockey, and hangout with friends and family. I look forward to an exciting future here at Maplewood.