Welcome from the Director
AHLAN WA SAHLAN!
Welcome to The KAUST School, where our students develop as Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators, and Risk-Takers. Through this process, they also grow to be Knowledgeable, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Balanced, and Reflective. TKS provides an exceptional International Baccalaureate education to all of our students through the PYP, MYP, and DP programs. The inquiry-based approach allows each student to progress along their learning journey and to engage in learning experiences which are both personalized and appropriately challenging.
The KAUST School is accredited by the Council of International Schools, The Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, and is authorized to deliver all three IB programs. Strategically the school is focused on elevating and expanding learning opportunities, enhancing engagement through connections and contribution, and ensuring a commitment to well-being.
The mission of The KAUST School in simple terms is to ignite curiosity, inspire creativity and investigate solutions. The wonderful relationship we have with the KAUST University and with our host country of Saudi Arabia allows us to deliver on this mission every day. These close relationships allow us to offer unique experiences for both our faculty and students which are not available in other schools around the world.
Our youngest of students (ages 3-5) are fortunate to learn on a dedicated Kindergarten campus in the Harbor area that houses a Reggio Emilia inspired approach to play-based learning. These students engage in deep critical thinking as they navigate complex social relationships and contemplate deep questions through investigation and research in a manner that brings true joy to the learning process. The Garden Elementary School and Secondary Schools are located in the Garden District of the KAUST community. The environment supports a balanced and innovative approach to teaching and learning with technology-equipped classrooms, science laboratories, a design and technology hub, two libraries, two 25 meters pools, two gymnasiums, two auditoriums, multiple creative arts spaces, outdoor basketball and tennis courts, and a soccer pitch. These facilities and the amazing teaching staff help to support a variety of competitive sports, recreational activities, musical and dramatic performances, student government and Model United Nations.
The faculty and staff at TKS come from a variety of different countries and are truly representative of our exceptionally diverse community. They annually engage in deep professional learning that allows them to continue to grow professionally, resulting in more opportunities for students to grow and learn. When I asked a parent what they believed was an indicator of the strength of the KAUST school, the response was that their children were truly excited to go to school every day. The faculty makes learning engaging, fun, and relevant for the students.
We invite our parents to become active in their child’s learning by attending presentations, back to school nights, student-led conferences, and student activities. We know that parents are their child’s first teacher, and we look forward to this partnership to ensure your child is supported, and to help them reach their full potential.
If you are considering a move to KAUST or are already a member of the community, we invite you to explore the website for more information or reach out to our Admissions office directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions.
Kind regards –
Michelle is from the United States, and she earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish with minors in Economics and Political Science and her Master’s degree in teaching from Willamette University in Oregon. She later earned her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Michelle has been an overseas educator since 1996, when she and her husband, Jesse, first moved to Saipan to work for the public school system in the Marianas Islands. In 1998 they moved to Venezuela, where they worked in two different international schools, Michelle began her career as an administrator, and they remained there until 2006. They moved to the Middle East, spending 13 years in the UAE working at both the American Community School of Abu Dhabi and the American School of Dubai over that period. Michelle worked as a High School Principal, Deputy Head of School, and Interim Head of School.
In 2019 Michelle became the Director for The KAUST School, and she continues to enjoy the amazing school and community here.
Michelle is married with three children. Her husband is an IB Design Teacher in secondary school. Their oldest child is attending UC Berkeley after graduating from TKS in 2021. Their other two children currently attend TKS secondary school.
Michelle enjoys traveling, reading, playing piano, and participating in almost all sports, including volleyball, tennis, basketball, and yoga. The family home is in Bigfork, Montana, where they enjoy camping, waterskiing, and hiking each summer.