• James Brown

ADEK celebrates Abu Dhabi’s Educatorson World Teachers Day 2020 by honouring exceptional teachers

The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has marked World Teachers Day 2020 by honouring the top trio of exceptional teachers for their dedication and contribution to the profession.


Private schools throughout Abu Dhabi were invited to submit nominations for outstanding teachers, and the winners were surprised at their schools or virtually with student testimonials, a presentation of prizes, and a certificate of appreciation.

Speaking about World Teachers Day, H.E. Sara Musallam said: “In a year that has witnessed unprecedented changes and a shift to new teaching methodologies, I am very proud of all our teachers across the emirate for rising to the challenge and maintaining our students’ quality of education to the best of their capabilities. I also want to acknowledge parents’ contributions to supporting teachers in their mission.”

Selected for their remarkable professionalism, dedication, contribution and passion, this year’s winners of the World Teachers Day Awards 2020, are Anita Yesuratnam, English Teacher at the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamic Private School for grades 8 to 12; Jennifer Elizabeth Upsall, Foreign Languages Teacher (Head of Faculty) at Amity International School Abu Dhabi for grades 6 to 12; and Jodie Lynn Pomerleau, Grade 1 Classroom Teacher at the Canadian International School in Abu Dhabi.

A vast number of applications were received by private schools from around the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which went through a rigorous two-phase selection process, resulting in ADEK’s judging panel selecting the top three winners. The judging criteria explored how the teachers had significantly made an impact in their classrooms and to the learning outcomes of students, what differentiates them from their peers, and how they have made an organizational difference.

Having been awarded remotely by ADEK’s Chairman, Anita Yesuratnam, said: “I am incredibly happy and humbled for winning this award. This award symbolizes ADEK’s celebration of the profession of teaching; it is not an individual award that I won, but rather a celebration of all teachers.”

Mir Anisul Hasan, Principal Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamic Private School, said: “Anita has been with us for more than 17 years, and she has always maintained the same high ethics and commitment to her mission. From all her students and me, congratulation Anita for this well-deserved winning.”

Jennifer Elizabeth Upsall, Foreign Languages Teacher at Amity International School Abu Dhabi
For her part, Jennifer Elizabeth Upsall said: “It is amazing to be nominated in the first place for this award, and I feel humbled for winning it. It is a phenomenal achievement that I will always consider as the highlight of my career. Thanks for ADEK for all the support and guidance they provide, especially during these times on how to stay safe at school.”

Commenting on Ms Upsall’s nomination, Adrian Frost, Principal at Amity International School Abu Dhabi, said: “Jennifer has been a true star throughout this year, her amazing experience and constant efforts are positively reflected on the performance of her students.”

Jodie Lynn Pomerleau, said: “I am very appreciative of all the great support ADEK provides to elevate our mission further and for having this award to celebrate our work and achievement. I feel honoured that I was nominated and chosen for winning this award. My students always give me the motivation to do what I do; every day I learn from them more than what they learn from me, they are exceptional, and my biggest achievement would be helping them to explore their full potentials.”

The Principal for the Canadian International School in Abu Dhabi, Dee Elder, commented: “Jodie is an excellent mentor and a truly positive ambassador for the education message. We are proud and honoured to have her as one of our teachers, and all students who studied with her share the same feeling.”

The winners’ prizes included Business Etihad return tickets to a destination of their choice and an all-inclusive hotel family weekend get-away at the Rixos Saadiyat Island.


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