Senior Leadership Team
David Hutson is our Head of School. David has been a passionate educator for 20 years, starting as a Business and Economics teacher, before moving into senior leadership positions in two UK schools. In 2011, he moved to Abu Dhabi to join an international school, in its foundation year, as Vice Principal. David then spent six successful years at the same school as the Principal.
David completed a BA (Honours) European Business degree, at the University of Leicester, which included one year studying at the University of Catania, Sicily, as part of a languages programme. This developed his interest in the field of Business and Economics inspiring his postgraduate certificate in teaching. After several years of teaching both subjects in the UK, he moved into senior leadership positions in two UK schools and enjoyed being a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum, an organisation working on equality, human rights and social justice issues. David has achieved an MSc in Education and Training Management, and holds the National Professional Qualification for Head Teachers. In addition, he is a certified School Inspector and a Council of International Schools Evaluator.
Ms. Fussell grew up in the Panama Canal Zone and brings over twenty years of experience in teaching and administration to the Lower School. She also brings a wealth of in-house knowledge after serving as Associate Director in the preschool and kindergarten division of Dwight in New York where she collaborated with parents, faculty, and staff to ensure a rich learning environment. Prior to joining Dwight, Ms. Fussell taught elementary school at the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York, and at international schools in Switzerland, Zimbabwe, and Guatemala. Ms. Fussell received leadership training at The Harvard Graduate School of Education and the New York Association of Independent School’s Emerging Leadership Institute. In addition, Ms. Fussell has been an adjunct professor in literacy at Hunter College since 2017. Ms. Fussell shares her passion for IB literacy education, the PYP, student engagement, and responsive learning with community members.
Ms. Jaya Bhavnani is currently the Executive Director of Dwight Global Online School. Instrumental in founding the program with Chancellor Stephen Spahn, she works closely with all areas of Dwight School to ensure that Dwight's online program meets the standards of excellence for which the school is known and ignites the spark of genius in every online student.
Ms. Bhavnani came to Dwight in 2010 with extensive experience in international education in public and private schools in Bombay, Muscat, Dubai and Santiago. Ms. Bhavnani has been actively involved with the International Baccalaureate as a Workshop Leader, Site Evaluator, Consultant, Examiner and Curriculum Reviewer. She is the Lead Facilitator for the Group 5 and Continuum Online Workshops in the Diploma Programme. She serves on the Evaluation Team for the CIS (Council for International Schools). She has served as a frequent guest contributor for professional development and curriculum alignment and review. She holds a BS in Education and Physics and a MS in Mathematics. She has an interest for learning languages and internationalism. A passionate educator, Ms. Bhavnani firmly believes in the power of life-long learning!
Sara joins the team with passion for the IB and over 10 years as an educator in Lebanon and Dubai. Prior to joining the Dwight School Dubai, she was the PYP Coordinator at Uptown School Dubai, an IB school in Dubai, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the programme. Sara holds a BA in Education from the American University of Beirut, is an IB workshop leader and is currently training to become an IB site evaluator. She has pursued professional development through Harvard’s Project Zero and Making Thinking Visible, as well as workshops focused on Coaching, Differentiation and Inclusivity in schools, and Conceptual Based Teaching and Learning. Sara is originally from Lebanon and speaks English and Arabic.
Justin Dacanay has worked as an international educator in Japan, UK, Canada and Korea since 2004, including being part of the founding faculty at Dwight School Seoul and, most recently, working at Dwight School London. He also holds a BS in Kinesiology & Health Sciences and Psychology from York University, Toronto, Canada; a Professional Graduate Diploma in Education - Secondary from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK; an MA in Education with a specialization in International Education (IB Educator Certificate) from University of Bath, UK; and he serves as an IB Examiner for Psychology. Mr. Dacanay is originally from Canada and speaks English.