School Leadership Team

David Bolton - Principal, Dhahran British Grammar School and Sara Village School

David Bolton

David Bolton graduated from the University of Chester in 1986 with a degree in physical education and English. He began his teaching career in Athens, Greece at Campion International School as head of primary PE and Year 6 teacher. He then returned to the U.K. to teach at Holy Trinity School in Liverpool, followed by a position as deputy headteacher at St. Brigid’s Primary School. He worked there for eight years and was responsible for implementing a variety of initiatives including Healthy Schools, Investors in People and Eco Schools. David also established key relationships with a number of universities in the region to develop a thriving teacher training program.

In 2006, David joined the Dhahran British Grammar School. He has worked in various roles including Year 6 teacher, primary literacy coordinator, key stage leader, head of primary and he has now moved into the position of principal. He has seen many significant changes in the time he has worked for ISG, with a huge increase in student numbers and major structural developments around the campus. He is looking forward to the role of Principal and the opportunity to continue to work collaboratively with colleagues from the Senior and Primary Schools and from Sara Village School.

Rachel Cannon - Vice Principal Senior School, Dhahran British Grammar School

Rachel Cannon

Rachel Cannon is originally from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. She graduated from London University with a Bachelor of Science (honors) in biology before receiving her teaching certificate and taking up a post at a large comprehensive school in Milton Keynes, U.K. Rachel then travelled to Botswana to teach science in a government school and subsequently discovered international school teaching.

Rachel has taught middle and high school science in: Sandford Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the Anglo American School of Sofia in Bulgaria; the International School of Tanganyika in Tanzania; and the Bavarian International School in Germany. She joined ISG as the Head of Science at DBGS in 2012 and is currently studying for her master's degree in educational leadership from Buckingham University, U.K. As Vice Principal of DBGS (Senior School), her goal is to continue to promote effective teaching and learning among the DBGS community.

Dufney Botha - Head of Primary, Dhahran British Grammar School

Dufney Botha

Dufney Botha is originally from Carolina, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Dufney is currently studying for her master's in educational technology through the American College of Education.

Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, Dufney taught in London, United Kingdom. She returned to South Africa where she taught mathematics in a public secondary school. Dufney then moved to the UAE where she taught Year 1 at Victoria English School. This is where her love for the Middle East began. She then joined the British International School of Al Khobar where she took on the role of Key Stage 1 leader and taught Year 1 and Year 2. After five years at BISAK, Dufney and her family joined DBGS where she assumed the role of Foundation Stage Leader while teaching Foundation Stage 2. She moved on to teach Year 3 and also led the Lower Key Stage 2 team. Dufney is the Head of Primary, where her goal is to continue to foster a culture of risk taking, celebrating successes as well as learning from failures.

Amy Bates - Vice Principal of Sara Village School

Amy Bates

Amy Bates is originally from Neath in South Wales. She graduated from the University of Aston, Birmingham in 1993 with a B.Sc. honours in applied and human biology. She then completed her PGCE in primary education at Charlotte Mason College, Ambleside, in 1994. Her first teaching post was in Kuwait. She returned to the UK in 1996 to raise her family. Over the past twenty years she has taught in Cumbria, the last ten as a Headteacher. She moved to Saudi Arabia in 2017 to teach at the Dhahran British Grammar School prior to moving to the position of Vice Principal at Sara Village School in 2018.

Jana Barnhouse - Principal, Dhahran Elementary / Middle School

Jana Barnhouse

Jana Barnhouse graduated from Ohio University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a minor in computer science and mathematics. In 1998, she completed her master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota.
Jana began her teaching career at the International School of Bethioua in Algeria. She then moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where she taught elementary school for three years before moving to ISG in Dhahran in 1991. During her tenure in Dhahran, Jana taught Grades 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. She became Principal of the Dhahran Elementary Middle School in 2006.

Current initiatives include:

  • Supporting the school’s AFG goals to improve student performance specifically in the areas of reading and listening.
  • Working to ensure DEMS students’ grades convey meaningful and accurate information about student learning.
  • Using NWEA’s MAP assessments school wide in an effort to inform and improve student learning.
  • Supporting excellent site staff development as DEMS teachers work to ensure an excellent education for each student.

Tracy Bosch - Vice Principal, Dhahran Elementary / Middle School

Tracy Bosch

Tracy Bosch is originally from Durban, South Africa. After qualifying at Edgewood College of Education (University of Kwazulu Natal), she began her teaching career in 1996, initially a grade 4 classroom teacher before becoming a K-8 technology specialist. Following her husband to Saudi Arabia in 2002, Tracy joined ISG as a third grade teacher at Dhahran Elementary Middle School.

During her 17 years at DEMS, Tracy has enjoyed a variety of roles, from elementary classroom teacher to K-8 Technology specialist. Most recently Tracy was the DEMS Technology Co-ordinator and Dean of Students.  Tracy started her role as middle school assistant principal in August 2018.

Nichola Smith - Vice Principal, Dhahran Elementary / Middle School

Nichola Smith

Nichola Smith is originally from Dunedin, New Zealand. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership from The University of Buckingham, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Education (Teaching) from Otago University, New Zealand.

Nichola moved to Saudi Arabia and started working at DEMS in August 2015. Prior to her role as Assistant Principal, she has been both a physical education teacher and elementary teacher; specializing in lower elementary. Nichola has also worked in schools in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Nichola has completed training in the Applied Use of Mindfulness for 7 – 11 year olds, through the British Mindfulness Institute. This is an area of child development and wellbeing that she feels very passionate about. She is also currently studying for her Masters in Early Years Education through University College London, United Kingdom.

Nichola's goal is to create a positive and safe environment where all students have the opportunity to reach their full potential and develop a lifelong love of learning.

Ronnie Caldwell - Principal, Dhahran High School

Ronnie Caldwell

Ronnie Caldwell has been an educator since 2001 and involved in international education since 2006. He began his teaching career at the American Institute of Learning in Austin, Texas and then spent several years working for the Houston Public School District. His career abroad began at the Almaty International School in Kazakhstan, followed by the American International School of Chennai, India and, in 2012, ISG. Ronnie worked as both a teacher and Assistant Principal at Yanbu International School before becoming the Assistant Principal at DHS and now the Principal. Ronnie holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. 

Joseph Bearns - Vice Principal, Dhahran High School

Joseph Bearns

Joseph Bearns comes from Iowa in the United States. He began his career in education teaching internationally in 2004. Since then, he has called Egypt, Kazakhstan, China and now Saudi Arabia his home. Throughout the years, he has taught a variety of social sciences and has a particular passion for economics and psychology.

Joseph is excited to be joining the administration team at Dhahran High School and is keen to promote a collaborative school environment. He believes in eliminating impediments to education so that students can learn and teachers can teach at their very best.

Jonathan Acker - Principal, ISG Dammam

Jonathan Acker

Jonathan Acker graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 1993 with a degree in music education. He continued his studies with a master's program in music education from the University of Washington. In 2003, he completed a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Puget Sound.

Jonathan began his educational career in the Tacoma public schools – first as a teacher, then as the district arts facilitator. In 2005, he moved overseas and has held various roles (teacher, coach, technology facilitator, director of curriculum and professional development and principal) in American international schools throughout the Middle East – Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.