Principal Wayne MacInnis spent nine years at Raha International, helping the school grow to 2,000 pupils. Ravindranath K / The National
Principal Wayne MacInnis spent nine years at Raha International, helping the school grow to 2,000 pupils. Ravindranath K / The National

Long-serving principal of one of Abu Dhabi’s most prominent schools retires



ABU DHABI // After nearly a decade running one of the emirate’s foremost schools, Raha International School (RIH) principal Wayne MacInnis is leaving the sand dunes to retire among snow banks.

The Canadian, who joined RIH a year after it opened in 2006, held his final school assembly last week where he recalled an annual student survey.

“There was one question on the survey that always made me feel kind of uneasy,” said Mr MacInnis.

“And that question was, ‘Does the principal know your name?’”

The audience giggled.

“So I often had students coming up to me on the playground tugging on my trousers and saying, ‘Mr Wayne, what’s my name?’” the 64-year-old said. “I sometimes said, ‘Mohammed?’ or ‘Bob?’”

More laughter ensued.

Since he took over, the pupil population at the Khalifa City A school has grown rapidly from its initial 300 pupils.

“Now, we are almost at 2,000 people and I’m getting old. My memory is starting to be not so good. Even though I don’t know much about you individually I know you well as a group,” he said. “I always say how proud I am to be principal of a fine group of students. Our students are getting into some of the best universities in the world.”

Mr MacInnis, who led the school to a rare “outstanding” rating this year, said he owed much of the pupils’ success to his staff who fostered a nurturing, inclusive environment.

“There is a real sense of community that some schools may not have and there is a pride in what we’re doing. I think that’s really the thing that makes us stand apart,” he said.

The most challenging part of his job, he said, was having to jump through the hurdles involved in recruiting staff.

“The hardest part was probably the frustrations trying to bring in world-class teachers. The paperwork and the process is demotivating for them,” said Mr MacInnis. “They go elsewhere and they’re doing wonderful work elsewhere. That’s been the biggest frustration.”

David Taylor, deputy head of primary, said having “consistency in leadership” had helped the school to achieve its goals.

“If you’re in a school and the leadership is changing every three years, people come in [and] they want to change things. They start and they go,” Mr Taylor said. “Whereas we feel we’ve followed through with long-term goals.”

Ros Marshall, chief executive of Taaleem, which owns RIH, said the school’s outstanding status was a fitting tribute to Mr MacInnis, who is retiring to Toronto.

“We are indebted to him for his professionalism and vision to guide the school during its maturing years,” she said.

“We wish Wayne good health and happiness in his retirement.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
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- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

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If you’re interested in a career at Google, deep dive into the different career paths and pinpoint the space you want to join. When you know your space, you’re likely to identify the skills you need to develop.  

 

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Sudden change in behaviour or displays higher levels of stress or anxiety

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Omar Yabroudi's factfile

Born: October 20, 1989, Sharjah

Education: Bachelor of Science and Football, Liverpool John Moores University

2010: Accrington Stanley FC, internship

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

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2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

 

 

 


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