Meet St Christopher’s leadership

by BTM

Tue, 04 April 2023

St. Christopher’s School Bahrain

With a team of nearly 400 teachers, faculty and staff committed to creating special moments in the lives of the students, St Christopher’s is truly an amazing school.

St. Christopher’s School Bahrain is a vibrant educational institution that strives to provide a high-quality education that not only equips its students to achieve their academic goals, but also to comprehend and foster common humanitarian values that connect us all. Since its foundation in 1961, the school has come a long way and currently serves over 2,300 children and young adults aged three to eighteen, representing a diverse 70 nations.

The school has recently been recognized as one of the world’s best private schools by Spear’s School Index and Carfax Education for two consecutive years. Furthermore, the school’s alumni have gone on to have tremendous success in their tertiary education, careers, and lives.

Here are some of the essential team members that make things happen at this spectacular school:

Simon Watson, Principal
St Christopher’s is Simon Watson’s third leadership role, after Copenhagen International School and Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ), one of Malaysia’s premier international schools. Mr. Watson joined St Christopher’s School as its Principal in August 2018.
He holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, a PGCE from the University of Keele and a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Bristol. He started his career in 1993 as a Teacher of Mathematics at Gravesend Grammar School for Boys and has worked in international education since 1999, with a brief spell back in the UK. His career has taken him from the UK to the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Denmark, Malaysia and now Bahrain.

Gavin Boyle, Director of Learning
Gavin Boyle is responsible for the Future Ready Curriculum (FRC) and professional development to improve the quality of teaching and learning. He has 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in both UK and British international schools, as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH). Gavin’s work entails investigating modern cognitive science and cognitive psychology research to enhance classroom pedagogy and ensure that all students are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful, self-motivated learners who reach their full potential.

Yasmine Dannawy, Head of Senior School
Growing up across four countries enabled Yasmine to become proficient in three languages. This laid a foundation for her to become a teacher in the late 90s with 1997 being her first year as a teacher. From there she embarked on two undergraduate degrees and two postgraduate degrees, including study at Cambridge University. Under John MacBeath, Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, some of her findings were even used for research into school improvement.
She is currently pursuing the goal of completing a PhD at Queen’s University. She believes that working at St Christopher’s as the Head of the Senior School is a privilege as she is bringing her own contribution to shaping the role models of tomorrow.

Ian Fellows, Head of Junior School
Prior to being the Head of Junior School at St Christopher’s, Ian Fellows had been a headteacher for 18 years. He has been teaching for over 30 years and in school leadership roles for 24 years. Ian taught in the UK, Thailand and Germany before joining St Christopher’s in 2005. Notably, he is a member of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS).
He leads a team of dedicated staff who strive for outstanding academic outcomes for students as well as providing extensive opportunities in sport, drama and music, taking great pride in the sense of community that is between students, staff and parents. 
He is currently midway through a certificate in School Management and Leadership through Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as a Level 5 Award in Coaching.

Nat Dickinson
Head of Infant School

Nat and her team have revolutionised the Infant School with research-supported play-based learning, schema play and an emphasis on the outdoor environment. She is not only the Head of Infant School at St Christopher’s School Bahrain, but a representative for the Kingdom at the British School of the Middle East representative for Bahrain. With eight years as an educational leader and qualifications in Secondary Education, Educational Leadership, and a Certificate in School Management & Leadership from Harvard, Nat is truly the right person for the role. She is also an avid lifelong learner who is currently qualified as a driving instructor.

Sonali Thadani
Director of Marketing

Born and raised in Bahrain, Sonali is a proud graduate of St Christopher’s who studied at the school throughout her schooling years. She then left for her native Canada to pursue her Honours Degree at the prestigious University of Toronto. After graduating, she returned to Bahrain where her career in marketing and communications has spanned over 20 years across a multitude of industries including banking, retail, hospitality, and education. 

As a mother of three, Sonali balances parenting and family life with a busy career and a successful retail business.

Leaana Baker
Director of Operations

In her 12 years at St Christopher’s School, Leaana has found a passion for creating environments where people flourish and operations are slick and professional.  Leaana is a result-oriented, self-motivated, resilient individual who strives for continuous improvement and personal development while fostering a culture of trust and transparency in order to contribute to the growth and success of the organisation.  She credits her success to the strong women she is surrounded by and hopes to inspire other women to follow their passion.

Stephen Meharry
Director of Finance and Development

Stephen began his career with Ernst & Young in the UK before moving to Bahrain in 2018. He joined St Christopher’s School in 2019 and is currently responsible for overseeing the school’s finance team, purchasing and school cafe. 

He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics and an MSc in Finance from the University of Liverpool. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Outside of work, he enjoys sport and spending time with his family.