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Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Onita Nakra and I am the Elementary Counselor at ASD for Grades K1, K2, and G1. I obtained my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota and have about twenty years of experience in teaching, assessment, and counseling.

Counseling in the Elementary School is full of challenges. Students are still on the learning curve for self-control, social skills and emotional growth, and a big part of my job as counselor is to help equip them with skills for life long learning.

There are many ways that I work with students – classroom visits, individual sessions, small group friendship groups, and so on.

Contact Information: (+971) 4 395 0005 ext. 2310 or

Hi!  I am Nick Panza and I am the 2nd and 3rd grade counselor.  I am thrilled to be working in such an outstanding school with such kind students, talented teachers, and patient parents.  I was born in Detroit, Michigan and spent most of my life living, working and learning there.  I moved out to Seattle, Washington in 2005 to attend graduate school at Seattle University. 

While attending Seattle University, I worked as a substitute teacher, paraprofessional, counselor in a youth residential home, and leader of various social groups working with students with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  In my spare time, I spent time outdoors downhill skiing, snowshoeing, wakeboarding, hiking, biking, running, climbing, and playing lacrosse.  I received my dual certification as a School Counselor and School Psychologist.  I am fond of working with the younger ages, as I support early intervention.

While in Dubai, I will spend time getting involved in all forms of activity from scuba diving, to sailing, to anything else that peaks my interest, especially traveling.

Contact Information: (+971) 4 395 0005 ext. 2340 or

Greetings! My name is Melissa Edme and I am the 4th and 5th grade counselor. I am very excited and grateful about the opportunity to work at the American School of Dubai and serve its warm and diverse community. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. While living in the “big apple” I attended and obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and Education at New York State University.

On my quest for fun, sun, and more learning, I ventured off to Boca Raton, Florida. While working as an intermediate educator there, I obtained my Master’s of Education degree in Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education, inclusive of related certifications at Florida Atlantic University.   I later obtained an Educational Specialist degree in Social Foundations and Teaching & Learning: Mathematics. In the near future, I aspire to obtain doctorate degree in Educational Psychology and School Counseling. As a certified educator, I have taught grades 3-8 for 8 glamorous years. 

My passion has always been working with children and their families, as I usually feel energized by their spontaneity and genius and as I am fascinated by the intricacy of family relationships. I see my role as a guidance counselor as one of helping children to assess their inner ability to learn. I am committed to reach all children by providing a preventative developmental guidance program in the classrooms. This allows opportunities for students to develop understanding of themselves, to learn effective decision-making and conflict resolution, and to develop positive attitudes and relationships. I, as well as our whole counseling department look forward to working with your student as we engage them through class guidance, small groups, and individual sessions.

Contact Information:  (+971) 4 395 0005 (ext. 2330) or


Many of the ways that we work with students include

Classroom Visits

Once each rotational cycle, we visit each homeroom. In the classrooms, we talk about many things such as friendships, respect, honesty, bullying and physical safety.

New Student Orientation

At the start of each school year, new students and their parents are invited to attend an orientation program that helps them better understand the school’s philosophy and our various programs. New students tour the school with student volunteers who show them around the cafeteria, the library, the nurses’ office and of course the classrooms. The student volunteers explain school rules and answer any questions. The orientation program alleviates feelings of ‘first-day jitters' and allows new students to start their first day at ASD feeling confident and competent

Falcon Ambassadors

The Falcon Ambassador program provides a safe, warm, supportive environment to new students. It assists in the transmission of the school culture and helps the new students understand school rules. A Falcon Ambassador is a guide and a friend to new students and adopts a caring and kind attitude. Some of their responsibilities include interviewing their buddy, introducing him or her to the class, showing them around and making sure that they are not alone during recess and lunch.

Big Brother/Big Sister Program

The Big Brother / Big Sister program helps elementary students (Grades 1-5) to experience the best part of having a sibling - someone who plays games, shares, and is there to listen! High School students (Grades 9-12) are paired with Elementary School students, and share activities that are fun, enjoyable and foster companionship. The program runs throughout the year.


During the year, students in Grades 3-5 take standardized tests such as the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS); and a writing assessment called the WrAP. The objective of our standardized testing program is to gain information about the school’s learning program and help teachers differentiate instruction.

Parent Workshops

From time to time, experts in the community are invited to address issues related to parenting. Topics are varied. For example, how to deal with homework, setting limits, teaching decision making, and so on.