Leadership Team

Our experienced leadership team brings a wealth of experience, both from the US and internationally, to deliver an innovative program that redefining educational excellence in the region.
Lisa Ripperger

Lisa Ripperger

Principal

Lisa Ripperger joins Clarion with a wealth of leadership experience at progressive schools. Lisa has just completed 12 years as Principal at Primary School 234, (PS 234), one of the pre-eminent progressive schools in New York City, located in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Prior to her leadership positions in New York City schools, Lisa spent two years as a literacy consultant in the San Diego Unified School District.  She taught First Grade at the exemplary, progressive public school, PS 321, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
She attended Bank Street College of Education’s School District Leadership Program. Lisa has a Master of Arts, in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She received her Bachelor of Arts, in History from Boston University.
Lisa has worked extensively with professors at Bank Street College of Education, hosting the college’s student teachers at PS 234 during her tenure.  After studying with Professor Lucy Calkins at Teachers College, Lisa worked for her at the Teacher College Reading & Writing Project, the developer of the writing program we use at Clarion.

Janel Frazier

Janel Frazier

Elementary Phase Head

Janel is a founding teacher at Clarion. For the last three years, she taught Grade 1. This year she is moving out of the classroom to take on the newly established role of Elementary Phase Head.  She will be leading professional development for teachers in inquiry studies and literacy instruction, as well as supporting the school in larger planning and administrative leadership. Before arriving in Dubai, she was a teacher at the Bank Street School for Children, where she also attended as a child, activating her early roots in progressive teaching. Janel has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut. Her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education is from Bank Street College of Education, in New York.

Michelle Burrowes

Michelle Burrowes

Early Years Phase Head

A founding teacher at Clarion, Michelle, taught K1 and K2 for the last three years.  This year, she is joining the leadership team, as the Early Years Phase Head.  Her role is to lead professional development across the early years classrooms, as well as support the school in larger planning and administrative leadership.  A native New Yorker, prior to joining Clarion in 2016, Michelle taught in a variety of private, early childhood settings across New York City.  Stepping away from her own classroom in order to tighten the consistency of planned, purposeful, play-based learning at Clarion is a real excitement for Michelle.
She has a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University in New York City. Her Masters degree in Education is from Bank Street College.