By Rabab Mardini ASD Alumna class of 2014
The American School of Doha (ASD) is committed to the intellectual and personal development of our students, inspiring them and empowering them to become positive, active global citizens. When a student comes to our school, their journey doesn’t end in the classroom, they leave behind a legacy that is carried through the younger Dragons they have inspired. ASD creates bonds that are cemented by the ASD values of Respect, Honesty, Compassion, and Responsibility.
ASD has gone through many changes throughout the years. The school began its journey of quality education in a small villa in 1988, and by 1996 had its first graduating class. In 1998, ASD opened its new campus in Al Bustan, and from 2013-2017, ASD underwent a $35M Campus Improvement Project to increase capacity and improve facilities across the entire school. The growth achieved from the expansion project improved the school’s ability to be a progressive school with impressive facilities and varied educational, sporting, cultural, and social activities on the ASD campus. The stunning 20+ acre campus is among the best in Qatar and the region.“ We’ve seen the school change and expand, but it’s managed to keep its coziness and lovely community feeling. We love it and we wouldn’t want our kids going anywhere else” says ASD parent, Natasha Asselstine.
ASD prides itself on being a community built on excellence, and on the notion that each person in the community has something to offer and a legacy to leave behind.
Throughout the years and through the changes and expansion, ASD has remained committed to sustaining its relationships within its community. “In many ways the growth of ASD has reflected that of Qatar. It has been integral in helping our community feel confident that they are experiencing quality education and in developing a sense of belonging through social, artistic, and recreational activities. We feel part of a lasting community and this community is not just confined to Qatar; it extends wherever people who share a connection to ASD live and/or travel” said ASD teacher, Kevin Sage. Whether you recently joined, or have been with us for 20+ years like Mr. Sage, ASD has surely become a home away from home.
The accomplishment of ASD’s growing and connected community also comes from the parents, volunteers, staff, alumni, and the rest of the growing family that are dedicated to creating an experience beyond education for all our Dragons. Events and traditions like ASD’s International Week and Friendship Festival wouldn’t be the same without the work and effort put in by our parent organizations, and volunteers. “The best thing about Friendship Festival is it brings the whole school and community together for a very fun day. It’s a chance for the students to socialize outside of a normal school day. Some of my favorite ASD memories are from the Friendship festival” said Nadine Hammoudi, ASD Alumna and Managing Partner at Frosti.
Last year, the ASD Legacy Wall was unveiled at the Friendship Festival to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASD’s commitment to the community. “The original plaques on the wall were purchased by individuals and families over the past decades to support the building and programs at ASD, helping to build the legacy of this great school. The Legacy Wall honors individuals and families who have contributed to building the school for future generations ” said Dr. Thomas Hawkins, Director of ASD. This year the Legacy Plaques will support Learning Service Projects throughout the school. “The Legacy Wall is a wonderful memory for my brother Jack and I as long-time students of the school. It represents our connection to a strong community of past and present ASD families” said alumna class of 2015, Enya Mc Hale. The Legacy Wall is a chance for families to continue leaving their mark in a physical way by commemorating their stay with a plaque that will be displayed on the legacy wall at ASD forever. “My siblings and I went to ASD from Pre-K to Grade 12, some of my best memories were made there. The community around me was always pushing me to be the best version of myself. The diversity amongst the student body automatically teaches you about various cultures and how to respect each other, yet embrace and celebrate our own individual identity and culture. Coming back to ASD as an adult, 12 years after graduating and seeing my family’s plaque still there reminded me that ASD will always be my second home and I continue to do my best to give back to this wonderful community.” Naser Al Khori, ASD Alumnus Class of 2007. ASD is more than a school – it is a place that hopefully inspires all of us to push our own boundaries and empowers entire families to become positive, active, global citizens.