Meet Our Team


Nicholas Gunn


Educated at Brighton College and with a degree in surveying, Nicholas went on to receive a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and then a Certificate to Teach English as a Foreign Language from the University of Cambridge. He has since completed the UK’s rigorous National Professional Qualification for Headship.

With over 25 years in teaching and leadership roles across the entire 3-18 age range, Nicholas brings a wealth of experience from both UK and international schools, including headship positions in top-tier schools in the UK, the Middle East and Asia. 

He has worked on numerous school start-ups including Japan’s flagship first government-backed international school and subsequently, its first British curriculum boarding school.

An experienced school inspector, he is a keen advocate of school improvement and child-centred learning. He has both supported and led numerous schools through a range of accreditations.

More recently, Nicholas was Founding Headmaster of King’s College Doha. Under his leadership, King’s Doha grew quickly into one of Qatar’s best international schools, becoming the fastest school in the country to be awarded the QNSA government accreditation.

As someone with significant existing experience within the King’s College family, Nicholas is extremely well placed to lead Saudi Arabia’s very first British Independent school to similar accolades.

Senior Leadership Team

Michael Picken

Deputy Head and Curriculum Lead

Mike is very much looking forward to continuing in his role at King’s College Riyadh as the Deputy Headteacher of Teaching and Learning. He is originally from the United Kingdom and has a Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Sciences from Sheffield University.

He started his teaching career in Oakham, Rutland as a primary school teacher graduating from Loughborough University. The desire to travel and enter the international education sector led him to move abroad and in his 20+ years teaching experience he has taught and held senior roles in the United Kingdom, Africa, South America, China, Brunei, Malaysia and now Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining Beaconhouse, Mike was the Head of Primary School at Beaconhouse International School, Malaysia.

Mike is passionate about enhancing teaching and learning through improving assessment practice, neuroscience, student agency and digital technologies.

Much of Mike’s free time is currently spent enjoying time with his young family but he would welcome the opportunity to dust off his football boots and play football; he follows the fortunes of Manchester United Football team. Mike is looking forward to exploring the traditional and culinary delights of Saudi Arabia and improving his Arabic, with his linguistic flair!

Michael is married to Patsy, who is also a teacher and they have two young children Charlie and Poppy.

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Zoea Khurshid

Deputy Head and Pastoral Lead

Zoea has over 8 years of experience teaching in the UK and internationally as a middle leader in academics and pastoral care. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Master’s Degree as well as a Post Graduate Degree in Education.

Zoea believes that all children are unique and should have a safe environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, as every child matters. It is her desire to create this type of atmosphere where students can meet their full potential.

Zoea believes education is essential for increasing pupil autonomy; progression and producing informed citizens of the future.

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Mohammed Abu Hasna

Head of Arabic and Islamic Studies – Deputy DSL

Mr. Abu Hasna holds a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language and Literature. With over 22 years of teaching and leadership in international schools in Riyadh, Mohammed brings a wealth of experience.

Since 2001, Mohammed has held the position of Arabic language teacher in different international schools in Riyadh like: Ibn Khaldun Schools and Future schools.

In 2013 he was appointed as a senior Arabic language and Arabic as a second language teacher across Grades 1-6 & the Head of Arabic language and Islamic Studies at King Faisal School in Riyadh.

Mohammed joins Kings College Riyadh with a strong commitment to delivering excellence in the classroom and outside the classroom for all children.

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Joanna Graham

Head of Early Years

Joanna’s UK degree and teaching qualifications started her on her journey of firstly teaching Senior school Science and then teaching all year groups within the Primary school section, the last 8 years in Riyadh. Joanna considers herself a ‘life-long’ learner and continually strives to develop her professional skill set, holding Science Curriculum Leader, Head of Year, Head of EYFS and Senior Leadership roles.

She strongly believes that a holistic approach to education is essential, every child should be given the best opportunity to shine both inside and outside the classroom and she strives to ensure that each child has the best possible start to their education journey.

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Heads of Year

Lucy Roberts

Head of Year 1

Lucy is from Wales, UK and has lived in Riyadh for the last 5 years. Lucy holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Education at the University of Chester, England. She has worked in primary schools in England and Wales before moving to Riyadh and teaching in an international setting.

Lucy has a passion for teaching through play ensuring children are enthusiastic and inquisitive learners. This is achieved through planning inspiring and creative lessons that engage children and inspire them to be lifelong learners.

In her spare time Lucy enjoys travelling and experiencing new cultures

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Michele Roberts

Head of Year 2

Michele holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and French from Liverpool University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Michele is from Liverpool and now lives in Riyadh with her family. She has experience in Primary Education across the Key Stages. Michele has taught at a number of schools across the UK. She has also taught in Germany, including an International School, where she was employed as a Class Teacher and an English as an Additional Language Teacher.

Michele enjoys getting to know each child and their interests to promote a happy and fun learning environment, encouraging enthusiastic and inquisitive learners. Michele has a love of reading and a particular interest in exploring how children learn to read.

In her spare time, Michele enjoys running, yoga and baking, as well as travelling and visiting new places.

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Amal Hunaiber

Head of Year 3

Amal comes from the UK and is very honored to have joined the Kings College Riyadh team as a Head of Year 3 and a Class Teacher. Amal has a rich educational background both in the education field and management and leadership. She as a Master’s Degree in International Business and Leadership and a PGCE in Primary Teaching and has recently completed her PhD in Psychology.

Amal is a talented and personable teacher with 11 years of teaching and management experience both in the UK and internationally. She is skilled in implementing specific individual assessments in lesson planning in a variety of learning methodologies that suit different needs of each child.

Amal has a true passion for working with young learners! Helping each child progress in all areas of their academic development, social and language skills. She strives to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive and fun environment.

Amal’s educational philosophy is that every child is unique and deserves a caring, inspiring, and engaging atmosphere in which to grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially, and as an educator she wants to help students meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing a safe and collaborative environment. One of her aims is to develop students’ positive character and leadership traits which are essential in becoming a productive citizen. She strongly believes that a positive primary education is essential to creating a successful life-long learners.

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Chloe Vaughan

Head of Year 4

Chloe is excited to be joining King’s College, Riyadh as the Head of Year 4, and Class Teacher. She holds a PGCE in Primary with Modern Foreign Languages from Birmingham University. She has been teaching for 11 years, starting her teaching experience in the UK for 2 years before moving to Dubai and working for some well known International schools including GEMS and Repton. Chloe has a wealth of experience as a teacher, Head of Year, Head of Teaching Assistants and External Visits Coordinator.

Chloe’s classroom is a place of mutual respect, strong morals, and fantastic manners. Children work hard, try their best and each child’s individual skills and talents are explored. They feel valued, their ideas and opinions are listened to and they are role models to other pupils in terms of their behaviour. Children not only learn their academics, they grow and develop emotionally and socially to fully prepare them for the year ahead. 

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Specialist Teachers

Parker Murphy

Head of Music

Parker holds a BM in Applied Music from the University of Houston and has earned a Postgraduate Certification in Music Education. Hailing from Houston, Texas, USA, Parker has had an illustrious career performing and serving as Music Director in jazz, blues, and classical ensembles that has taken him across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. Since fully focusing his career as an educator, he has gained over a decade experience teaching all ages privately, in classrooms at international schools, and conducting choral ensembles. He looks forward to introducing the art and science of music and performance to Kings College Riyadh.

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David Nguyen

Head of Science

David is originally from Canada where he obtained his BSc (Hons) in Biology at McMaster University and his BEd at the University of Toronto. David moved to the United Kingdom to teach science and lived there for 10 years holding Head of Science positions in several schools. Prior to his arrival in Riyadh, David was Head of STEM at Cheltenham Muscat. David’s passion is science and encouraging all pupils to love everything about the subject too.

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Iole De Simone

Head of Physical Education and ECA Provision

Iole has 24 years’ experience in teaching all areas of Physical Education from Pre-school to Year 13. She has taught in Riyadh for the past 5 years, including one year in an Education Government Project. She is an experienced and qualified Head of P.E. Department and P.E. teacher with a passion for her profession and subject. Iole has coached at competitive and recreational level in Swimming,

Athletics, Netball, Football, Basketball, mx Riding, Gymnastics, Parkour, Beachball and Rugby school teams. She is the founder, director and rider of the First Saudi Women’s Rally Team.

Iole is not just committed to teaching her subject as a professional, she loves what she does. Her holiday periods are often given over to taking part in sporting activities which, not only assist her professionally but also fulfil her own personal passion and interests. Iole feels it is essential to her teaching to be a role model to her students, hence her participation in competitive sport activities.

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Sara Khatri

Head of Information Technology and Library

Sara is pleased to be part of Kings College Riyadh. She holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science and Engineering.

Sara has worked as an IT trainer across all stages for over 6 years in Riyadh.

She believes all children are unique and must have a motivating environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

She aims to facilitate her students to become lifelong learners.

She believes, we can make every child a maker and innovator of technology, not just a user.

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Enrol your child at King’s College Riyadh

Children who join King’s Riyadh will leave as well-rounded young adults, having fulfilled their potential and having gained a place at the UK, US, or local university of their choice. They will have been prepared for life beyond school and will be able to contribute positively to society.