Welcome to our first issue of the Welcoming Committee Newsletter. In these newsletters, we will try to answer most of your questions. We will also assign you a buddy soon; please feel free to contact them with your questions as well.
Hi, everyone. I'm Tom Cangiano, Head of School at ACS. My wife Linda and I moved here last July, and Beirut felt like home as soon as we arrived. We hope to be here for a long time.
Linda and I have three children who are living in the States right now: George is graduating from University of Denver in June; Grace is a junior at Brown University; and Celia is graduating from The Lawrenceville School in May. Though it's hard to be so far away from our children, we have enjoyed being empty nesters.
I am originally from Boston, although I haven't lived there since going to graduate school at Tufts. I was a history teacher for 18 years at different schools before getting my first head job at The American College of Sofia. I came to ACS after an 8-year stint as President of Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh and a 3-year stint at GEMS World Academy in Chicago. I enjoy cooking, trying to stay fit, hiking, and traveling. Lebanon is an amazing place to do all of these things.
- We need your photo and a short introductory paragraph for our next issue.
- Please note that entry to Lebanon is not granted to people with passports showing Israeli visas or stamps. If this applies to you, please get a new passport immediately.
- Your first pay-check will be available on September 30, 2022.
- Arrival date at Beirut should be between August 16, 2022 and August 17, 2022.
High School Principal
Hello, and welcome to the ACS community! I'm sure you're going to love both the school and the city. The coming year will be my sixth at ACS and my third as the HS Principal as I have transitioned from my initial here roles as an English Teacher and as the HS Associate Principal. In the past I have served as a Principal in Cairo and have taught English at the University of Montana and at the American School of Sao Paulo and the American School of Bombay, among other places. Outside of work, I enjoy running and golfing, both of which are easy to do here.
When I arrived at ACS five years ago, I felt welcome in the school community immediately and was at home in the city, too, as the school planned a full set of weekend activities to introduce new faculty to the various glories of Beirut and the surrounding areas. I look forward to enjoying these outings with you and to getting to know you in a professional capacity as we begin the new academic year.
Middle School Principal
My name is Mary Noble and I'm the incoming MS Principal. I'd like to extend a welcome to all fellow new hires and say how excited I am to be on this new adventure with you all. I've been in education 27 years and have served in teacher leader and administrative roles in the States and in other international schools. Internationally I've been in Thailand, Cairo American College, and most recently at the American School of Dubai. Domestically, I've served school communities in inner city Detroit and Alaska and I'm currently living in beautiful Ashland, Oregon with my husband Gregg Fehr and our pets. I have a daughter Asha, who is 21. I teach yoga and enjoy being outdoors and hiking, biking and working in the garden.
I've traveled to over 55 countries and Lebanon is definitely high on my list of all time favorites. I'm honored to be of service to ACS during this challenging time for Lebanon and have great hope for Lebanon's future. We're in the biggest shift in the history of education and that means an unprecedented opportunity to move forward with bettering teaching and learning for all.
Elementary School Principal
Hi, my name is Jessica Brown and I am the Elementary Principal (Grades 3-5).
ACS is truly a wonderful group of caring and dynamic educators. It took very little time for me to feel like I was a part of the team and I am sure that you will feel the same.
I have been a teacher for 20 years, 10 of which have been overseas. The 2022-2023 school year will be my fourth in Beirut. When I am not at school, I am either trying to workout out or work on my Arabic. Lebanon is a wonderful place, and I am sure you will love it as much as I do.
Early Childhood Principal
Welcome to the Early Childhood Division at ACS!
You'll be a great addition to a team whose members are very professional, dynamic and passionate about children and their learning, and I trust that you are, too. Together we will embark on a learning journey as we dialogue and communicate to build relationships with children, parents and colleagues.
This journey will be joyful and we'll make sure that our EC vision "Nothing without Joy" for everyone is reflected in all our practices. I look forward to meeting you in August!
RANIA EL CHAAR
Lower School Assistant Principal
My name is Rania El Chaar. I am the Lower School Assistant Principal (N-5).
I am ecstatic to welcome you to ACS. I have been at ACS since 2009, I was a homeroom teacher in Elementary grades 2 and 3 for five years. Then moved to Early Childhood where I taught KG2 and first grade.
This is my first year as the Lower School Assistant Principal. I have 2 children, my son is a senior this year and will be graduating and heading off to college. My daughter is in fifth grade, and she will also be graduating and moving on to middle school. Please note that ACS is a beautiful community full of amazing faculty and staff. You will truly enjoy your new journey with us! Looking forward to meeting you all in August!
Welcome, Bienvenue, أهلاً وسهلاً
The ACS community is a wonderful mix of people who are committed to working together to provide students a rich educational experience. As an educator, I am passionate about languages, exploring new methods of teaching, theater and arts. I believe that, for children to flourish, educators should engage them in a dynamic learning environment that nurtures their curiosity while making them feel happy and safe. This will reflect positively as well on our wellbeing as adults.
The coming year will be my 12th year at ACS, I look forward to meeting you in August and will be glad to show you Beirut, my city.
ATHLETICS AND ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR
Hello, my name is Martin Mugharbil, I will be the Athletic Director at ACS for the coming year. I'm supper excited to take on this role and I'm looking forward to working with all of you to make it a rich program full of activities / sports / and outdoor events. I have worked at ACS for 18 years as a PE/Health Teacher across all divisions. I love the outdoors and my latest hobbies are swimming, biking and running. I have participated in may triathlon events and I encourage all of you to Tri. My moto is stay active and healthy.
Director of Admissions
Welcome = Ahlan Wa Sahlan اهلا وسهلا to our caring ACS Community and our lovely country! Please do pass by the Admissions Office if you have children to enroll, or if you need advice about life in Lebanon or if you have a question about ACS. You will always get an answer with a smile as most of us in the Admissions Department are Lebanese and have been at ACS for more than 20 years.
Personally, I am a dedicated, detail-oriented and self-motivated person who can work under extreme pressure. My twin sons graduated from ACS and are now living in Europe, and I live with my husband in Beirut, and spend our summer time between our first grand daughter and our farm.
Next year will be my 35th year at ACS, and I will be looking forward to seeing you in August!
ZIAD EL HDARY
Director of Facilities and Opearations
Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome to ACS Beirut. My name is Ziad, and I'm the Director of Facilities and Operations.
After working for 12 years abroad, I joined the ACS community in 2013. I have three kids who are currently enrolled at the school – Ray (Gr. 5), Joe (Gr. 4) and Rhea (Gr. 1). I manage the department of facilities and operations which includes security and physical plant. We will be working closely together as you familiarize yourself with both your new home as well as the facilities inside your prospective division. I look forward to working together in the fall!
Welcome to ACS Beirut, my name is Johnny Tanas. I look forward to meeting you in August to begin a new and exciting Academic Year.
I have been working at ACS for 24 years of which 14 years as a Business Manager. It is my second home and I love the environment and the diversity the school encompasses. Beirut is a great city to live in, very cosmopolitan place that mixes history with modern life; and ACS has been part of this history for over 115 years. I know that you will love it like many before you who came from all over the world to work at ACS. Though Lebanon is going through hard times, we continue to work hard at providing our students and families the best education in the country.
Hopefully these difficult times will end soon, and better days will be ahead of us. Again, welcome to ACS and safe travels to Lebanon.
Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Hello-hello and welcome to Beirut City!
I'm Rosie and I'm the Director of Development and Alumni Relations. Other than the work my office does with donors and alumni, we work closely with students, teachers, and principals from all four divisions to make sure that the great work they are doing is well promoted across all media channels.
The D&A office also plans, designs, and provides technical support for many of the annual events that take place on campus. When I moved here in the fall of 2018 with my two children – Alex and Ava – I didn't imagine that I would feel at home the minute I stepped foot on campus. You will make some of the most memorable friends in your life during your time at ACS, and inshullah (hopefully!) you will stay a while!
Always remember, that despite the many challenges, ACS Beirut is as resilient as the city of Beirut; and above all: ACS is here to stay. See you soon!
JOCELYNE DIAB BITAR
Human Resources Manager
My name is Jocelyne Diab Bitar and I am the Human Resources Manager at ACS Beirut and the Chair of the Welcoming Committee.
I will be facilitating your transition to Beirut and to ACS. If you need anything just email me and I am more than happy to help.
I love Beirut and I know that you will love it too!
Director of Technology
Hello, and welcome to ACS Beirut!
My Name is Rashad Bittar and I am the Director of Technology. I have been working at ACS for 17 years now.
I live in Beirut with my wife Joanna and 2 amazing kids, Zoe 9 years old and John 4 Years old.
Currently ACS IT Department Team is 3, including myself (Haitham Marroush and Johnny Khawand). we are so excited to meet you in person once you arrive to Beirut, and we will be more than happy to have you join the ACS Community.
- Allowances for all overseas hires will be received during the orientation week. This is the only money you will receive before the pay-day of September 30.
- Beirut can be an expensive city, depending on the types of items you purchase. Getting your apartment set up, buying groceries, stocking your new home with the essentials and generally being out and about with friends, for the almost two months, is costly.
- In Lebanon, both USD and Lebanese Pounds are accepted in all places.
- You are entitled to ask for an advance on salary from the Business Office. It is expected that you may need to do this.
Jocelyne, our HR Manager, will be handling your travel arrangements. To facilitate your transition, kindly advise Jocelyne of your departure city (home city) and specify the airport name so we may reserve and book your flight to Beirut. This is important if you are traveling with pets, as we are familiar with the pet friendly airlines.
- Arrival date at Beirut should be around August 16-17, 2022. Keep in mind that the orientation begins on August 18, 2022.
- Jocelyne will advise on your flight information and arrange for a member of our Welcoming Committee to meet you at the airport.
- If you will be traveling with a spouse/dependent, they will need a copy of their passport.
- If you are traveling with a pet, let Jocelyne know ASAP, so she can choose an airline that is pet friendly.
- There are two options that most people choose to ship to Lebanon.
- For most people we recommend that you bring your belongings with you on the airplane as extra luggage. Please check with the airline in regards to luggage allowance before departure.
- If you have a larger shipment, we recommend that you contact the HR Manager, Jocelyne Diab Bitar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whenever you are settled in Lebanon, you may forward your mail to either of the following addresses. People usually do not have mail delivered to their flat.
American Community School Beirut
PO Box 11- 8129
Riad El-Solh, Beirut, 1107-2260 Lebanon
This will get delivered to the school's PO Box; We empty the PO Box 2 to 3 times a week.
If you'd rather have it delivered to the school's post office station, simply use:
American Community School Beirut
67 Nigeria Street, Jal El-Bahr, Ras Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon 2035-8003
You may use the ACS NY Office address for important mail such as bank statements, financial statements, etc. Only small (5"x 9") light weight (up to 2 oz) envelops are forwarded weekly via courier to Beirut. Bulk mail, parcels, catalogues, pamphlets, etc. will not be forwarded.
American Community School
3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 8th Floor
New York, New York 10017
There are services now that ship items to Lebanon for a charge. If you are an active online shopper, you can get your own Aramex box for a fee. Remember custom charges.
If you are an ACS Foreign Hire, please read the following carefully.
- ACS personnel cannot enter the baggage or passport area.
- Upon your arrival at the Beirut Airport, people with a work visa will get a work visa entry stamp on their passport. The work visa stamp fee is approximately US $40 and must be paid in cash. During orientation, you will be reimbursed upon presenting your receipt to HR.
- A school representative will await your arrival at the greeting area and will verify that a work visa stamp is complete on your passport.
- Please look for a sign that reads ACS and your name on it.
- Based on the work visa stamp on your passport, the process of granting your work and residence permit will take approximately 10 weeks after your first entry into Lebanon. During this time, you cannot make travel plans to leave the country.
- Medical tests will be completed with the assistance the school nurse and the Expat / Ministry Affairs Coordinator.
- Photos will be taken at school with the assistance of the Expat / Ministry Affairs Coordinator.
- Other legal documents will be provided by the school.
- Your passport and all other original documents will be attached to the residency application, submitted and retained by the security office for a period of time.
- The process of granting the work and residence permit will take approximately 10 weeks.
- During this time, your passport will be in the school safe and available for you to use when needed.
- Do not make travel plans to leave the country during this period of time.
- Entry to Lebanon is not granted to people with passports showing Israeli visas or stamps.
Visa / Residency Requirements for Accompanying Dependents and/or Wives
- In Lebanon, men may sponsor their non-working wives and children but women cannot sponsor non-working husbands. They can sponsor their children.
Visa / Residency Requirements for Dependents and Non-Working Wives are as Follows:
- US, Canadian and European citizens are some of the nationalities who are offered a free tourist visa upon arrival at the Beirut Airport.
- An accompanying non-working wife and/or child(ren) will apply for a yearly residency after residency has been granted to the husband/father.
- The original marriage certificate is required for granting the residency of a non-working wife and the original birth certificate is required to obtain the residency for accompanying children.
Empowering students to solve problems with creativity and integrity, to lead well-balanced lives, and to serve Lebanon and the world community with understanding and compassion.
American Community School Beirut
Beirut | 67 Nigeria Street, Jal El-Bahr
+961 (1) 374370