Alumni Award News

Tony Palumbo '08: Teaching Music in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“After finishing my Bachelor’s in Music Education from University of Southern Maine, I began exploring teaching opportunities all around the world.  My wife Allyson Thompson (Class of ’07) and I have always wanted to travel and it seemed like the best way to do so while making a living. I attended an international teaching job fair in Boston last February and received offers from schools in Hong Kong and Congo before accepting my current job in Dubai.

“Dubai is absolutely wonderful.  I have a good time teasing my parents back in Saco about how I’m laying out on the beach in mid-February and having regular camel encounters around town.  On a serious note, any worries about living in this part of the world (Dubai is situated on the Arabian Gulf) no longer exist and I’ve never felt safer than I do living here.

“At my school (GEMS International School Al Khail), we teach students from 80 different countries making English Language Learning a focus for all lessons. Beyond this, specialist teachers like myself meet once a week with teachers from each grade level in order to ensure connections can be made between subject areas. While expectations are high for all teachers, this job has been more rewarding than I could have imagined. Each day I interact with students, parents, and teachers from all over the world who I am constantly learning from.


“Ally is working at my school as a Kindergarten Learning Support Assistant. My current contract is for two years but we foresee spending more time over here.”




Photos (clockwise, starting with upper left): Tony Palumbo with a falcon on a trip to a desert; Tony and wife Allyson Thompson '07; Tony posing with a camel (“Camels can be seen every now and then crossing the road and sometimes even moving along with or against traffic! We also had camels at our school for United Arab Emirates National Day celebrations this past December. Students could take them around for rides,” writes Tony); Tony and TA English teacher Colin Kolmar '08, who took a trip to Dubai.

Posted by Ms. Katy Nicketakis on Monday March, 28, 2016

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