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Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed - Co-Principal


Dr. Ahmed began his teaching career in 2003 in the Portland Public Schools. He joined Deering in 2005 as a physical science teacher and became the first certified public school teacher of Arabic Language in Maine. Dr. Ahmed earned a doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Maine where he conducted his dissertation research on Refugee Parental Involvement in Schools. He has his Masters of Science in Education from the University of Southern Maine, his teacher certification through the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP), and his Bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering from Pakistan. Dr. Ahmed was born and raised in Somalia, a small country in East Africa. He speaks Somali, Arabic, English, and Urdu. He is married and the father of four children.

Alyson Dame - Co-Principal


Alyson Dame is one of Deering's two co-principals. She began teaching as an English teacher in Brooklyn, NY where she went on to serve as an Assistant Principal.  She was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to her home state of Maine in 2018, when she began working at Deering.  She is passionate about leading a school that is committed to valuing, challenging, and empowering every student.

Dr. Jake Giessman - Interim Co-Principal


Dr. Giessman previously led Academy Hill School (K-8) in Springfield, Mass., the Center for Gifted Education (6-12) in Columbia, Mo., and Portland's Remote Academy (PK-8). He holds degrees from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the University of Montana, and the University of Missouri. His doctoral research was on equity in school behavior management.

Ms. Halima Noor - Interim Assistant Principal


I am a proud product of Deering High School. I attended DHS as a student, came back to complete my student teaching and I am so proud to have begun my teaching career at Deering. I graduated with a degree in History 7-12 education pathway with a minor in Race & Ethnic Studies from the University of Southern Maine. I am currently pursuing my educational leadership masters. I am fluent in Somali and English. I grew up in Russia before moving to the United States. I believe empowering students to be agents of change in their school and community, advocates of diversity and inclusivity in their classrooms, and community, and ensuring they are empowered to excel at the highest levels, while also giving them the tools to be empathic individuals focused on fostering a kind, helpful and supportive school community.

Ms. Heather Sawyer - Interim Assistant Principal


Mrs. Sawyer is entering her 6th year teaching science at Deering High School. Even though her background is in Environmental Science, this year she has been teaching Forensics and loves the enthusiasm and interest that students bring to the class. Mrs. Sawyer has also been involved with Student Government since she first arrived at Deering and enjoys bringing school spirit and a culture of fun to our school. As an alum of Deering High School and an active member of the Portland Community, she is passionate about making sure all students feel welcomed and belong at DHS!