Hema Surapaneni, Principal, The Gaudium School, Hyderabad

By Hema Surapaneni, Principal
Hema Surapaneni,Principal

Hema Surapaneni


An able administrator and educationist, for more than two and half decades, Hema Surapaneni is dynamic, energetic and forthright in her philosophy on education. She has 20 years of teaching experience and more than six years of experience as the principal. She had been the founder principal of a couple of schools, establishing from scratch and running them successfully. In her present role as the Principal of The Gaudium School, she is creating a happy learning environment with discipline for good academic output by getting the work done by the staff and coordinating with various departments in and out of the school. She has worked towards creating engaging, authentic and child-centric learning spaces and assisted learners in developing strategies and skills for their own development. As a leader in education, she upgrades her skills and knowledge by attending seminars and workshops to sharpen her tools and network with her own community of educators across the globe through conferences, forums, social networking groups and educational organizations.

The Guardian of Contented Wisdom

While growing up, Hema Surapaneni observed that most of the teachers fail to show empathy towards the students despite having great qualification and experience. Outturn, she developed an immense interest in the teaching-learning process. She ardently felt the need of teachers who can understand the challenges of students rather than judging them by their academic performance. She started with tutoring her own friends in informal ways and moved on to take up teaching professionally.
Often regarded as the jack-of-all-trades, Surapaneni along with teaching was equally involved with dancing, singing, debating, elocution, playing, socializing, quizzing and organizing events.

"As a leader, I do not believe in upgrading my resume, but rather have a lot of commitment and dedication, and see my growth in the growth of my organization"
- Hema Surapaneni

A woman has been rightly conferred the title of multi-tasker and justifying this, today Surapaneni is meeting the challenging job of a principal wearing multiple hats. "In spite of being on my toes the whole day, there is no dull moment and I enjoy every single minute of working," says Surapaneni. She is now leading The Gaudium School, with three boards, CBSE, Cambridge and IB in Hyderabad, quite passionately. The Gaudium offers IB curriculum from Nursery to Grade 5 and students from Grades 6-10 can make a choice in curriculum between CAIE & CBSE. The XI & XII graders can choose the IBDP or CBSE.

Scattered in about 27 acres of green and eco-friendly land, the campus of Gaudium School is a perfect place for the students to relish their childhood with state of art infrastructure, sports facilities and adventure unit that is one of its own kind. "We have created a milieu where each student can feel safe emotionally as well physically and in turn express themselves without any kind of hesitation," says Surapaneni. The students are rendered with an array of opportunities and choices along with the allowance of using the most of their creativity in an outdoor learning space. "Considering every student has their own learning graph, we are committed to checking continuously their progress level followed by initiating required remedial or special instructions," claims Surapaneni.

To its credits, The Gaudium has the distinction of being the first school in Hyderabad to introduce STEM, hands-on integrated learning program popular in the USA, UK, and East Asia.
A befitting curriculum has been set where a student of each grade gets to work on at least 10 projects a year. Surapaneni proudly says, "Each lesson plan is designed to better understand the concepts taught in the classroom using innovative experiential activities. These unparallel efforts make us one of the best schools in Hyderabad."

The campus of the school is equipped with a science park for the first-hand experience. The Gaudium is moreover the only school in the city that has a petting zoo to sensitize students to care for animals and to learn to co-habit harmoniously. Ensuring further practical based learning, the students are open to access the robust infrastructure of labs and fine art studios of the campus. The theater and communication program helps in good expression, body language, public speaking and builds self-esteem in students. "We have the DIY (Do It Yourself) in integration with our curriculum to imbibe life skills to make every student self-reliant," states Surapaneni.

Guided and trained by Surapaneni, teachers of The Gaudium adhere to embrace The Happy Minds Teaching Model, where the students are treated like a canvas and the teachers paint it with the right hues. On the verge of spawning sensitive global citizens who can be instrumental in bringing positive change to the world, the school is consistently implementing policies for cultivating an ideal and happy learning environment.

Her Favorites

Role model: Hellen Keller

Leader in Education: Diana Ravitch who advocated the concept of "No child left behind"

Book: Rebecca

Author: Dame Daphne du Maurier,

Quote: "Action is thy duty, the reward is not your concern"
Top 25 Promising Women Leaders in Indian Education Sector 2018