Gita Jagannathan | Founder

Ms. Gita Jagannathan is the owner and founder of APL Global School, Chennai. She is a voracious reader and connoisseur of fine art, music, and humorous tales. She has a penchant for exploration and thirst to constantly evolve; attributes that reflect her growing-up years when she had to make sense of the cumulative experiences of travelling through 8 different schools, her father having been in a transferable job. APL Global School is the outcome of her search for an inclusive and nurturing space. Gifted with a thirst for the whys and hows of a person’s evolution she spent years reaching out, tutoring and mentoring students who were struggling to fit in despite being intelligent, talented, and hardworking.

This drove her to learn more about giftedness, learning disabilities, and special education. She used the Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers and a course with Harvard Wide on Differentiated Strategies to deepen her understanding of pedagogy and learning. Gita is a Reiki Grand Master, a hypnotherapist and a student of Yoga. This spiritual sensibility in combination with her skills in psychology and counseling alchemically contributed to the birth of APL school as a space to experience personalized learning for students, faculty members and all stakeholders.

Gita has put in huge efforts and timeless exploration for the establishment and smooth functioning of the Academy for Personalized Learning or APL Global School. Founding the institute was the beginning of her journey of transforming the education system. Her unique endeavours to make a positive difference in the education sector are far better and more practically-driven as against the conventional form of pedagogy that has been globally followed for so long

She believes that every human being is unique; that it is possible for each of us to realize our true potential and create an environment that is supportive. In a relatively short span of 13 years, under the tutelage of Gita, APL has gained a reputation for providing a caring educational system that develops every facet of a child’s personality. Her aim is to have every student become a happy and healthy individual who confidently explores the limits of their own potential.

Sarija Santhosh | Principal

“ What I learn, I explore; that I experience. I learn and learn for life. This is the driving force behind my role as an educator. Facilitating my students’ journey along with their teachers’ through wonderment, exploration, inspiration and learning is my goal. I aim to instil confidence in students and make them believe they too can be inventors, discoverers, scientists, a good Earth citizen- A fantastic human being. My day is made when I see the glee and the gleam on my students face when they have had learning which was splendid, awe-inspiring.”

Sarija Santhosh holds a Bio-Medical Engineering (Hons) degree from the Bombay University. She has had a successful career in a string of reputed corporate houses including Hewlett Packard, Network Ltd, Interkadio Pvt. Ltd and Systems Bio-medical Pvt. Ltd in which she has held and successfully performed challenging sales and service responsibilities. She moved into the educational field to share her knowledge, combined with her passion for being with children.

Sarija has completed her Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers with a distinction in module 1 and A-level (Biology) online training with Cambridge University.

In addition to being a faculty in the Department of Biology, she was also the Biology co-coordinator, where she mentored teachers in making lesson plans and assessments to help them give wings to student’s imagination and experience science with all their senses. In the role of an Examination officer, Sarija brought in her years of managerial experience and skill and took the entire team of teachers to conduct the examinations seamlessly and flawlessly. In her stint as Head of Middle and Senior School, her vision to develop a rigorous learning environment, mentoring and leading a team of teachers for the holistic development of the students, saw its fruition at various levels. In her role as Head of Junior School, she continued to deliver the vision that she developed in her earlier role. Her efforts towards an inclusive learning environment and empowering students through restorative justice are close to her heart. She now steps into her new role as the Principal of APL Global School in 2020-21.

Sarija has multifaceted talents and interests that range from being a nature lover to Indian classical dance & music. She also likes reading technical updates on medical advances and has a keen interest in various art forms and mediums. A year into her role as principal, Sarija has steered the school through unheralded challenges of 2020, hand-in-hand with all stakeholders. Her experience and expertise has served as a lynchpin in embracing change while engaging students and teachers alike with the same vigour and energy.

Asha Porayath | Head, Teacher Mentor

Dr. Asha Porayath has been in the field of teaching and learning professionally since 1994. She is equipped with a Doctorate in science and a degree in teaching and training. All through her 25 years as an educator and leader her focus has been towards empowering teachers and young adults. She has conducted several workshops across the State on various topics pertaining to curriculum and class management. She is currently heading the training department, Teacher Mentor Centre. She is an author, and an artist, with quite a few commissioned paintings to her credit. Music, dance and reading are her favorite pastimes.

She is the author of “The Secret to becoming a Star Teacher,” and is also a published author of textbooks for Oxford University Press.

Gomathi Prabhakar | Head, Senior

‘Continuous learning, perseverance, can do attitude and commitment are the principles that drives me in my life! My belief is that, one can learn at any age from every moment, every life instance is a teacher; therefore, it is important to give everyone an enriched life experience. When in school, this is of paramount significance. Every child needs to develop an attitude of curiosity, a willingness to work hard, respect, value and care for all types of ideas, eagerness to learn and show a passion to implement their learning in the most meaningful way to them – this way they can love what they do and be proud of what they become!’

Gomathi Prabhakar, has been part of the APL family since its inception in 2008 and has grown with it. She has enthusiastically worked in various capacities. Her career spans from being a faculty, subject co-ordinator , co-ordinator for Model United Nations (MUN), the head of Expressions that covers the school Annual day and inter school cultural fest – SYNERGY and several other school events. She facilitated the school MUN club to attend the first overseas conference, the prestigious Harvard MUN. As Head of Senior School, Gomathi draws from all these experiences and continues to build new synergies between teachers, students and parents.

She is a firm believer in inclusion and affirms that the purpose of education is to ensure that every child acquires knowledge and skills in a way the child wants. She believes that as much as the parents instil various values in a child, it is the responsibility of teachers to develop it further and nurture the individual strengths; create a culture of respect, belonging and acceptance of individual differences. She envisages a vision of creating a learning environment that would empower children to attain their goals and develop into a stronger, confident and happy individual.

Gomathi has a master’s degree in History from the Delhi University. She holds the Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers and has also acquired the IB certificate in Holistic Teaching and Training. She is also trained in Mindfulness Fundamentals. Before joining APL, she had a brief stint in entrepreneurship. With the ideology of embracing ‘change’ as a constant factor in her life and a mission of exploring the world of brain development and life skills for a child, she has been actively involved in the curricular and co-curricular aspects of the school. She believes in combining academics with physical and mental health for a holistic development of the child.

At APL, she has been teaching History and Environmental Management at the IGCSE level. Now as a head of Senior School, she coordinates with teachers, students and their parents and is responsible for the daily operations in the Senior school.

She strongly believes in care, respect, teamwork & collaboration, which resonates and compliments with the values of APL.

Vaijayanthi | Head, NIOS

“Peace begins with a smile”
Vaijayanthi, is an ardent believer in Diversity & Inclusion. She strives to create an environment that is diverse & supportive for every child under her care. She trusts that Inclusive education benefits children by inculcating in them a respect for human diversity thereby the ability to create a respectful society. It also provides opportunities for all of us to develop the much desired qualities of compassion, empathy, and helpfulness.

Vaijayanthi believes that this inclusion is possible by providing opportunities through changes in curriculum and teaching methods.

“Every child is unique and this uniqueness is powerful. As teachers we are committed to building and nurturing a space, where this uniqueness of a child can be encouraged with a supportive approach towards realizing the maximum potential of the child.

Vaijayanthi has done her Ph.D in Pharmacy and has 2 decades of teaching experience at College level. She likes to update herself with the latest medical advances. She is a nature lover and an animal lover.

Her passion towards special education made her acquire a degree in Special Education from Madras University. She has been working with special children since 2010.

Her experience in teaching and working with special children allows her to provide strategies and guidance to the teachers as they work to derive the potential of the student and develop their own skill sets.

At APL, Vaijayanthi joined as Special Educator in 2014, remediating English, Science & Business studies. In 2018, she became the Coordinator for NIOS and the Gifted Children program. Since 2019 June, she has been the Head of NIOS and continues to work with passion and zeal to bring in differential curriculum and vocational training for children with different abilities.

Sheela.S | Head, Lower Secondary

Armed with a B.E. Degree in Electronics and Communication Sheela entered the professional space in the IT Industry. She worked as a software professional for over 10 years, with ICIM in India and Oracle in The United States. She was also awarded a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for her innovation (Method and system for providing real-time clinical trial enrollment data).

Sheela has travelled extensively and it has expanded her horizons and fed her curiosity in Diversity, Culture, Art and History. Moving back to India gave her an opening into a new field of learning and one that allowed her love of languages to flourish. This led to her spending the succeeding years learning Sanskrit, French and German. She completed her C1 level in French at Alliance Francaise Madras, and A2 level in German at Goethe Institut, Chennai.

From here, moving on to teaching was a natural progression. Sheela started her career with APL in 2013. Completing the training in ‘Differentiating Instruction’ offered by Harvard Wide gave her an additional perspective into APL’s philosophy.  She was able to work with multiple levels of schools and share her knowledge of French as well as the Sciences.

As the Latin proverb goes, Docendo discimus – “by teaching, we learn”. The unabashed love to explore and discover that children exhibit keeps her constantly motivated and in working with children, she has found a way to continue her professional and personal growth.

Taking on the role of the French Coordinator for Junior and Senior School at APL was only a step towards her current role as the Head of Lower Secondary School. Throughout her career, she has been guiding and mentoring the teachers in her team in every way that counts. She will continue to motivate and inspire the teachers as well as the students keeping the APL pedagogy and philosophy in the forefront of her mind.

Sangeetha Rajamani | Head, Primary

Sangeetha Rajamani M.Sc., B.Ed., P.G.D.S.Ed., MBA in Education Management, is a dynamic and dedicated teacher with a passion for education and an unwavering commitment to student learning. With more than 20 years of experience in working with students in special, mainstream and inclusive schools, both in India and the USA, she is a versatile educationist. She has contributed to the sphere of education by teaching students with and without special needs from kindergarten to senior secondary level in varied roles. At APL, she has been a Special Educator, Student Counsellor and a teacher of Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Statistics, Further Statistics, Child Development & Psychology. As the subject-coordinator for Senior School Mathematics, she facilitated the effective implementation of the Cambridge International curriculum.

As Head of Elementary School, Sangeetha has been instrumental in promoting excellence and improvement in all matters of teaching, learning and administration. She attributes her professional growth to her experience in the reception years at Vidyasagar, her panoramic view of student development across the school years and her understanding of the psychological development of an individual combined with her qualification in Education Management. In the Elementary School, she has ensured a holistic development by seeing to it that students are physically and emotionally safe, actively engaged, supported, and challenged by a well-balanced curriculum.

She is a perfectionist, in all things. She goes above and beyond the scope of work to develop best practices for systems and processes. She is skilled and certified in technology that supports student learning and systematic documentation collaboration that extends beyond the classroom. She is committed to continuous learning and keeps herself up to date with the latest trends in the field of education. She has earned the Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers (CIDTT). She is accredited by the Cambridge International to internally moderate the coursework for Child Development. She has also completed online training on ‘Differentiating Instruction’ offered by Harvard University.

Sangeetha, as the Head of Primary School will bring her consummate skill and experience in inspiring and motivating the staff even as she ensures the students get the highest quality of learning experiences. This includes and is not limited to areas of the curriculum which is differentiated to meet the needs of students with special educational needs.

Sangeetha is a natural leader and will continue to lead the way in making the school environment most conducive to student achievement and staff empowerment.

Archana Sekar | Head, Kindergarten

Early years are the foundation for life-long learning for a child, focusing on the PSE (Personal Social and Emotional) development and the formation stages of the 3Rs in education. 

Holding firmly to this belief, Archana specialised in Early Childhood and brings her experience of 15 years in teaching and coordinating for the pre-primary years. Her expertise stems from her experience in both the International Baccalaureate (PYP) and the Cambridge system with an emphasis on Multiple Intelligences.

Her interest lies in the designing and redesigning, creating and coordination of curriculum (pre-primary) and also in administrative verticals to increase the facilitation of an environment for children that is student-centric and evolving.

Apart from the above, Archana has spread her teaching abilities in the form of training of government teachers of Tamil Nadu in Jolly Phonics. Her other interests include cooking, traveling, and reading.

She joined APL as a Mentor in the Elementary School. She moved on to become the Kindergarten Coordinator. She has worked towards creating a dynamic environment to make teaching and learning fun. She has worked with her team to focus on a single common vision – empowering children and each other. As a Coordinator, she has been able to use her strengths in planning and time management to enable her team and make a strong and positive impact on the Organization.

As the Head of Kindergarten, apart from providing a platform for innovative ideas, she will continue to mentor and inspire the teachers so that they may reach their potential and grow to impart the kind of teaching that aligns with the APL philosophy.

Kripa Ganesan | Head, Kamalam

Kripa firmly believes that “Understanding students’ strengths, their areas of interests and providing adequate learning opportunities in familiar environments is the key to unfold their potential”.

Kripa Ganesh is primarily a management graduate. She later changed tracks and embarked on a journey with special education. She has since then completed her PG Diploma, B.Ed and M.Ed in Special Education, from Mumbai. She has also completed an online certificate course on Differentiated Instruction from Harvard University.

Prior to joining APL, she has worked in special schools, in Mumbai & Chennai, in the capacities of a Special Educator, Course Coordinator and Research Coordinator. She has been a visiting faculty at special schools, colleges and vocational training centres. As part of a research project, she was instrumental in setting up a resource room for providing therapy and special education services in a slum area in Mumbai. She has also participated in creating awareness on disabilities through street plays, radio shows and write-ups.

She joined APL in 2013 as a Special Education Coordinator, progressed as Deputy Head of the Special Education Department and is currently the Head of the Kamalam Programme, a unit for students working on functional curriculum, launched in June 2021.

In her role as Special Education coordinator, she conducted observations and assessments for students, to make placement decisions. She worked with teachers and parents to empower them with strategies for developing and honing specific skills. She actively supported them by sourcing appropriate resources and hands-on activities that would help
students in their learning.

She has always shown keen interest in planning and conducting the training programs in APL. As the Deputy Head of the Special Education Department, she mentored and supported special education coordinators in developing student specific plans and guiding them in their work with teachers.

In her current role as Head of the Kamalam Programme, she guides the teachers in creating theme-based plans for students focussing on their functional literacy, communications, math, daily living and community living skills. She works closely with therapists and teachers to plan the co-curricular programmes for the students. She focuses on encouraging students to interact with their peers and family, enabling them to participate in community activities and empowering them find their voice; which will improve their self-esteem and make them feel as contributing members in the community.

She is very passionate towards her work and possesses over 12 years of experience in working with children having diverse learning needs.