They walked up to the podium, with a sense of accomplishment coupled with pride, and collected a trophy that in some way celebrated the years of hard work they have put in to build some of the finest schools in the city.
They are always in the background, highlighting the achievements of their students, but on Friday the Hindustan Times Top Schools Conclave 2012 brought the real heroes behind the city’s top 50 schools — their principals, and recognised their efforts.
As Melanie Chandrashekar, principal, Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, aptly said, “It’s nice to be appreciated once in a while.” Bombay Scottish School was ranked No. 4 in the city in HT’s Top Schools Survey this year.
Gathered under one roof at the Hilton International Airport Hotel in Andheri were some of the city’s most respected educators who have moulded generations of students. But on Friday, the upholders of discipline were as excited as children are when they marched up to the podium to collect their awards.
“It’s a really nice initiative. I mean teachers have September 5, but this also makes us feel special,” said Ranjini Krishnaswamy, principal of St Gregorios High School in Chembur, whose school was one of the top schools in the city’s east zone. “Rankings don’t affect us, but we cherish the appreciation we get for our efforts.”
Other principals, too, echoed Krishnaswamy’s thoughts. “This is a good initiative and a good source of encouragement to schools,” said MD David, managing trustee of Queen Mary’s School near Grant Road.
The conclave was also an opportunity for principals to catch up with each other. Group photographs were taken, pleasantries were exchanged and everyone spoke of the good old times.
“It was a wonderfully put together programme and a great initiative,” said Seema Saini, principal of NL Dalmia School at Mira Road.