LEADERSHIP

Letter from the CEO

Aditya Patil
CEO

It is my great joy and privilege to welcome you to Ascend International School.

Throughout my life, my family and I have been devoted to creating educational opportunities for children in India. Nearly 70 years ago, my grandfather began the Kasegaon Education Society (KES) with one school in a small village 300 kilometres from Mumbai. Today, KES has grown to encompass 39 educational institutions across the state of Maharashtra. My family has continued to expand on their interest in educational philosophy and their commitment to the field of education. Ascend International School is the result of this longstanding commitment to excellence in education.

As a student growing up in our Indian school system that offered a traditional model of education, (rote memorization, teacher lectures from the front of the class and overt pressure to perform) I am acutely aware of the need for the expansion of our educational philosophy and learning opportunities for children in India.

India is a multi-faceted society that requires creative leadership and innovative direction, and education must address these needs and adapt to the changing need of the world around us.

Since that time, I have traveled worldwide, looking for innovative educational models in which the curricula and teaching philosophy works for a wide variety of student learning styles. I am compelled by a model like Ascend International School that inspires students to develop a love of learning.

Meaningful learning is the dream that has led me to work tirelessly to bring the vision of Ascend International School to life.

It is the same commitment we bring to creating an education that offers your children the opportunity to foster their passions, recognize and develop their intellectual and social gifts and successfully engage the global community around them. I invite you to come and experience the innovation and energy of an AIS education.

 

Letter from the Chairman

Bhagat Patil
Chairman

Growing up, as my father (Late Rajarambapu Patil) founded KES, I learned that education is the most powerful gift we can bestow upon the individuals of our society.  Over the years as KES grew, I frequently visited schools and became interested in what it means to provide “quality” education. As Chairman of Governing Council of Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, my understanding of the importance of creating not only skilled workers, but ones that are equipped with the ability to think critically, grew.

As an entrepreneur that successfully built The Garden Court Group, which encompasses a chain of successful restaurants, a sugar trading business and edible oil production, I have also thought about the ways in which an educational system can help foster the thinking skills necessary to enter successfully into the world of business.

Conventional models of education often impose skills absent of understanding and students can begin to distance themselves from the enjoyment of learning and limit their own educational pursuits.  This traditional approach often communicates that children are “wrong” for making mistakes, which is a natural part of the learning process.

At Ascend children learn academics, but also learn the value in making mistakes and asking questions—the truest path to learning.

The Ascend model, developed in partnership with acclaimed University Child Development School in the United States, unveils the joy of learning in a meaningful context.  If children love to learn and understand the reason why knowledge is important—half of the work is done—they are motivated to master skills and investigate subject matter deeply.

I am proud to be the Chair of Ascend’ Governing Council.

Our long term vision is to create a model of education for India so that all children and teachers can have access to this type of education.

All children should be able to experience the joy of learning, the value in hard work and the celebration in the success that results.

 

Letter from the Principal of Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Radhika Rajgarhia

I have been a passionate educator for over fifteen years and earned my Master of Education degree from George Washington University. After graduation, I taught a variety of grade levels in public and private schools in the Northern Virginia and DC area. I moved to California over ten years ago and taught at progressive schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. My love for Design Thinking inspired me to engage in professional development opportunities at the Nueva School and the K12 Lab at Stanford d. School. As a result, I led several design thinking projects for social good and my students were able to make deeper connections to the real world. I made my way to Mumbai a few years back and was instantly drawn to Ascend's innovative culture and its family-focused community.

As the Principal of PYP, I am highly motivated to lead teachers to offer engaging and challenging academics with a strong emphasis on social-emotional learning.

My interests include hiking with my family, playing soccer with my daughters, practising yoga, and travelling to new places and exploring different cultures. 

 
 

Letter from the Principal of Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP)

Varsha Agarwal
Rodewald

My journey with Ascend began as its founding faculty member in 2012 and I have accompanied the school as an educator and leader in all three programmes of the IB. I have a Masters in Business Administration from the Edinburgh University Management School, UK and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Mumbai. A TESOL certified trainer and Language Acquisition Specialist, I have been teaching English and Hindi to children, young learners and adults for over 20 years in India and Germany.

A differentiated and individualized teaching approach is the hallmark of our Middle Years and Diploma Programme at Ascend. Our students embark on a journey that is academically rigorous and allows them to acquire and apply their knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and creative thinking skills not only in their learning at school but also in authentic real-life situations. Making a positive impact on the community and thriving as active global citizens is the destination of this journey.

Our internationally-minded, multi-talented and experienced faculty engage our adolescent learners in hands-on and minds-on project-based learning experiences. These equip students with skills and dispositions that are integral to the confident and compassionate personalities they develop to succeed in their university and professional lives.

I have been a part of the IB MYP Language Acquisition curriculum review team and participated in and led a number of workshops related to curriculum design and assessments in India and abroad. Many of our faculty members are IB examiners and IB Educator Network members and we leverage our networks to collaborate with schools across the world to give our students a global perspective and enrich their understanding of people and cultures around the world.