The Road Not Taken

The investiture ceremony of St. Andrews School, Keesara was held with great dignity and festivity on the morning of 10th August.  The momentous event was presided over by Mr. A. M. Emanuel, Chairman, AE Group and Mrs. Hyacinth Emanuel, Managing Director, St. Andrews School.  The judges of the March Past, Honorary Lieutenant Subedar Major Sukhdev Singh and Mr. Jaswinder Singh, also graced the occasion. The formal ceremony of conferring titles and investing duties to the student cabinet is a signifier of the confidence the School has in its young leaders.

Following the general salute and prayer, the School Cabinet members assumed office by receiving flags and badges.  Solemn pledge was administered by the school captains wherein the newly appointed leaders pledged to carry out their duties assigned to them with utmost sincerity and efficiency. School anthem was then rendered by the choir, after which the Chairman reviewed march past led by the leaders of the cabinet and the four houses.

Student Cabinet 2018-19
March past
Captains of the four houses

The cultural programme with vibrant and zestful participation of the students was based on the theme ‘Road Not Taken’. Tiny tots of the school swayed to the rhythm as ‘jumbo dancers’, captivating the hearts of the audience. An amusing skit with students dressed up as various animals of the wild, from fluttering butterflies to roaring lions, received high praise.

The best marching contingent, Ruby Spartans, received the trophy with a huge cheering. The Chairman congratulated the school for putting up a brilliant show and advised the students to be culturally and religiously integrated. He also expressed the need to appreciate the efforts of the common men contributing towards our welfare. The ceremony winded up with the school captain proposing vote of thanks, followed by the national anthem.

33rd Founder’s Day at St. Andrews School

Amidst great zest and elation, the most awaited event of the year, the 33rd Founder’s Day celebrations unraveled on the morning of 3rd August at St. Andrews School, Bowenpally. With the school band playing the general salute, Chief Guest of the day, Mr. A. M. Emanuel, Chairman, AE Group along with Ms. Hyacinth Emanuel, the Managing Director, Ms. Shamita Bhattacharya, Principal and other guests were welcomed to the celebrations. Lieutenant Hidayat Shaik of the Indian Navy and Honorary Lieutenant Subedar Major Sukhdev Singh of the Indian Army, the judges of the march past, also graced the occasion. A minute’s silence was observed in commemoration of Late Rev. Fr. Dhanraj, the former Chairman of St. Andrews School, followed by a solemn prayer invoking blessings for all.

Prayer

Bestowing leaders with their official duties is one of the highlights of Founder’s day.  The newly elected members of the Student Cabinet, who are the standard-bearers of the school, assumed office by accepting the sashes, flags and badges. Subsequently, the class monitors and the USO officers took the solemn pledge to meet their duties with grace and honesty. The iconic school anthem composed by Rev.Fr. Christopher Coelho was then rendered by the choir in four-part harmony.

School Choir
Student Cabinet 2018-19

The much anticipated march past, led by the Student Cabinet, followed by the four houses and the hundred NCC cadets, impressed the gathering with their scintillating display of rhythm. The band ensemble comprising of brass instruments like the trumpet, euphonium, cymbals and the percussion section presented an astounding audio-visual treat, drawing an unceasing applause.

March Past
NCC

Teachers who stood by the school for a good span of twenty-five years were facilitated by Mr. Ashish Emanuel, Director at AE Group, as recognition of their dedicated service.

“Shreshtatva” – the cultural extravaganza had various magnificent and reverberating performances by the students. Class V students presented “Rhapsody with Nature” an expression of farmers’ joy at reaping fruits of their hard work, while dancing to the tunes of Jimmiki Kammal.  Class I and II students from Marredpally branch shimmered their way into the hearts of the audience with “Step it up”. The glittering props and costumes added to the festive hues. Students from classes IX to XII performed an elaborate dance performance, divided into three segments symbolising physical fitness, mental health and character. Their union results in the synergy of the body, mind and the soul, leading to ‘shreshtatva’ or ultimate perfection. The cultural programmes culminated in a beautifully choreographed marching band drill.

‘Shreshtatva’
‘Rhapsody with Nature’
‘Step it Up’
School band

The Chairman, Mr. A. M. Emanuel appreciated the students and teachers for exhibiting a delightful show. He briefed upon the complexities of modern living and the challenges that comes with it. He added that such challenges faced by children can be helped by the parents. He went on to give the message of practicing “the religion of humanity”.

Without further ado, Lt. Hidayat Shaik, an alumnus of St. Andrews School congratulated all the four houses for their thrilling march past and announced the winners – Emerald Gladiators. With a huge cheer from the gathering, the house captains along with their house mistresses accepted the trophy.

March Past Winners

The event came to a close with the school captain, Ayush Jayan proposing vote of thanks and the school band playing the national anthem.

 

Art thou a leader?

Going back to the good old days of playing antakshari, dumb charades and role plays, there were always one or two voices that wanted to lead. From deciding the time of play to splitting the group into teams and deciding who’s to have the first turn, they seemed to do it all seamlessly. What a debacle would it have been if there weren’t one to lead!

Leaders are not born, but made. Starting from home, children ape the elders and pick up characteristics. Who pays the bills, does grocery shopping, manages the kitchen, handles their homework – the child sees it all. The firstborns are naturally given more responsibilities and take the younger ones under their wing. When children are involved in decision making (even in choosing the colour of the refrigerator), it boosts their confidence and self-worth. Ultimately, exerting this decisive influence forms the foundation for their leadership skills.

While at school, there is greater scope of independence in carrying out responsibilities.  Being the class monitor, for example, involves ‘minding’ the class, maintaining cleanliness, reporting the ‘noisy’ ones, collecting and distributing assignments, it feels like having superpowers! The leader primarily acts as the communication link between the teacher and the students. An efficient leader expresses himself or herself well, has own ideas, has good rapport with others, does not demean their opinions, and most importantly, is not a bully.  While controlling others as a personal compulsion is bullying, connecting based on mutual needs and requirements is leadership.

Several areas of interests that the young adults find themselves in today, like sports, politics and corporate careers, are driven by qualities of teamwork and leadership.  Sir Viv Richards, one of the iconic cricket players that the game has known, has led West Indies for 50 tests, with the team never losing a series. Abraham Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government and modernised the economy. Similarly, Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, was a pioneer in transforming the corporate world.  All of them have common traits of emotional stability, enthusiasm, self-assurance, empathy and team orientation, which enhance their leadership skills.

Student Cabinet 2018-19,
St. Andrews School, Bowenpally.

St. Andrews School aims at bringing out the best qualities from each student and in polishing their skills. Since the school’s establishment, a cabinet body of students is formed every year, with the Head Boy and Head Girl, Sports Captain and Vice-Captain, U.S.O. President and Vice-President, Y.F.S. Captain and Vice-Captain, Band Leader, Head Chorister and the Captains and Vice-Captains of the four school houses.

Student Cabinet 2018-19
St. Andrews School, Keesara.

Students with exemplary academic record and courteous and pragmatic behaviour are chosen to be in the Cabinet. They assume their duties with the swearing-in during the investiture ceremony. Subsequently, the leaders execute their responsibilities with their best foot forward. At its onset, the Student Cabinet of St. Andrews School attends a session on leadership by the Department of Student Development and Counselling, aimed at enhancing leadership to inspire and guide others. The exposure opens them up to opportunities of sharpening self-awareness, improving relationships, broadening the mind and preparing for the prospects of the future.

To quote Nelson Mandela, “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realising that all along they are being directed from behind.”

Inauguration of ‘Akira’ by St.Andrews

“Akira” in Japanese, means bright and clear. The sky was cloudless and the hearts content on Thursday morning, when the learning centre and programme for children with learning difficulties, and an initiative of St. Andrews School, was officially inaugurated by Director Mrs. Alana Emanuel and Master Cayleb Lloyd. The auspicious ceremony was held in the presence of Mr.A. M. Emanuel, Chairman, Mrs. Hyacinth Emanuel, Managing Director, St.Andrews School, Directors of AE Group, Rev.Fr. Solomon, principal and vice-principals of St.Andrews School, teachers, parents and students.

The learning centre situated inside the St. Andrews School, Bowenpally campus, is the first of its kind in the twin cities and the state of Telangana. Mrs. Hyacinth Emanuel remarked that the new beginning is to embrace and remediate learning problems in children. “The teachers of the centre are specially trained at the Madras Dyslexia Association.  Students will be taught through scientific and well-researched methods and will be benefited by means of individualised teaching.” A well-balanced curriculum is designed, with the teacher-student ratio of 1:5. “We hope to reach out to as many students as possible through this endevour,” she added. Mrs.Emanuel also thanked the Madras Dyslexia Association for their continuous support and encouragement.

Mrs. Hyacinth Emanuel, Mrs. Alana Emanuel, the teachers of the centre, Mrs. Kranthini Pokala, Mrs. Priyanka Simon and Mrs. Payal Agarwal did the honour of lighting the lamp. Rev.Fr. Solomon blessed the building and the venture. After the inauguration ceremony, the guests were shown around the premises by the Director. The two-storied building has a fully- fletched Occupational Therapy room and a Multiple Intelligence lab on the ground floor. The bright and spacious classrooms on the first floor are embellished with colourful alphabets, numbers and other aids to make the learning experience enduring for the students. Each classroom under the designated teacher is well-ventilated, has bulletin boards with posters and charts in appealing colours, and smooth edged furniture that is comfortable and child-friendly.

Mrs.Sheethal, parent of Aradhay, learnt of the centre from her eldest child, a student of St. Andrews. “I am happy to see that the centre has exceeded my expectations and to see my child excited to come to school, is a relief.” For parents like her, Akira has opened up an opportunity for their children to learn differently and integrate into the mainstream schooling after their time at the centre.

What the School Football team says…

With France winning the Cup and Croatia winning hearts, this year’s FIFA World Cup turned out to be an epic and unprecedented tournament. Two days shy of the finals, on Friday evening, even the rains could not stop the St.Andrews School’s football team from practicing. After warming up, when the team sat down for a chat, topics ranged from WC to their football aspirations.

Let’s start with the hot topic – FIFA World Cup. What are your thoughts?

Aryan: This year’s tournament was a turn-off for me. I was rooting for Portugal  and Spain, so it was disappointing to watch them not qualify for the semi-finals.

Aaditya: My favourite team is Netherlands which did not qualify for the WC. But my second favourite team, France has made it to the finals. So, I’m happy    and I think France will win as Croatia is not that great a team.

Mayank: This WC is a turning point for world football because many sidelined teams have come a long way in the tournament, but I hope France will take      home the cup this year.

Nihal: I thought that one of the major players like Ronaldo or Messi would get the Golden Boot, but all the teams which have qualified this time, have   emerging players.

Aditya P.S.: My favourite team is Argentina and I like Messi the most. I feel bad because he missed the penalty and the team lost.

Kaushik: My favourite teams are Germany and Spain, but both the teams did not qualify for the quarter finals. It was quite disappointing, but at the same    time amazing too, to see Croatia qualifying for the first time to the finals.

Mayank: This year’s WC was surprising. Most of the high performing teams did not do well. But it was a good fixture wherein, during the semi-finals,        everyone thought it was England’s match but Croatia got through. Similarly,    France had its match against Belgium, which is a tough opponent but France  emerged as the winner. Now I’m going to sit back and extend my support to both the teams.

Dhinant: This WC has been astonishing as teams with high expectations did not qualify. Shockingly, Germany got eliminated in the knock-out stage. Even  my favourite team, Brazil lost it in the quarter finals. Neymar is my favourite player.

Venkat: My favourite team is Brazil, which sadly, did not do well. My second favourite team is France and I’m eagerly waiting for the finals.

The team has their favourites in Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and Sunil Chhetri. Chhetri’s name took the conversation to India’s position in world football scene.

Aryan: When people stop investing money in cricket, and allot significant amount for football, the Indian team will rise. We have talent, but it is not put to good use.

Samdan: At the same time, even though slowly, things are changing. Football is given priority in schools and colleges. Yet, it was appalling to learn that the President of the Commonwealth Games did not allow the Indian football team to participate in the Games.

On their future and aspirations regarding the game…

Aaditya: I plan to carry forward my passion in football and hope to play for my  college team too.

Teja: My dream is to play for the Indian team, to play internationally and score for India.

St. Andrews Football Team

At this point, the teammates add that Teja has represented Telangana twice in the tournaments conducted in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Their thoughts on playing for the school team…

Aditya:  My previous school did not give me the chance to play because of my height. So the main reason for me to come to St.Andrews was Football. I can    see an improvement in my performance and I’m happy about it.

Mayank: I have played for my previous school and now I play for St.Andrews.    Both the school teams are strong and are kind of rivals. So I’m excited to be part of the Andrews team.

Nihal: We have a dedicated sports department. The excellent coaching and the  facilities are the driving forces behind the success of our team. Even with  health problems, our coach, Tony sir helps us with the practice.

Talking about inspirations…

Dhinant: My biggest inspiration is Ronaldo. Once a sweeper in Lisbon, he has  become an international player and is called “The God of Football”.

Teja: My inspiration is Pele.

Johnson: Neymar is my inspiration. Even after going through major physical    injuries, he did not quit football.

Aditya: Vishruth Pulluru, captain of the school team till last year, has been to   Paraguay and has participated in the Under-17 Futsal World Cup. He has  brought laurels to the school and to the team. Having played for Hyderabad and the Bangalore FC (U-19) for two years, he is an inspiration and we are   happy to see him play for the nation.

On various wins of the team and the John de Souza tournament…

Nihal: We have won almost all the tournaments played so far. Our goal is to win the Cluster this year. Last year under Vishruth’s captaincy, we reached the   finals but couldn’t make it. This time, we surely will.

Mayank: Andrews is a good school to provide training in all the sports. The John de Souza tournament is crucial for us. Since there are teams A and B, all players get their chance to play.

The team’s practice…

Kaushik: We have rigorous practice sessions at school, aimed at improving our performance. We practice for around two hours every day under Tony sir. We have morning practices on Saturdays as well.

Closing the conversation, the lads did not pause before sprinting on to the ground. The heavy clouds showed no mercy as it drizzled over the young spirited boys.  With optimum guidance and facilities, they are now getting ready to win the Clusters. The players are selected from classes VIII to XII and are currently trained under the head coach Mr. S. Anthony.