Englewood, CO, January 23, 2023 - St. Mary’s Academy Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the unanimous selection of Iswari Natarajan as the Academy’s eighth President/Head of School. She will assume her position July 1, 2023.
“Iswari’s demonstrated success and devotion to SMA for more than a decade made her the unequivocal candidate for the position,” said Matt Hopper, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are very confident in her expert abilities and passionate commitment to forward the vision and mission of our renowned institution.”
Iswari joined the staff of SMA in 2012 as teacher and chair of the mathematics department at the High School before her promotions to High School Principal in 2018, Assistant Head of School/High School Principal in Spring 2022, and her current position of Vice President of Academic Affairs/High School Principal at the beginning of this school year.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve our community as President/Head of School. Grounded in our Loretto School Values of faith, community, justice, and respect, I am dedicated to staying true to our identity and rich history as a premier Catholic, Independent School,” said Ms. Natarajan. “I am committed to working together with all our stakeholders as we create trailblazing educational experiences that are boldly innovative, intuitively collaborative, and thoroughly transformative to make St. Mary's Academy a destination school.”
Prior to entering the educational arena, Iswari had a career in electrical and computer engineering and research. She holds a BE in electrical and electronics engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India and an MS in engineering from the University of Maryland. She also holds a diploma in educational leadership and administration from Montessori Casa International. She is the recipient of a 2015 Outstanding Educator/Mentor Award from Stanford University, a 2017 Outstanding Colorado Educator Award from CU Boulder, and a 2022 Outstanding Educator and Teacher of Influence Award from Carleton College. In 2018, IBM recognized Iswari as a Global Women Leader, and invited her to present a keynote about leadership. She has been featured in numerous articles for her work in STEM education and has been a presenter at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Global Forum and Advanced Placement conferences.
Iswari and her husband, Kartik, reside in Highlands Ranch. Their daughter, Rishika, is a 2022 alumna of St. Mary’s Academy and attends Brown University.
Ms. Natarajan becomes the first person of color to lead SMA. She succeeds outgoing president Bill Barrett, who last September announced he would be taking a leave of absence and would be stepping down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.
We’d like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to members of the board and the community for their support and feedback during this process; we are extremely grateful for their encouragement.