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Meet Iswari Natarajan, SMA's 8th President & Head of School

Headshot of Iswari Natarajan, President of SMA

Iswari Natarajan is a true visionary leader in the field of education. Her remarkable career path has taken her from engineer to teacher, principal, and now President of St. Mary’s Academy. She has an impressive record of accomplishments, making her a great source of inspiration for SMA's students, faculty, and staff. She believes that creating a vibrant, supportive school community is essential for students to thrive.

She understands the importance of fostering relationships between students, teachers, families, and administrators to create an environment where everyone can grow and learn. By providing opportunities for collaboration and communication among all stakeholders, Iswari hopes to create a sense of belonging where everyone can make meaningful contributions to SMA.

As a leader, female engineer, and person of color, Iswari comes with valuable experience, knowledge, cultural awareness, and a different point of view which assumes importance for each undertaking. Her leadership qualities, ability to devise person-centric solutions, fundraising capabilities and successful experience in executing large-scale educational projects have made her an inspiration to many.

Iswari has been an integral part of the SMA community since 2012 when she joined as a teacher and chair of the mathematics department at the High School. Throughout her time, she demonstrated her passion for education and her commitment to helping students reach their potential. In 2018, she was promoted to High School Principal. Further, she was promoted to Assistant Head of School in Spring 2022, and VP of Academic Affairs in Fall 2022.

Before 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.