Poonam Syal


Women leaders have been instrumental in changing the world. From Indira Gandhi in India to Golda Meir in Israel and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, the journeys of many such women have been truly inspirational. Taking the whole world by storm, women leaders have excelled in almost every field and domain, in turn, showing their true prowess as good administrators and leaders. Thereby, talking about one such woman educational leader of today, who in her elaborate 32-year long journey in the field of education, has stood strong and faced challenges head-on, Poonam Syal, operating as the current Principal of The Camford International School, has never tried to put a stop to her continuous learning arc, through which she keeps herself abreast of the changing challenges in the field of education.

A Success Story filled with Sincerity and Hard Work
Having started her career as a school teacher in Chennai, she feels her educational founding stones were laid during this time. In a few days, she was given the opportunity to head the kindergarten wing along with being a teacher, which clearly helped her hone her managerial skills. Poonam Syal moved to Delhi after her wedding, where she worked in multiple schools as a teacher with additional responsibility as Head of the department, Primary in charge, headmistress and then a start-up school as a Principal. After that, she was lucky enough to have gotten hired as a Science Teacher by the U.S Schools. She worked for six years in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A, as a high school teacher, and on her return to India, she accepted an offer from KPO, which catered for U.S schools. She also lent her services as a principal for a K-12 School in Delhi for 10 years. Eventually, in 2018, she took over as the Principal of The Camford International School, Coimbatore, and since then, she states – “I have enjoyed every bit of my journey as I kept learning and would say still learning, looking into all areas of administration, academics and co-curricular activities. Planning, organizing , policy making, SOP, recruiting, allocation, communication, coordinating, guiding/training and checking/follow-ups”. Adding to her above statement, and continuing on how she withholds her responsibilities as the main person in-charge at The Camford International School, she stated – “The bigger and more moral responsibility as a principal is striving to mold every student to be a good human being who will be tomorrow’s nation builder”. Through the conversation with Poonam Syal, we also learnt that, she is a strong believer of “Goodwill is earned by the quality delivered”, and thus, progresses ahead in this very pursuit, ensuring The Camford International School stays on top of everything, by maintaining quality and consistency of best practices and the equal importance laid on both – inside and outside classroom activities. Additionally, under her able leadership The Camford International School has evolved as a hub of strong Experiential learning and creative thinking, along with incorporating time skills into the curriculum to boost the confidence and independence of every student. Also, teachers have their regular brainstorming sessions, conducted by Poonam Syal, apart from attending regular professional development training workshop sessions.

Actions speak louder than words

“Pandemic caught us all off-handed”, exclaimed Poonam Syal, enunciating how The Camford International School reacted to the hurdles which came along with the pandemic. But with great efforts and dedication put in henceforth, Poonam Syal and the management trained teachers to adapt to the new norms, and upskill themselves with short and quick training sessions, and thus, the school was once again back on its feet, ready to cater to new challenges, which came along. “We at The Camford International School took it step by step to keep the children at par with their grade level, and worked in smaller groups with both recorded video and live teaching”, shared Ms. Poonam. All celebrations, Annual and Sports day were conducted virtually too at The Camford International School, and Poonam likes to thank all the parents, students and the entire staff involved for making learning  possible, and successful to the extent achieved.

A M.Sc in Botany double graduate, who also has a B.Ed credited to her name, has won various awards in her illustrious career. She received the best teacher award in the year 1990, 1991 and 1992, and efficiently was commended in newspapers as a school administrator for organizing a successful art competition for school children. During her tenure as a teacher in the US, she was nominated by students in who’s who among America’s Teacher for two consecutive years, and has received a letter of Appreciation form the HRD, Minister, India – Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani for Leadership and managerial skills. Also, an active participant in educational discussions, she has been honored several times as a panelist. Furthermore, she also is the Academic Advisor for Ganit Math, Certified Academic Auditor, and many more such traits, she proudly demonstrates.

All in all, summing up the whole conversation on an important note on women empowerment, Poonam Syal stated – “The challenge of gender equality, though spoken often and broadly with examples of successful women, still has to be achieved in a true sense. There are many arenas where we can see women empowerment, but on the other hand, it also seems that it is a long way to go to reduce the gender sensitivity gap”.