Former Principals Speak

Since the inception of SFS Dhemaji, several fathers have worked as Principals and moved out to other institutions or missions elsewhere. From the beginning till date, all those who headed this temple of wisdom have scripted memorable history in the lives of many a student, teacher, parent or public that all of them remain close to someone or the other in Dhemaji. So much so, it is our experience always that sometime or the other someone or the other ask us about one father or the other, being very curious to know about his whereabouts and howabouts, asking, "Where's Fr so and so now and hw's he doing?"

‘Former Principals Speak,’ is a section anew in our School Annual this time around precisely to play the role of a connecting link between people – the fathers who worked at SFS Dhemaji as principals at one time or the other and their students, parents and teachers of those times.

Here, you will find the list of Principals at SFS Dhemaji over the years and a message from each of them, reminiscing their days here, conveying their greetings and blessings, their thoughts on Education today and the role SFS plays. When we contacted them all in this connection, they were all only happy to contribute. We are sure that you will be happy connecting with them yet again…

"From the Cradle of Divine Memories"

Varkey Valiedathu
(Founder Principal: 1979-1985)

I left Dhemaji more than 35 years ago. I remember with joy being in the presence of you experiencing the beauty and innocence which each one of you possessed. All my students with their parents whom I was connected with still remain alive in my sweet memories. They were difficult times and your love gave me strength and inspiration. I remember with gratitude everyone who stood with me to make SFS School possible.

I had to come to south for my further studies and I was forced to stay back here to help to start a few more schools in Karnataka for children whom I felt compassion for. I supported a few good people to start four more schools, which now educate thousands of children who would have never got any opportunity for good education. Still, I continue to help to educate more children. The energy and love I experienced in Dhemaji still strengthen me. I remember all my old students and the memory is divine. I am still strong and active in learning and teaching.

I always think of coming back to Dhemaji and I do not feel distant from you all at any time. Poor communication did not allow us to be connected and we got disconnected. Meanwhile, I know that you have grown up and created a cultural space of your own which makes Assam a great state and the people most powerful in love and service to each other.

The relationship I have with you will continue and you are most beloved of all my students. I dream of a day when you will lead our nation. I wait for the day to see you powerful and happy to make this world a beautiful place. May SFS School be a powerful institution serving and preparing leaders for our country and the world.

With prayerful wishes and love,
Yours sincerely,

"Nothing Great Achieved without Discipline"

Fr. George Kunnel
(Principal: 1985-1989 & 2006-2011)

I took over the administration of SFS School, Dhemaji from Fr. Varkey V, who opened the school and was the first principal. In 1985 when I began, we had a total of around 220 students enrolled in the school. The senior class had just passed Class VI and had just 12 students who eventually would set the standard for the successive batches. In 1990, when the first batch of students appeared for the HSLC, everyone in Dhemaji was anxious to know the outcome and eagerly waited for the result. To the expectations of all, they did not discourage anyone but came out in flying colors. Ten of them secured First Divisions and two of them Second Divisions. They set the standard and the subsequent batches have followed the suit ever since. As a result, even the skeptics wanted their children to be admitted in SFS. When I left the school in 1990 after the result, we had over 600 students enrolled.

By the time I was appointed as the principal of the School again in 2006, the student-strength had gone over 1200 and the growth continued. When I left the institution in 2011 we had an enrollment over 1600 which certainly was on account of the excellent results over the years. Apart from the academic excellence, SFS School always had a good record in co-curricular activities as well.

While I thank everyone involved - the dedicated staff, committed and supporting parents, local administration and leaders and of course hard working students for the great achievement during the past years, I request you all to see the School as your pride and keep contributing your mite to make it always the best in the state. My advice to students - there is no substitute for hard work. No pain, no gain. Nothing great can be achieved without good discipline. All the best to everyone especially to the ones getting ready for the HSLC exam…
God bless you all.

"Healthy Education System – Basis of all Progress"

Fr. Mathew Puthumana
(Principal: 1990-1992 & 2013-2014)

N ostalgia is the right word to associate myself with SFS Dhemaji. I feel proud of SFS for its meteoric rise in meeting the educational needs of the district.

My association with SFS Dhemaji began in 1982 as I stepped into Upper Assam as a young priest. Fr. Varkey Valiadeth, then principal and the pioneer of the centre, was a good friend of mine. Despite poor communication facilities, I frequented SFS Dhemaji to be with him and listen to stories of heroic efforts he made in establishing the institution.

In 1990, when I was transferred from Jonai to Dhemaji, I found it easy to get accustomed to the place as a duck to the waters. Pulsating with energy, I looked forward to doing something new for the further growth of the institution, which resulted in introducing Computer Education – unheard in schools of Northeast then, building the Boy's hostel, etc. My tenure also witnessed the completion and inauguration of the Church and the coming of SH Sisters. Two plots of adjacent land were bought for building girl’s hostel and convent as well.

When appointed as principal for a second time in 2013 at the wake of an unfortunate incident, I initiated the process of starting a Higher Secondary School in the same campus. Realizing the need of students and parents and with due permission from the authorities, the building work was begun and paper works were initiated. Today, I feel proud and happy that students from all over the district and out of the district even up to Tezpur enjoy the benefit of the Senior Secondary. I cherish the memories of forming the Advisory Board and Alumni Association and holding gatherings and interactions with them.

The co-operation of the public and parents, healthy family background of students, committed staff, etc make any Principal to fall in love with the school. I place on record the great help extended to the Institution by many local leaders and remember them with gratitude.

A healthy educational system, which is a combined effort of parents, public, management, staff and students, is the basis of all progress. This had been the strength and secret of SFS’ success. I wish God’s continued blessings on SFS Dhemaji.
With Regards,

"A Peep into the Past at SFS Dhemaji"

Fr Dr George Mathew Parampukattil
(Principal: 1992 -1995)

I reached St. Francis de sales school, Dhemaji, during the Holy Week in April 1993, succeeding Fr. Mathew Puthmana as the Principal of SFS School and the Parish priest of SFS Church. My life in Dhemaji was a sweet journey of accompanying students, comradeship with teachers and a balanced social relationship with the public. My stay in Dhemaji was cut short with my appointment as the Provincial of the NE India province of the MSFS in 1996, whereupon I had to move to Guwahati.

I enjoyed teaching my students from class VII to X, English grammar, prose and poetry. At the request of the management of Dhemaji B Ed College, which had just begun, I availed myself to take some classes there as well. Dhemaji students were excellent academically, in extra-curricular activities and in human qualities. They brought good academic results and laurels to the school. We enjoyed 100% results. They excelled not only while being in SFS but continued their pursuit of excellence. Our alumni are doing well in society and in their lives. Among our alumni, we have Civil Servants, Doctors, Professors, Teachers and others doing excellently well in various fields. I am proud of my students and alumni of our school.

True education is neither about the marks you score in examinations nor about the bank balance you have but about the values and virtues you have imbibed and inculcated, which remain with you after you have completed your studies. Education of the heart is the heart of education. I used to tell my teachers that a teacher is a permanent student, always a learner, sharer, inspirer and motivator. Every learning is learning to learn and learning to unlearn what is to be discarded, to make oneself a better person to live in fraternal relation with others. For me, what gives true joy in life is the difference I could make in the life of those who came into my life by touching their hearts and guiding their future.

With this short write-up, I give my love to all those who read this – my students, teachers and friends. I remain grateful to all of you who played a part in my life in one way or other. Stay connected.
May God bless you all...

"Walking the Extra Mile that Makes the Difference"

Fr Francis Poovelil
(Principal: 1996 - 2001)

As a former principal of St. Francis de Sales School, Dhemaji from May’ 1996 to May’ 2001, I look back at my days in Dhemaji with nostalgia. I consider those days as some of the best times of my life. The support and co-operation I received from all corners –the staff, parents, students and the public, the local and district administration – were tremendous. .

I thank God for His constant guidance in life while I served the institution. There were problems and crisis; but instead of seeing them as burdensome, I took them as challenges and opportunities to learn, grow, improve, or adjust in a way that leaves everyone better off than before the issue existed. Of course, I was fortunate to have a good team of co-workers, especially the SH Sisters and a bunch of committed teachers. We worked as a good team putting our heart and soul for the steady improvement of the academic standard of the School. Together we could ensure our avowed mission of providing a conducive atmosphere for intellectual culture among the students.

When we think of a school what matters the most is the quality of the students. SFS School, Dhemaji, has always been fortunate to have excellent students of hard work with inquisitive minds ready to walk that extra mile which makes the difference between success and failure.

SFS School, Dhemaji, has been provided with excellent persons of integrity, commitment and hard work in authority, who served the institution with an undivided heart. I am delighted to see that the institution in all these years has been growing from strength to strength. I wish all the best to SFS School fraternity as it completes 40 years of educational service to the people of Dhemaji.
Long live SFS Dhemaji.

"When Spontaneity and Innocence let the Heavens Open up "

Fr Jacob Mattathil
(Principal: 2001-02 & 2011-12)

I am indeed delighted to know that another issue of Golden Rainbow will be released soon. I greet everyone at SFS Dhemaji, especially the supportive Parents and committed staff.

Memories of the years I spent in Dhemaji arouses nostalgic feelings and pleasant experiences. The special vibes of SFS Campus, Dhemaji, is unique. I know for certain that the reason behind this special high frequency vibes is due to the persons who house this campus. I extend my words of appreciation to the parents who choose SFS Dhemaji for their children because they know that the institute imparts genuine human values besides the traditional triple Rs.

Today, we know that there is an explosion of knowledge. The digital natives and the new gen have access to every information they need at their fingertips. Therefore, a cautious parent needs to know the values that a child is to grow with are love, respect, integrity and friendship. I feel Goosebumps even now when I think of the parents of SFS Dhemaji, the genuine and the unflinching support extended to SFS at every redefining moments of institution.

Teachers, you certainly deserve a very special admiration and recognition. Remember your privilege to inspire a nation is your classroom. One day at a time notice the little child Infront of you, angels from the nether world with new dreams and fresh vibes. Allow them to learn with joy and spontaneity; feel the satisfaction of seeing our children flying high and conquering mysteries that the new cyberculture is offering them in a virtual world.

Students, I fall short of words to speak of you, because it is in you that I see God nearer. Your spontaneity and innocence let the heavens open for you and there is nothing impossible for you when you are with God (Matt 19:26). I feel proud of your recent achievements especially in the co-curricular field, sports and games. Stay always in healthy friendship, engaging in meaningful debates and discussions on new vistas of knowledge and inventions.

Wishing you all God’s abundant blessings and every success,

"Glancing through the Pages of Memory"

Fr Jose Mundoly, MSFS
(Principal: 2002-05)

It was in 2002 that I was appointed as the Principal of SFS School, Dhemaji. As I didn't have much experience in school administration, I had my own apprehensions to accept the appointment of being the Principal of a premier school in Dhemaji district headquarters. After a few weeks of coming into terms with the new place and people, I began to enjoy my responsibility. I don't dare to take any credit for the same. Things began to happen in our favour because of the sincerity, hard work, dedication and commitment of our teaching faculty. All of them were very responsible, reliable and trustworthy. There was a strong sense of unity and solidarity between the staff and the Management of the school.

Another factor of our success story in Dhemaji was the pivotal role played by the Associate Priests and the Sacred Heart sisters. They gave me rendered enormous support in maintaining the quality of discipline and academics.

Something special about the students of SFS Dhemaji was that most of them were well motivated, disciplined and purpose-driven. As most of them were from very good families, they already had the culture of love, respect and obedience to the teachers and school management. My sincere gratitude and respect to the parents and to the public for their great confidence in the school management and teaching faculty for the growth and development of their children in knowledge, character, personality and talents.

As a whole, my stay in SFS Dhemaji is something I always love to relish and cherish even after 15 years. God bless all our Fathers, sisters, teachers, students and parents who put in their best to make SFS what it's today.

"Building Character enroute to Enlightenment"

Fr Saji Tharayil, MSFS
(Principal: 2014-15)

Dear parents, Guardians, Teachers, students, well wishers and readers of Golden Rainbow,

I greet each one of you through this brief message. I congratulate you dear parents for educating your children in this esteemed institution. St. Francis de Sales school, under the leadership of qualified and dedicated management and teachers, is committed to make your children, persons who are intelligent, well balanced, responsible, disciplined and sensitive citizens.

Students, while at SFS, you have to study hard, concentrate on lessons taught, make use of the time to equip yourself with knowledge and discipline your mind and body with exercise and games. If you are committed and disciplined, no one can stop you from becoming what you want to be. Remember that you have tremendous potential to accomplish your aspirations.

Teachers, you are the nation builders and destiny makers. Love the children, who are under your care and mould them to be worthy citizens. Love your vocation as teachers.

Dear former students, you are the glory of the school. Make this world marvelous. Once you were a seed in this institution, now you have grown into a tree with huge branches and strong roots. May you make a positive difference in this world, through your way of life.

Dear Parents, you are the first teachers and the teachers are the second parents to the children. Therefore, motivate and guide your children to grow, change and mature.

Education gives us knowledge of the world around. It paves the way for a good career. It helps to build character which leads us to enlightenment. Education is not limited to lessons from text books; real education is obtained from the lessons taught by life. True education plays a unique role in the formation and transformation of human society.

SFS School is very close to my heart. I wish the present management, staff and students, all prosperity in their dedication to the cause of education and formation. May the banner of the school fly higher and higher with every passing day in serving the people of Dhemaji.