Our Team

Head Start Educational Academy is run and managed by the Head Start Educational Trust. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the financial management of the school and takes all policy and financial decisions.

Riad Mahmood
Managing Trustee Head Start Educational Trust
Founder President Head Start Educational Academy

Meeting Riad is always a refreshing and revitalising interactive experience. His philosophy is not a contrived statement in printed format but genuine and heartfelt. He believes in it, sticks to it and shares it with one and all. No wonder we feel it! Riad thinks of himself as a student privileged to continue learning about life. He believes that education is all about the exposure a school takes you through; not worrying particularly about an outcome but making sure the process is right. Believing that we have embarked on a journey called living, and that we will experience many interesting situations and circumstances, he says, "Education is about different relationships; one of them is the relationship with learning."

He is very passionate about his thoughts and has the ability to help people, both young and old, discover themselves. We hear him saying, "Don’t worry about what others are doing –- just focus on what you believe in."

Riad has an endearing sense of humour but is also a stickler for perfection and attention to detail. The high standards he has set for the school challenge one and all. He is always around working with team members, reaching out to children and trying to reinvent himself. This can be infectious, but it is an infection worth catching!

Samina Mahmood
Group Chief Executive Head Start Group

Samina Mahmood has always loved learning and teaching. She began working with young people in her early twenties.

In 1984 Samina founded Head Start Montessori House of Children. Many of her students remember sitting on her lap while waiting to be picked up by their parents. She continues to bring the much-needed simplicity to today’s high-tech world. Samina enjoys being with children and is the inspiration behind the Head Start dream.

After leading Head Start Montessori House of Children for thirty years, she now engages with children of all ages. Interacting with them brings her joy and she feels she is the person she wants to be when working with them. A passionate Montessorian, she continues to mentor our teachers and team members. Her doors are open to all at Head Start.

Samina is the soul who makes us feel humble. Her calm demeanour and the way she leads her life, are an example to all at Head Start; an understated educator who works purely for the love of it. Her courage and honesty are assets we value and are an inspiration to our Head Start group.

Managing Committee

Our Managing Committee is made up of a group of Head Start educators who manage the day-to-day operations of the school. Their passion resonates with all that the school stands for, devoted to reaching out to children, protecting the HSEA values and committed to a meaningful learning journey for all concerned.

Front row, left to right: Tejas D Venkatesha, Nithya Girish, Priya Peter
Back row, left to right: Priyanka Trehan, Premalatha S

Priya Peter, Principal, Head of School Management Committee. Joined in 2010

“I strayed into the field of education many years ago, by chance, and I have stayed on since. Working with children and nurturing their ever-curious minds, has been personally fulfilling, and marked with immense learning. This has been the biggest motivator for my tenure as an educator so far. When it comes to Head Start, what stands out for me the most is the sync I feel between the values and the ethos that the school represents, with my personal philosophy.”

Nithya Girish, Middle School Coordinator. Joined in 2006

“Head Start for me is family. I teach because there's nowhere else, I'd rather be, and nothing else I'd rather do, than be with my children. Of course, I love the ‘aha’ moments that we often tend to qualify as examples of fine learning. But I also love to help children get through the failures and tears and mess that are a part of their growing years.

As an educator I try to facilitate sessions that foster an engagement with issues that are an essential part of society and our daily functioning. These issues can be at a philosophical level, such as what it means to be alive, or as rudimentary as the definition of justice and the tension between tyranny and democracy. I'm keenly aware of how the teaching profession allows me the opportunity to potentially transform the lives of my children, and I take this responsibility very seriously.”

Premalatha Shridhar, Head of Primary School. Joined in 2005

“I joined Head Start with trepidation, wondering how I would to handle children with different needs and personalities. Things just fell into place with support from the ever so observant children and team Head Start. It is a daunting task at times to live up to the expectations of children but I wake up in the mornings looking forward to interesting, witty, stimulating, informational and thought-provoking interactions with them. A hug or even a smile is all I need to clear away the cobwebs and bring back joy.

I am passionate about creating an environment where learning is a joyful experience and a discovery made by the child, rather than something that has been taught”.

Priyanka Trehan, Co-Ordinator Higher Secondary. Joined in 2016

“Though I started working with Head Start Educational Academy in 2016, it feels I have always been part of the philosophy and culture of the school. I work with children because I learn as much from them as they learn from me. The camaraderie and collaboration that this generates makes me want to come to school. Working with children is working with life in its most pristine form and I feel privileged that the HSEA philosophy has given me the freedom to co-create magic in the classroom every day.”

Tejas D Venkatesha, Director, Sports. Joined 2018

“My passion for physical fitness and belief in bringing about an awareness and culture of fitness within the community prompted me to work with young children and adults. I took on the role of being a sports mentor and coach. Head Start provides students with ample opportunities to pursue their sporting interests which in turn fuels my interest to work here. I love what I do!”