SAN RAMON, Calif. – An Indian American parent in the San Ramon school district has helped to raise over $1.5 million to reduce class sizes and fund state-of-the-art technology in the schools.
As president of the Windemere Ranch Middle School Education Fund for the past four years, Dharmesh Mistry, with the support of other Indian American parents in the area, has also helped the San Ramon schools receive Blue Ribbon status from the Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The city of San Ramon, located in the San Francisco East Bay, has seen unprecedented growth in the past 10 years, particularly in the Indian American community, Mistry said, adding that the newly planned community of Dougherty Valley has been a particular attraction for new home buyers.
Given the growth of the area, Mistry and other parents saw the need to support the new schools in the Dougherty Valley with financial support to provide for additional teachers and state-of-the-art technology.
One particular school, Windemere Ranch Middle School, has been a stellar example of parental support and academic achievement, Mistry told India-West. The president of the Windemere Ranch Middle School Education Fund explained that the primary purpose of the fund is to raise money through parent donations. Mistry, who has anchored the fund for the past four years to drive the $1.5 million raised, said the funds have been used to hire an average of 15 additional teaching sections per year. This has helped reduce student class size.
The funds have also been used the support new technology-driven teaching methods. The school has the latest technology computer labs with iPads and Chromebooks, Mistry said, adding that textbooks are available through an online system.
“The support of parents in the community has been extraordinary,” noted Mistry. “We have focused on what is best for the student in reducing class sizes and bringing in the latest technology.”
Over the past few years, Windemere Ranch Middle School has received honors such as California Distinguished School, Blue Ribbon and Gold Ribbon status, and has ranked as one of the top middle schools in California.
Mistry has also helped the San Ramon Education Foundation build its strategy in finance. He has recently begun supporting Dougherty Valley High School, which has been among the top high schools in the state.
“The community has come together to focus on education and are very supportive and involved in all schools,” Mistry said. “The parent community and school administration have formed a strong bond of working closely together.”
Misty is a long-term resident in the Bay Area and San Ramon for the past 25 years, whose children attend the local schools. He works in the software industry, for the past 25 years at companies such as Oracle, Netscape and VeriSign. He has a master’s degree from Cornell University and B.S. from Imperial College, London, UK.