Annie Mathew: A 30 Year Love Story

Dear Leopard Families,

Perhaps you have heard by now that Mrs. Annie Mathew, the Elementary School Principal, since 2001 has repatriated to her beloved Kerala, India.  It all happened so fast that she barely had time to clean her desk out properly.  In any case, Annie’s Story, as we shall call it, is a Love Story that lasted 30 years.

As she tells it, she wanted to be a scientist.  However, her father thought that since her elder brother was already in medical school, she would be better served to go into education.  Being the dutiful daughter, this is what she did, majoring in science courses on her way.

Getting married and moving to KSA in 1987, she quickly was lucky to find a home for her new skills at International Schools Group.  She talks fondly of her first mentors, Dr. Dan Tye and colleagues too numerous to mention, although we can not forget VP of the Middle School, Mrs. Sylvia Marcos as one of her most beloved confidants.  They taught, groomed, and trained this young whisper of a girl to be the confident, wise, and admired leader of an elementary school that is the envy of many schools in the whole kingdom and dare I say the whole of the Middle East!

Annie, as she is affectionately known, grew up within the comforting and progressive walls of ISG Dammam.  She was intellectually stretched, raised her family, and became a grandmother while still the leader of our school. Her experience as a mother, as a teacher, and as an administrator all shaped who she is today.  And this is why it was so hard to say goodbye to the school.  It is why it was hard for all of us within the system to give her up to what we all knew had to be, to give her back to her home.  

Annie has a new chapter to write with her wealth of knowledge and her vital energy.  She needs to be there for her family at this critical time in their lives.  She needs to create a new life after her long tenure in ISG, and she needs to put her energies into building a new legacy in India for her knowledge is too deep not to be tapped for the good of her community.

I know that we will all miss Annie dearly.  I also know that she does not want us to pout and mope about feeling sorry for our loss.  She will want us to go about the business of building on what she would have called the community success of ISG Dammam and bring this school to even greater heights!  We miss you and wish you, Annie, all the very best!

I know that I speak for so many of the Leopard and ISG District community when I say that we could not have worked with a more gracious, generous, and genuine person than Annie.  We were so lucky to have been able to call her our colleague and more importantly our friend.

Take Care,

John Rutten,
ISG Dammam Principal

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