Meet the Board
What does the Board do?
The SILC Board meets once a month and consists of the Executive Board along with several At-Large Members.
- Teacher Recruitment
- Curriculum Planning
- Long term planning for SILC
- Day to day operations at SILC
- Looking for ways to improve the SILC experience
- Partnering with outside organizations for events (i.e. IAM, Minnesota History Center, Festival of Nations)
- Planning for SILC Special events
- Working with the Como High School administration to coordinate school use
Who are the Board Members?
Principal/President - Venkat Seemakurthy
Venkat has been associated with SILC for the past 6 years. He primarily teaches Social Studies at SILC. Venkat is a Computer Professional working for Cognizant Technology Solution. Venkat and his wife Madhuri have been active volunteers with SILC, IAM and the Indian community. He is an Ex-IAM Board member too. Venkat enjoys spending time with his boys Anand and Vivek. Luckily his kids are eager to volunteer along with him. The family enjoys travel, community events and cuisines
President Emeritus - Sonja Agarwal
Sonja has volunteered at SILC for over 10 years. She has worn many hats including: Social Studies Level 1 teacher, Art teacher, Social Studies Level 3 teacher and SILC administrator ~ learning and growing with each opportunity. She grew up in Northfield, Minnesota and earned a Bachelor’s degree at Luther College where she met her husband, Mukesh. Wanting their sons to learn about the culture of India brought them to SILC. “I love being a part of the SILC community, have met many amazing people and cherish the many friendships that have grown over the years.”
Assistant Principal- Kartika Bhardwaj Kumar
Born and raised in the North Indian town of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Kartika moved to MN about 19 years ago. She lives here with her husband Anil (SILC tabla teacher) and two sons, who have been SILC students for the past many years. Kartika is a Physician and is well versed in Hindi, Punjabi and Marwari. She enjoys traveling and sight-seeing with her family.
Treasurer - Mangala Acharya
SILC parent, SILC student, SILC board member, SILC treasurer, proud mother of two wonderful kids, passionate crafter, avid reader, occasional writer, ardent traveler, food connoisseur! Still, greater than the sum of parts!
Secretary - Suzanne Sheridan
Suzanne and her family joined SILC mid-year in 2013, shortly after their daughter Shilpa arrived from Kerala. They were warmly welcomed at SILC and soon the whole family was off to classes in Malayalam, yoga, Social Studies, cooking and Adult Hindi! When she is not at SILC, Suzanne has a super fun job teaching English to students in China.
Member at Large - Shiv Bhatia
A former military officer, Shiv served in the Indian Army for many years on a variety of assignments, most of them in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism roles. After hanging up his uniform, he has been learning the art of Corporate “Warfare”, in the Healthcare Services industry. Currently, he works for Cotiviti Healthcare, as VP of Business Operations and Strategy. A die-hard outdoors person, he will do anything not to stay indoors. An avid griller who also enjoys cooking on the stove top, Shiv lives in Woodbury with his wife, Varsha and two lovely daughters, Suparna and Sahana.
Director Culture - Nidhi Khandelwal
Born and brought up in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, Nidhi moved to Minnesota 14 years ago. With a double graduate degree in Commerce and Information Technology, she currently works in wealth management at Ameriprise Financial. She volunteered at SILC as a preschool teacher in the past and is currently teaching dance. She lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and two girls- Ishana (13) and Naisha(8). She enjoys going for long walks and traveling with her family.
Director Events & Community, Great Gatherings Coordinator - Veeti Tandon
Veeti grew up in Minnesota and is an Internal Medicine physician with Allina Health. She loves to read, dance and organize parties. She has been a SILC mother for six years and started the Great Gathering program in 2016 as a way for building community connections as well as for fundraising.
Director Languages - Varsha Bhatia
Originally from Maharashtra, India, Varsha has been in the US for over 20 years. She has an undergrad in Mathematics, graduate degrees in Computer Science from UMass and Teaching from U of M. She teaches math to high school students. She lives in Woodbury with her husband Shiv and two beautiful daughters, Suparna and Sahana. Varsha likes to be involved in the community and loves spending time with her family. In her spare time, she likes listening to music, solving Sudoku and crossword puzzles. 2018 is her ninth year of volunteering at SILC.
Director Registration & Marketing - Sunita Mannamkunnath
Sunita has been a SILC Volunteer for over 11 years and represented SIIC at various events in the Twin Cities. With a job in a Healthcare organization and family to keep her busy during the week, Saturdays are a day of volunteering to give back to the community. Her daughter is enrolled in SILC and looks forward to SILC Saturdays! She enjoys gardening, reading and traveling.
Director Social Studies - Shailesh Koppikar
Shailesh grew up in " Mumbai" with ancestry from the scenic Coastal Karnataka region. He came to the United States in 1994 to Michigan and moved to Minnesota since 1996. My better-half Anu and I live in Lakeville along with our daughter Ria who is a student at SILC. Shailesh is a first year teacher for Social Studies -2 and Anu manages the SILC LIbrary. Shailesh works as a Program Manager for an IT Consulting company managing Technology Staffing and Project Services for private and government clients.
Director Technology - Siva Jasthi
With a Ph.D from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, Dr. Jasthi has about 25 years of experience in research, software development and teaching in India and the United States. He currently works at Siemens PLM Software as Program Manager. He also teaches at Information and Computer Sciences Department, Metropolitan State University as community faculty. He volunteers for “Chetana Foundation”—a charity organization supporting an orphan school in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. He also started “vunnava dot com” (http://www.vunnava.com) to facilitate networking of the community from his village to give back to the village. He lives with his wife, Bhas and two children (Tapan and Deepta), enjoys spending time with his family, blogging, teaching, Telugu music, movies, travel, ethnic foods, and volunteering. Jasthi has served SILC as Principal, President, Director of Communications in the past and he is currently serving as Director of Instructional Design focusing on designing and developing the tools, means and games to teach Indic languages at SILC. He compiled and published six books so far: “My India Coloring Pages” (Vol. 1 and 2), “Let’s Play: A Treasury of Traditional Childhood Games from India,” (Telugu and English versions), “Let’s Play and Color,” Telugu puzzles book.