About Us

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

~ Aristotle


Get to know us and our passion for helping every student reach their full potential!

Gyanankur school is a Maharashtra State board school running classes from Nursery to Standard 10 ( SSC Secondary School Certificate). We have had seven years of successful standard ten students pass out and many have gone on to college and good jobs.

Most of our students come from non-English speaking homes and grow quickly in fluency here. We focus on teaching children to think for themselves and build confidence in the students through participation in assemblies, competitions and sports.

Our staff are committed to our vision and values and receive ongoing and regular teacher development.

Our current struggle with repairs and shortage of space will soon end when we move to a new structure on newly donated land just a short distance away from the current school building. This will enable us to add classrooms, science and skill labs and sports opportunities to extend our reach.

Our board

The people who lead us

Gyanankur School is managed by the Resurrection Education Society (RES). The board consists of 8 committed individuals, inspired by Biblical values and driven by a shared heart for promoting quality education for the poor.

They volunteer their time to serve and safeguard the vision and values of Gyanankur School, as well as oversee several other community development project.

Our Team

Turning our vision into a reality

These are the people who have helped make our mission a success through their strong leadership.


Ms. Suzana Andrade Brinkmann

Education Advisor

Suzana Andrade Brinkmann’s passion is improving the quality of education for India’s poor.

She was a consultant to India’s Ministry of Education, UNICEF India, and UNICEF South Asia on strengthening teacher training programs and other education programs in order to promote greater learning, critical thinking and creativity for all children.

She has a personal connection to Gyanankur School as it was started by her grandfather, and has served as Assistant Director since early on helping shape the vision and direction of the school.


Mr. Sandeep Joseph Dongardive

Board Chairperson

Mr. Sandeep J Dongardive, hails from a small town in Vidarbha, and initially worked as a Mechanical Engineer.

 Having seen the plight of poor and needy street children, he began volunteering at an NGO and for the last 24 years has worked full time for holistic upliftment of women and children, starting micro enterprise projects for slum women, building a home for street children and facilitating family counseling, HIV Aids Care etc.

He served in various leadership roles at the city and regional level before taking the role as chairperson of the Resurrection Trust. He has a passion to see the unwanted and marginalised in society have the opportunity of being transformed into productive and responsible citizens of the country.


Ms. Shilpa Emanuel Navgire


Ms. Shilpa Emanuel Navgire has been in the field of education for over twenty-two years. Since 2011 she has been Headmistress of Gyanankur School. 

She is highly qualified, and passionate about serving underprivileged children with quality and holistic education and has built a wonderful team of qualified and committed teachers. She is a lifelong learner continually upgrading her skills and those of her team. Her qualifications include:

1. Trained Teachers Certificate from St. Mary’s Junior College of Education

2. B.A. in Political Science (Savitribai Phule University)

3. B.Ed. with English and Social Science majors (Savitribai Phule University)

4. M.A. in History (Pune University)

5. M.Ed. with dissertation topic ‘Teaching Creative Writing skills to children coming from vernacular background’ (Pune University)

6. Post-graduate Diploma in Management of Education (Kalina University, Mumbai)

She is also a qualified trainer in Communication Skills (Trinity College, London).

Her previous school roles were serving as class teacher in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Sulocana Natu Vidya Mandir, Pune and in Bishop’s Co-Ed School, Kalyaninagar, and Headmistress in the Catholic Christian Association of Ignited Minds.

Over two-thirds of Indian children can only afford schools characterised by fear and discrimination, where textbooks must be recited and memorised, and little real learning takes place.

Denied access to good quality education, most families are unable to even dream of better opportunities for their children, perpetuating a cycle of poverty. Gyanankur was founded to address these challenges.

We believe that every person can blossom when lovingly nurtured, that learning is something to be enjoyed, and that quality education is a key to social transformation in India. 

Our Vision

Affordable quality joyful education for every child

Our vision is to contribute to a paradigm shift in Indian education, through:

Our values

What we stand by



School should be fun – for both our students and our staff.



Our goal is not to be served, but to serve.



We want our lives and relationships marked by openness and honesty.



We treat everyone with equal respect – regardless of background, ability, or achievements.

Years in operation
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Teacher Training Workshops

Our story

How our school was founded

Gyanankur School and its managing trust (Resurrection Education Society) were founded in 2004 by Mr. Argemiro Fernandes, an 86-year-old Indian philanthropist with a big heart. Mr. Fernandes was moved by the need expressed to him by his driver and local farmer, Mr Dhatta Dhore and others from Kesnand village about the lack of quality English-medium education available for their children. They saw this as a key barrier to their children’s future opportunities.

Mr. Fernandes funded the opening of a small pre-school consisting at the time of about 60 children and 3 teachers in a small rented bungalow. For 3 years the school grew but remained in dire need of strong leadership.

In 2007, Mr. Fernandes handed over management of the school to Australian social worker Melinda Parker (Hon. Director), along with his educationist granddaughter Suzana Andrade (Assistant Director). The two came together with a common passion for educational and social reform in India, and donated their time, skills and hearts to take leadership and shape the vision and development of Gyanankur School.

They gradually drew together a team of like-minded individuals to work alongside them. The school began an on-going process of transformation in its culture, curriculum and teaching styles, with the aim of developing into an on-the-ground working model of affordable quality joyful education.