Meet the Thomas family
Sheetal and Vishal Thomas share a love for education and attribute much of their personal and professional success to the formal and informal educational opportunities they have been afforded. Their interest in early childhood development started at home, raising their two kids, currently ages 5 and 8. "It was fascinating to learn about the significant influence of a child's early experiences on brain development and character", said Sheetal. They saw the importance of exposing their kids to a variety of learning styles in a safe, nurturing and structured environment to develop each child's unique set of strengths and talents. They also learned first-hand how the presence of engaging teachers and a well rounded program could affect their development. "At times we struggled to balance our kids' development with career demands" added Vishal. These challenges resulted in their kids having to attend 4 different preschools over a period of 6 years.
Along the way they met many parents facing similar challenges. This prompted them to apply their problem solving and organizational skills towards addressing the unmet child care and development needs. They researched several leading providers and finally decided on Childrens Lighthouse due to a common shared vision and complementary strengths. "We are firm believers that character values are the foundation of learning. We were impressed with the Children's Lighthouse proprietary and comprehensive research centered curriculum that focuses not only on integrated intellectual development, but also on healthy social and emotional growth through systematic character values education", said Sheetal. Opportunities for music, movement, technology and artistic expression further enhance the development experience. Childrens Lighthouse provided them the opportunity to leverage a robust core program and enhance it based on the unique needs of the local community. As a result, they plan to offer enhanced support for working parents through 6:30am to 6:30pm coverage, classroom video monitoring for parents, electronic parent communication and before/ after school care for siblings in neighborhood schools.
Having built and managed teams, Sheetal and Vishal understand the importance of attracting, developing and retaining a great team and creating a culture where staff and teachers thrive. Our focus will be on building this team and culture where we role model the values to realize our vision and benefit our families.
We believe our school will enrich the North Raleigh community by providing a comprehensive, high quality offering that will help our kids, teachers and parents thrive. We are delighted by the response we have received from the community so far and we look forward to welcoming you to our family.
Sheetal and Vishal met in high school and moved to the US to pursue graduate studies after completing their undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Mumbai, India. After graduating with a Masters degree from Penn State University, Sheetal pursued a career in Quality Management in the electronics industry where she developed deep expertise in process, product and supplier quality. Vishal secured a Masters from Carnegie Mellon University and proceeded with a career in the pharmaceutical industry where he has developed extensive experience in risk management and organizational culture, with a focus on values and business ethics. Between them, they have collective experience of 30 years in positions of increasing responsibility in medium and large corporations. Having lived in the US, India, Japan and the UK; they have developed a deep appreciation for diverse cultures and a global, connected world through extensive travels to more than 20 countries. They plan to apply their rich skill-set and experience towards running a high quality school.
After moving to Raleigh-Durham in 2002 they fell in love with the area and decided to settle down and raise a family. They have been blessed with two children who attend Wake County schools in Raleigh. They also enjoy travelling, cooking and spending time with friends. The Thomas family spends weekends shuttling between soccer games, church, birthday parties and play dates. However, Sheetal adds with a smile "No matter how busy we are, Vishal always finds the time to tend to his fantasy football teams".