Mrs. Rohini Alles and Mr. Asoka Herath, Senior Directors of Gateway College, were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by The International Schools of Sri Lanka (TISSL) for their outstanding service in education. TISSL initiated the Life Time Achievement Awards to recognise dedicated educators who have altered the course of education in Sri Lanka.
Mrs. Rohini Alles
Mrs. Rohini Alles is an inspirational leader of education for succeeding in different roles in different settings. She started her career as a teacher of the largest school in the country, Royal College Colombo, became the Deputy Principal of a co-ed government school, President’s College, and finally supported her husband, late Mr. R.I.T.Alles to establish one of the best international schools, Gateway College, from bottom up within a span of only twenty years.
Being an active teacher and administrator, Mrs. Alles focused on the discipline and the holistic development of the students. This dual focus was instrumental in elevating the standard of the schools she was involved in. Mrs. Alles also concentrated on developing leadership skills of the students as well as the usage of English Language in the school environment. This focus made the students more confident and engaged in school activities. Concentrating on these areas of pastoral care, Mrs. Alles ensured that the students were independent, confident and ready to take on higher challenges.
Elegantly and impeccably dressed at all times, Mrs. Alles, has the ability to walk with kings yet not lose the common touch. She is equally comfortable talking to a Head of State as well as the school gardener. Her ‘firm, friendly and fair’ principle that supersedes every action taken by her made it possible for her to be respected even by those who opposed her.
Especially in an era where female empowerment is encouraged and celebrated, Mrs. Alles’ experience during her lifetime, is an inspiration to all teachers and educators.
Mr. Asoka Banda Herath
Mr. Asoka Banda Herath has over 50 years of practical experience in education in Sri Lanka. He started his teaching profession as a special trained teacher in Mathematics and retired as the Principal of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, which he elevated into becoming the most sought-after Government boys’ school outside Colombo.
Mr. Herath served Dharmaraja College for over 30 years in various roles, as an Advanced Level teacher, sub warden of the hostel, coach and master in charge of cricket, Deputy Principal and finally as the Principal, even beyond retirement, at the request of the Parents and the Old Boys Association of the school.
As the founding Principal of Gateway College Kandy, Mr. Herath was instrumental in transforming the school into the most prestigious English medium private school in Kandy. When he took over the school in 2001, it was a little-known school having less than 400 students on its roll. The school is lauded today for excellent academic and curricular record, with student enrolment exceeding 1300. It is Mr. Herath’s sound, down-to-earth practical wisdom, loyalty and unremitting hard work which made that transformation.
Mr. Herath is held in high esteem as a “father figure” in view of the width and the depth of his experience in the field of Education and Educational Administration. He also has won great respect for the way in which Gateway College Kandy has won recognition and prestige during the years of his stewardship. Mr. Herath’s gift for resolving problems of parents, teachers, students and support staff without the flaring-up of open acrimony is an invaluable gift in a head of an institution, and therefore is highly admired by all who work with him.