Staff Profile: Smita Kolhatkar

Staff Profile: Smita Kolhatkar
Azriella Friedman

Check out our interview with Smita Kolhatkar, our Director of Lower School and Director of Technology & Innovation! Discover what brought her to the Bay Area from Mumbai, her passion for education, and how she finds joy in student accomplishments. Plus, learn about her hobbies and her love for nature photography.

1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?

I have lived in the Bay Area for thirty years now. I arrived from Mumbai (Bombay), India, and work brought me here. I used to work in hi-tech for fifteen years before becoming an educator.

2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?

I am the Director of Lower School and Technology & Innovation. This is my sixth year at Hausner. 

3. What is the highlight of your working week?

The highlight of my week is when students call me to share something they have made or a new accomplishment on the play structure, literally sharing them scaling new heights.

4. What do you do when you're not at work?

The outdoors and photography are what I look forward to: running, hiking, and exploring the beautiful world we live in. I enjoy reading, writing blogs, working on jigsaws, sudokus, kenkens, cryptic crosswords and word games, Indian cooking, and working out. I currently head the Silicon Valley chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), which is a volunteer job I enjoy. I also enjoy trying out new restaurants and cuisines.

5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?

I would travel the world on foot taking as many nature photos as possible. 

6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I climbed up the Half Dome at Yosemite twice but only descended on foot once. Can you guess how that is possible? 

7. What is your favorite Hebrew word or Jewish Holiday?

Shalom is probably my favorite Hebrew word. It reminds me of the Sanskrit word “Namaskar” which is Hello, Goodbye, I come in peace, I go in peace, I respect you, I bow to you and more all rolled into one. Shalom to me has a similar meaning. 


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