Born in Gujarat, India, Rachana spent her early years in Ndola, Zambia. She moved to Surrey, England, where she attended Montessori school at St. Martins Primary School in England. In 1989, Rachana moved with her family to St. Louis, where she graduated from Parkway North High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In 2000, Rachana was recruited by General Electric. She moved swiftly through the leadership ranks at GE and then Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a health care solutions company. She and her husband Eric, director of strategic planning for Express Scripts, relocated to Chesterfield in 2010 so she could take a finance leadership role at MEMC, a global player in the energy industry. She went on to serve as the business controller/CFO of a large business unit at Spartech, which provides specialized polymer materials, services, and solutions internationally. It was during her work at Spartech that Rachana decided, after two years as a CDS parent, to serve the school as director of finance and administration. She purposefully left the corporate fast track to focus on her family and her passion for education — and our school specifically.
In addition to her professional work as the Director of Finance and Administration at CDS for three years, Rachana’s volunteer work has shown her deep interest in education. She is a founding board member at the Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls, a first-of-its-kind STEM-based all-girls school in the City of St. Louis that will open its doors in August. She is a graduate of General Electric’s Financial Management Program and Corporate Audit Staff, and she holds a black belt certification in Six Sigma, a process improvement and quality assurance methodology adopted by many of the world’s most successful and impactful organizations.
Rachana is thrilled to lead CDS into its next era of excellence for three key reasons. The role enables her to apply her rich management experience to the CDS community; she has a deeply held passion for leadership such that she considers it her calling; and she has a genuine excitement for the job, as she loves the school for what it provides for her children and all of its students.
“We know most habits are formed in our earliest years and that the work we do in early childhood and elementary education is critical in enabling success in secondary school and beyond,” says Rachana. “Educating our future generations is a deep passion for me as a professional and also a parent. I look forward to leading CDS as we work to realize our vision and execute our strategic plan on behalf of our children and future generations of students.”
Rachana and Eric have three children: Deven (Second Grade), Kieran (Kindergarten), and Alayna (14 months). Deven and Kieran started CDS in 2010; Alayna will join the toddler program this fall.