History of Hem Sheela Model School

A brief history

The idea of building a school was instilled in Rabindra N. Roy by his father, the late Hem Chandra Roy, in 1967. Hemchandra Sheelabati Memorial Educational Trust was established in 1988. It is a non-profit organization. The school, which is affiliated to the C.B.S.E. in New Delhi, is governed by the trust and run by the members of the Managing Committee. The President of Drury University automatically becomes a Trustee (ex-officio) of the Hem Sheela Model School.

On January 1, 1990, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Primary Section of the Hem Sheela Model School was performed by Dr. David A. Johnson, Professor of Chemistry of Spring Arbor College in Michigan, U.S.A. Drury University students also participated in this historic event. The primary school commenced on four acres of the parents' cultivatable land in 1995, with 350 students from kindergarten to second and 12 teachers.

Hem Sheela Model SchoolFormer President John E. Moore, Jr. of Drury University inaugurated the primary school on March 12, 1995. Prime land (20 acres) was leased to the Hem Sheela Model School by the Steel Authority of India in 1994. 

Nobel Laureate Dr. Johann Deisenhofer from the United States, along with his wife Dr. Kirsten Fischer Lindahl, laid the foundation stone of the school complex in January 1996. The primary school commenced on the secondary site in January of 1997 by President John E. Moore of Drury University. He was the keynote speaker at the Founders' Day celebration.

Dr. Michael Doyle and Mrs. Janice Doyle dedicated the middle school building, known as the Doyle Building, in January of 2000. Dr. Doyle also delivered a speech on the school's Founders' Day.

On May 14, 2002, Drury University's Board of Trustees officially approved a formal sister school relationship with the Hem Sheela Model School. On September 29, 2004, in recognition of the sister school relationship, a scholarship was established for Hem Sheela's excellent students to continue their education at Drury University.

In December 2005, Dr. Johann Deisenhofer and his wife Dr. Kirsten Fischer Lindahl again traveled to Hem Sheela for a week as part of the school's tenth anniversary. They taught and interacted with Hem Sheela students from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Dr. Charles A. Taylor, Dean of Drury University, along with his wife, Jan, and daughter, Megan, visited Hem Sheela in December of 2006 for the presentation of a speech at the Founders' Day celebration. Dr. Taylor also laid the foundation stone for the higher secondary complex. 

From 1995 to 2006, as part of the cross-cultural study tour and exchange program for faculty and students, Drury University students and professors have taught at Hem Sheela. Drury students received credit for the course on Minorities and Indigenous Cultures. Seventeen groups (200 students) visited India, including Durgapur, during the years from 1975 to 2006. In 2006, Kinjal Majumder from the Hem Sheela Model School joined Drury University as a pre-med student and as a Trustee fellow.

On June 21, 2007, for the first generation learners, the Tribal School (Protima Child and Woman Development Center) began with 41 students and two teachers. Now there are 160 students, four teachers, and three classrooms. A generous donation for the building of a permanent primary school was made by John and Crystal Beuerlein. Mr. Beuerlein is the former chairman of the Board of Trustees at Drury University. 

In October of 2007, for the benefit, enrichment, curricular cooperation and strengthening of the sister school relationship of both institutions, Dr. Narayan, principal of the Hem Sheela Model School, was invited by Dr. Charles A. Taylor, Dean of the College and Vice President for Academic Affairs, as the guest of Drury University.

John Beuerlein at Hem SheelaIn December of 2007, Mr. John D. Beuerlein, traveled to Hem Sheela Model School with his son, Danner, and daughter Robin, for the Founders' Day plenary talk in the presence of 4,000 people. They also visited the Tribal School during the trip.

In January of 2008, the groundbreaking ceremony of the sports complex – auditorium was performed by Mr. John D. Beuerlein. Because of the high academic standard and the sister school relationship with Drury University, he and Mrs. Crystal Beuerlein have made a significant financial contribution.

In August of 2008, Anish Chakrabarti from Hem Sheela joined Drury University as a science/engineering student. The fund is supported by Mr. John D. and Mrs. Crystal Beuerlein. In October of 2008, two teachers, Anindita Home Choudhury and Mousumi Ganguly, were invited by Dr. Charles A. Taylor, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Mr. Sayan Patra studied at Hem Sheela for 14 years and will join Drury University in August of 2009. The scholarship is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Beuerlein's fund.

Mr. John D. Beuerlein and Mrs. Crystal Beuerlein plan to make a return visit to Hem Sheela for the dedication of the athletic center and the Tribal School in December of 2009.