Her father had been a Headmaster and Sara had some concrete ideas on how a school should be run. Equipped with these ideas and a month's salary from her husband along with the knowledge that there was no more to come, she was faced with the daunting task of starting a school as well as breaking even in the first month itself. Added to this challenge was the fact that their posting in Delhi would not be for more than two years. However, Sara was not one to give up on such issues and armed with her determination and faith, she rented a building for Rs. 800 in Safdarjung Enclave, appointed Mrs. Sudesh Sharma as a teacher to help her, and, put out a board titled: 'St. Mary's School'.
Sara Mathew, our founder, was born on the 20th of November 1930 in the green hills of Konni, Kerala. Married at the age of sixteen, Sara's perseverance and courage were apparent early in her life. In 1966, a not so young Sara with three school going children planned on starting a school of her own.
During the initial days, she used to drive down every day from Hindan, Ghaziabad — where her husband was posted — to reach the school on time while picking up children on her way. Surmounting all obstacles thrown her way and with the support of a dedicated and committed band of teachers, Sara sent the first batch of students for the CBSE Board Exam in 1980. Through such trials and tribulations was born the institution which went on to expand over the years to two more schools, two outreach programmes, one as far away as in Gujarat and three vocational training institutes for women.
In 1994, she acquired land for a school in Dwarka which she started with the help of old hands and which is now a secondary school. Not one to rest on her laurels, in 1999, she further acquired land and shifted the nursery school to sylvan surroundings in Vasant Kunj. She also started vocational training classes at the Nizamuddin basti.
Along with her work as an educationist, she was also deeply involved in the activities of the YWCA and represented India at the World YWCA meet in Norway. Ultimately, what epitomized the life of Sara Mathew most was the one image that lingers on in the minds of those that paid homage to her the day she was buried: the image of a frail small body in a coffin surrounded by a gathering of people who came from varying religions, creeds, socio-economic stratas and walks of life from the orphans of Jeevan Jyoti to a presidential nominee.