Hillsborough Director Ruma Varshney defines excellence as a JEI Center of Excellence

Our Director Ruma Varshney has been with JEI Learning Center since 2012. After seeing immense success with her first location in Hillsborough, which has grown to 200 subjects, she opened up her second location four years later in Bridgewater, which is quickly catching up. Her impressive success in Hillsborough is why she was awarded the Center of Excellence on the East Coast at the 2020 JEI Award Ceremony! But what does excellence mean to her?

Director Varshney defines “excellence” as giving what is expected, attributing her center’s success to doing precisely that with her parents and students:

“For me, excellence is giving what is expected so the parents are satisfied and have trust in us. It’s the trust that we build with the families over the years. I have some students who started with us when they were in kindergarten, and they’re still with us in the 6th and 7th grade because of that trust. When you say the Center of Excellence, it’s all about what kind of relationship we have with these families as well as their trust and confidence in us. That’s what took us this far.”

She maintains this trust by putting students on the path to success early on and explaining the process to the parents. For example, Director Varshney would help her students set goals and encourage them towards those goals instead of leaving them to their own devices and have parents figure things out alone. She emphasizes the importance of constant coordination with the parents by keeping in touch with them, so they understand what goes on within the center:

“To me, more than the students, it’s the parents who need to understand the program and the system and why we are doing this. Parents have to be convinced of what we are trying to do. A lot of counseling goes into it. We ask why they feel a certain way and explain that they have to be patient for their child’s benefit. Their child is not always going to be doing their best, and the parents have to understand why that is happening. I think making parents understand is more important than making students understand. To keep a child motivated, the answer is to keep the parents motivated.”

To further help her students with their motivation and confidence, Director Varshney revealed that she would never place focus on low test scores. She did not want to emphasize the results but the process, and in order to keep the process going, her students shouldn’t be disheartened or feel like they are behind. The important thing is that they keep on trying. She explains how she helps students keep going:

“I’m on top of every single class, every single hour. If any student is missing in class, we call them to make sure they don’t forget to join. That also helped parents understand how careful we are and how responsible we feel for their students. We especially try to be in touch with children who are having a hard time, unable to keep up with the things, and not finishing the work.”

She explained that a lot of families who saw how well her center worked would refer JEI to other families:

“Whatever we do is based on JEI’s philosophy; the overall system is the system that has worked for me. My whole team focuses on every child to make sure they are getting what they should, even if sometimes we have to contact the parents frequently to check on what the student needs. I don’t want to waste their time, so I always work on what they need to work on by doing the evaluations, using those diagnostics to pinpoint what they need to work on, talking to the parents, and so on. That I would definitely say is missing from the competitors in our area, that individual approach.”

Despite the pandemic last year, both of her centers were able to maintain their staff and subjects as well as post 100% better in 2020 than they did in 2019, earning her another award at the 2021 JEI Award Ceremony—the Tenacity Award! She attributed her success to JEI headquarters and her hardworking team members:

“I feel great about the support that we get from the JEI head office. JEI was proactive during COVID. We were ready with Zoom and the online platform even before the schools shut down; because of that proactive-ness, I did not have to close the center at all to figure out how we’d offer the classes. My staff is the strength behind our programs because they are really focused, and they follow my method and what I believe in, so they definitely work with me and make sure we are delivering what we promise to the family. Teamwork is the key to my success.”

She hopes to continue moving forward toward even greater excellence by not losing sight of her goals and motivation:

“I keep myself motivated by thinking about the end goal, how we are doing this for the child’s success. Some days, it’s really frustrating, but then I think about why I started this, which is eventually seeing children succeed. That’s the goal, so there are highs and lows, but we overcome it.”

We congratulate Director Ruma Varshney on her success and thank her for her hard work and dedication to JEI students and parents. Learn more about our programs by viewing our JEI Parent Guide and encourage your child toward excellence by finding one of our excellent centers near you.