Our Founder

Home > About Us > Our Founder & Executive Director

“Let me be more mother than the mother herself, in my love and defense of the child that is not flesh of my flesh. Let me succeed in creating in one of my pupils the perfect song, and let me leave within him or her my most heartfelt melody, so that he or she may sing, for the day when my lips shall no longer sing."”

--From "A Teacher's Prayer", a poem by Gabriela Mistral (translated from Spanish), as recited by Dr. Padmini Srinivasan Hands during ISSAC's petition process before the Orange County Department of Education.

Padmini Srinivasan Hands

ISSAC Founder & Executive Director


To Our Founding Community!

To each of you, the founders of the International School for Science and Culture, my humblest gratitude and appreciation!

Each of you possesses the founding spirit, the will to seek forth, to create, to build something new. All of you -- our parents, our teachers, our beloved community, and mostly, our stars -- the founding students of ISSAC -- you are the beginning. Each of you shapes the destiny of ISSAC. You will leave your mark; you will leave a legacy of the way it is first done.

Whether we are busy with lesson plans, setting up technology, volunteering in various capacities, driving a longer distance, managing the thousand urgent details of a school, listening to a child read, or struggling through phonics and multiplication, we are the founders of ISSAC. We exemplify the founding spirit, and though each of our activities may seem mundane or miniscule in the grand scheme of things, without a doubt, you, our students, along with your parents, teachers and community, are the movers and shakers of the world!


Dr. Padmini Srinivasan Hands has owned and operated language, arts and culture programs for children from preschool through high school for over 30 years. She has advanced degrees in Computer Science (M.S., Ph.D.) and Business (M.B.A.) and a decade of experience each as an Information Architect and as a Computer Science Professor. Her combination of technical and management degrees, and academic education and industry experience, enables Dr. Hands to operate with a high degree of depth and confidence in preparing our students to be effective in professional environments. She has a great desire to get our young people receptive to and ready for advanced education, particularly in technical fields.

In addition, she has a passion for language, the arts, and global cultures, and has served in a number of community-building leadership roles to embrace interfaith and cultural diversity. As a musician and music teacher, she is able to introduce her students to songs in sixteen different languages. Building a peaceful society, in her opinion, is a steady process of all of us getting to know and understanding each other. A powerful way to make this connection is to learn foreign languages and come to know the cultures of many parts of the world.

Dr. Hands moved to Orange County, California from North Carolina in 2011 after losing her husband, Adrian, to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Following this major life change, she decided to make serving, caring for, and educating children her main and only vocation. For four years, she operated a preschool where about 60 children ages 0 through 6 acquired basic academic skills and broad knowledge of the world. She is now an educational consultant implementing innovative elementary and middle school programs focused on developing the global citizen.