Born on 25th December 1960 in JB, Madam Santhakumari is the 2nd child of Late Mr. Singgaram Pillai who was a KTM locomotive driver. Her mother is a housewife. She is married to an army personnel, Mr T. Amirthalingam who has since retired. They have two grown up children. She received her primary education at SJK (T) Java Lane, Seremban. Upon completion of her secondary school, she obtained her teaching Diploma from the Lembah Pantai Teachers Training College. She then pursued her degree in Education Management at University Technology Malaysia.
Over a span of 33 years in teaching, Madam Santhakumari has served in nine schools, starting her career at SJK (T) Jalan Tajul, Kota Tinggi, and Johore. For her determination and hard work, in Nov 1995, she was selected by the Ministry Education to represent the Johore state for a six weeks for a Science Mentoring Workshop at ST Mark and St John International College, Plymouth, UK An expert in teaching, she proved her expertise in education when her students scored 100% passes in UPSR for three consecutive years from 1999 to 2001 at SJK (T) Ladang Pasak, Kota Tinggi, Johore. In 2001, upon succeeding as the Head Mistress SJK (T) Jalan Tajul, Kota Tinggi, for the first time four of her students obtained straight 7A’s in the school.
Her care and concern for students and society was well reflected when she created a library for the estate students to enhance their reading after school hours. She ensured facilities like computer lab, libraries and proper canteens are in place for the student to have a conducive environment for learning.
Whilst heading the SJK (T) Kangkar Pulai she designed the Trust School Implementation Programmed to provide a holistic education that educates the child as whole academically, socially, spiritually and culturally. The performance of the school improved significantly. Subsequent to that in 2013, the school was nominated to be a cluster school. In 2014 under her able leadership twenty five students obtained straight 7As. A remarkable achievement indeed!. She was also instrumental in initiating two preschool classes for fifty students in the region.
Wherever she goes, Madam Santhakumari ensures that the working relationship with the PIBG, LPS and the local community is good. This reflects on her capacity and ability to garner meaningful support to serve for the betterment of her students and schools that she heads.
For her excellent work in the education, The Ministry of Education, Malaysia awarded her the Excellence Service Award in 1998 and again in 2011. In 2012 she received The Malaysian English Language Teachers Association (MELTA) award from the Sultanah of Johore for Developing Teaching of English for Year Six.
She is currently the Head Mistress of SJK(T) Mahatma Gandhi Kalasalai, Sungai Siput Utara, Perak. She is poised to continue her excellent work and is determined to take the school to greater heights. She enjoys inspiring anyone who is willing to learn which is in line with her life motto of ‘Inspiring Every Learner’