#MNPSVoices: Kamala Raghunathan, IT Developer and Program Analyst

Kamala Raghunathan is a 32-year veteran with the Metro Nashville Public School’s Information Technology department. She currently serves as an IT developer and program analyst supporting the district’s 167 schools with Infinite Campus.

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With such a long tenure of service to the IT department, Raghunathan has seen the digital revolution boom in academic record keeping.

“When I started everything was on paper. Now everything is digital and shows the academic history of the students’ work,” Raghunathan said.  “I can recall the paper scanning system of student records. It is easy to become antique if you don’t stay on top of things.”

Raghunathan said she was a little worried about entering the IT field years ago due to degrees in Economics, History and Politics from Ethi Raj College in Chennai India. Her worries were around suitability and success soon diminished once she completed an IT degree at Nashville State Community College. This was when Raghunathan was introduced to the world of coding.

“I love my work and coding – it changes how you think,” Raghunathan said. “The logic that is required in coding and how you route the data to get to the true value of what you want is the part I really enjoy.”

Along with her work in IT, Raghunathan enjoys helping people. She is the founder of the annual MNPS food drive during the holiday season. This initiative is a passion she brought with her from India. Raghunathan, who grew up in Sri Lanka, says she was shocked when she came to America and found so many people were hungry.

“I know that every country will have a population of hungry people in need; I just didn’t expect it to be so many,” Raghunathan said. “I recognize that our own students and their families need food assistance, too.”

The MNPS holiday food drive has collected and donated more than 14,000 pounds of food to Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank starting in the late 1990s. This does not include food collected and donated at the schools. Raghunathan typically manages this initiative on her own unless someone volunteers.  .

“I come from a family of giving and sharing,” Raghunathan said, adding that it’s her calling to help others.

Raghunathan, the mother of two adult Hume Fogg alumni is very committed to her family and her faith. She is a founding member of her Hindu Temple, teaches and holds a Sunday school leadership position.