Teaching, they say, is much more than just a profession.
It is a calling. This month as we celebrate world teacher day, we feature some of our remarkable, passionate and hardworking principals and educators.
Jacqui Pienaar – Gordon Road Girls’ School
Mrs Jacqui Pienaar was appointed as Acting Principal of Gordon Road Girls’ School earlier this year.
Mrs Pienaar started her teaching career in 1989 and has been with Gordon Road Girls’ School since 2015 as Head of Department and then Deputy Principal. Mrs Pienaar leads by example and is very proactive in her management style.
She is continually touching base with her staff and is fair and consistent. Mrs Pienaar sets goals for both her staff and learners that ensure the girls meet their learning objectives.
Dr Andri Barnes – Glenwood High School
Dr Barnes has been at the forefront of boys’ education for the last 25 years. Dr Barnes rewrote history in 2018 by becoming the first female principal of a traditional boys school in South Africa.
With a passion for the development of young men, Dr Barnes has grounded Glenwood in its rich history and tradition, and ensured that the values of Glenwood High School are imbibed by each boy.
Dr Barnes has brought a balance to Glenwood that will continue for years to come. Highly placing the development of authentic masculinity in boys, Dr Barnes has adjusted the school environment and curriculum to make sure that every boy finds their unique place among our differences.
Under the tutelage of Dr Barnes, Glenwood boys are truly set to change the nation, and the world.
Tel: 031 205 5241 or visit glenwoodhighschool.co.za
Caitlin Burns – Oakridge College
Caitlin Burns began teaching Mathematics in 2008. After teaching at three schools, each with their own distinct ethos, she joined the Oakridge College team in January 2017 and was appointed deputy principal in August 2019.
Caitlin loves the caring and relaxed environment of Oakridge College that allows learners, each with their own personalities, to find their own voice and develop themselves and their strengths. At Oakridge, learners are encouraged to stay on Mathematics as long as possible, and hence there is a bigger ratio of Mathematics to Mathematical Literacy learners.
Teaching, for Caitlin, is all about building positive relationships with her learners. She is passionate about teaching Mathematics and even more passionate about, how simply believing in and encouraging a learner can see their attitude to a subject and themselves change, helping them to reach their true potential. She is a true role model to staff and learners with her patient and empathetic personality, and high moral standards and is always available to give valuable advice to teachers older and younger than her.
Dr Stephen Leech – St Henry’s Marist College
Dr Stephen Leech is the Principal of St Henry’s Marist College. He is a proud alumnus of the College and has been a staff member since 2003. Dr Leech started teaching in the History Department of the College, before becoming a Head of Department and then Deputy Principal in the High School. He was appointed as Principal in 2017.
Before St Henry’s, Dr Leech was a lecturer at the then University of Durban-Westville, working in the History and Social Sciences departments. He completed his PhD in History in 2018 with a thesis that focused on the nature of identities in KwaZulu-Natal.
Dr Leech has a keen interest in the success and effectiveness of co-education as a model of schooling which is relevant to our modern times, and is so evident at St Henry’s with its integration of learning for both boys and girls all the way from Grade 000-12.
Tel: 031 261 7369 or [email protected] or visit sthenrys.co.za
Heidi Rea – Durban Girls’ College
Durban Girls’ College takes great pleasure in announcing the appointment of Mrs Heidi Rea with effect from 1 January 2022.
Mrs Rea has 28 year’s of educational experience. After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand with a BSc Mathematics Major, she continued to broaden her scope by completing an Honours Degree in Psychology.
An energetic, high- performance leader with the experience and expertise in primary and high school education, boarding, academic, cultural and sporting excellence, Mrs Rea marks a new chapter for DGC in their 145th year as they continue to embrace positive change through a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that is the legacy of the DGC Founders.
Tel: 031 268 7200 or visit dgc.co.za
Craig Girvin – Hillcrest High School
Mr Craig Girvin has served as the principal of Hillcrest High School for over 20 years, since 1 September 1999.
Mr Girvin’s many accomplishments during his 20-year tenure as headmaster have included major improvements to the school’s infrastructure, including a new multi-purpose indoor centre and a very successful Learning Support Unit for grades 8 and 9, as well as implementation of Hillcrest High Schools e-learning programme.
His leadership has played a critical role in helping the school safely navigate 2020 and 2021 through the challenges that Covid-19 has presented. He has encouraged a balance between cultural, service and sporting extra murals at the school, and overseen the high standards of consistent academic excellence.
In addition, his disciplined leadership, commitment and values have helped to maintain Hillcrest High School as one of the leading co-educational schools in the Upper Highway area, and helped carve out the school’s values of Honour, Hard work and Service (HHS) as well as the school’s favourite motto “If it is to be, it is up to me!”
Tel: 031 765 1215 or visit hhs.co.za
Siyabonga Zondi – John Wesley School
Mr Siyabonga Zondi’s relationship with John Wesley School (JWS) started as a pre-primary learner in July of 1998 when he was five years old. He completed Grade 7 in 2006 and attended Ixopo High School before obtaining his BSc Degree with a PGCE. The late JWS Deputy Principal, Miss Sindisiwe Zulu, inspired his hunger for knowledge and his chosen career in education. He says, “her lessons always had nuggets of wisdom and I will carry them with me throughout my life.“
Siya’s dream of working at JWS came true in 2019 when he secured a position as a locum in his final year of study. Since 2020 he’s been a permanent Grade 5 educator at JWS.
The standard and quality of education that he received at JWS shaped his current teaching philosophy. He believes in a learner-centred approach to teaching, where learners are given the tools to develop critical thinking skills that will benefit them, both at school and throughout their lives.
Siya wishes to ensure that as an educator at JWS, he continues to provide his learners with the same quality of education that he received. He has always wanted to give back to the place that gave him so much.
Tel: 031 701 5603 or [email protected] or visit jwesleyptn.co.za
Anny Breedt – Thomas More College
Thomas More College prides itself on the legacy of Sir Thomas More who was firmly set in his faith and did not waiver in his cause. The ideal of passionately serving and firmly standing for one’s cause is echoed by the leadership of Thomas More College who work tirelessly to ensure the delivery of an inspired education.
Mrs Anny Breedt’s heart resonated with the vision, mission and ethos of Thomas More College and joined the executive team at the start of 2021, as the Headmistress of the Junior Primary. Mrs Breedt has 18 years experience in education and holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership. She relocated, along with her husband, Chevian, from Gauteng where she held the position of Executive Head at Acts House of Education, a combined school from Grade 0-12.
Mrs Breedt describes the Junior Primary as her first love and is delighted to be part of TMC. “I am humbled to stand on the shoulders of TMC greats and relish the opportunity of working with such a dynamic team. The overwhelming support from current staff, parents and the loving acceptance by the children stand testament to the good relationship between the parents and the school, and the shared responsibility of growing tomorrow’s leaders today.” – Mrs Breedt
Mrs Breedt and her team will be hosting an Open Morning on Saturday, 16 October 2021 and welcome you to join them as they share a glimpse into TMC’s Junior Primary.
Tel: 031 764 8640 or visit thomasmore.co.za
Mandy Heine – IIE – Vega School Durban
Mandy Heine joined the IIE-Vega School Durban in 2020 as the Academic Head. Her early career was spent in the advertising industry and she began her education journey in 2009 at the IIE Varsity College. After lecturing for nine years, she moved into a teaching and learning role, where she gained experience in lecturer development and multi-modal teaching and learning approaches. Mandy is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on the professional development of educators in higher education. Her Vega portfolio includes the management of the navigational team (lecturers) and ensuring the quality of academic delivery on the campus, in pursuit of wisdomwithmagic.
Tel: 031 569 1415 or visit vegaschool.com
Jeanette van der Merwe – Waterfall College
Principal Jeanette van der Merwe has led Waterfall College through a period of incredible growth, from 38 students in 2004 to more than 200 in 2021.
The College became part of Waterfall Schools in 2016 and has achieved a 100 percent IEB pass rate for 17 consecutive years.
Together with her dedicated staff, Mrs Van, as she is affectionately known, has built the school on prayer and hard work, partnering with students and parents to create an environment in which students can flourish.
At the end of this year, Mrs Van will hand over leadership of the school to Deputy Principal Bryony Green. Mrs Van will remain as a director of Waterfall College NPC, and lead Waterfall Online School.
Waterfall Schools – 111 Ngwele Road, Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Phone: 031 710 1808 Email: [email protected] Website: waterfallschools.co.za