My choice to become part of the SAHETI family has been a good one indeed and I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year here. I have appreciated the support and encouragement that I have received from the school, SAHETI Board, teachers and broader community. One thing is certain: we have a community which is committed to the well-being of SAHETI, and I thank all those who have served the school voluntarily through the course of the year. In addition to the members of the school Board, I thank those who have served on the Ladies’, Facilities and ICT committees and those who have supported and been part of the PTAs. A healthy school is dependent on both the collective effort of all, and the staff who are willing to work hard and have the interests of the children at heart. SAHETI is already a great school and has the potential to become the leading co-educational school in the country.
Albert Einstein’s words quoted above are directed to our students who have so much opportunity available at their fingertips and who, as a result of their school, support of family and faith can have hope for the future. Schooling, amongst many other aspects, such as socializing and skills development, is about developing critical thinking and challenging existing ways of thinking. I challenge all our students never ever to give up and to always maintain that desire to learn and to ask questions. Past pupil Byron Vos, our guest speaker at the 2014 Matric Prize Giving, identified leaders as, "those who see talent as limiting; but tenacity, hard work and drive as limitless." My prayer for you is that you will know your calling, work hard and grow and mature into the individuals that you were created to be.
Part of my approach this year has been to ensure that our students are involved in a holistic education. As I have mentioned in my newsletters, involvement in sport is an integral part of developing a healthy mind, just as participation in our cultural programme is about developing a character and creative minds. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between participation in sport and academic success. Admittedly, we have had many challenges within our sports structure this year and there is still room and need for further improvement, but what I am confident about is that we have the right leadership in place; thus sport at SAHETI has begun to turn a corner. Through the leadership of Philip Venter (High School) and Brett Nicholson (Primary School) I am assured that we will reach our potential and provide competitive sport for all.
The school motto, "know thyself" identifies a real treasure and a mission for each of us in our lives. It is in this “knowing” that our lives have meaning and it is in this “knowing” of ourselves that we are able to build relationships which are healthy, and where we can grow together through the support of community. Personally as a parent, I want to know that my children are known, loved and cared for and that they have equal opportunity to reach their potential in a safe environment. I am committed to ensuring that all the structures, policies and the adherence thereto provide fairness and consistency so that this is possible. During the course of 2014, a few of these structures and expectations began to change and what I have appreciated is the willingness of all to embrace change. I have also valued the constructive criticism where appropriate.
The old adage of "if it is not broken don't try and fix it" is valid, and I will, wherever possible, maintain the wealth of traditions and heritage that has been inculcated within the school over its 40 years. On the flip side of this, change is inevitable as the advances in technology, modern living and increased globalization demand that we remain relevant in a competitive environment. Our new IT backbone has been installed and by 2015 we will start seeing the fruits of the last two years of IT development. This will influence the way we teach and how students engage with homework. However, what does not need to change and should be preserved at all costs is our rich heritage based in Hellenic culture which speaks about community, values and our Orthodox Christian traditions. On this note I am pleased to announce that we have added Drama into our High School curriculum from Grade 8, which we believe will enhance our strong cultural identity.
SAHETI is a great school with a rich heritage and I am honoured to be the custodian of what was founded 40 years ago, and even prior to this in the hearts and minds of men. I will endeavour to uphold and promote the Hellenic ethos and focus my energy on seeing the school reaching its full potential.