It is an honour to take up the helm at St Teresa’s. The first blossoms of Spring are on the trees and we are about to enter a new season. The well-known passage from Ecclesiastes chapter 3 is so apt: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” So, as we close one chapter, we turn our faces towards the Spring sunshine and look forward to the abundance of a South African summer, and begin a new season at St Teresa’s.
Galit Breen in Kindness Wins comments: “Education is our path to change. Minds and hearts are brightened via learning.” It is the teaching and learning of the young women in our care that is at the epi-centre of what we do at school. Child-centred learning ensures that each individual pupil is taken care of spiritually, academically, physically, culturally and emotionally. The values of the school play a key role in what is learnt within and beyond the classroom. The principle of “A small school with a big heart” is the basis of the development of caring, compassionate young women who also need to be astute and discerning. Each girl from St Teresa’s whom I have encountered to date is articulate, courteous and deeply ethical - from this base, I am blessed to continue the tradition of a values-based education of academic excellence, creative and critical thinkers and healthy sportsmanship. St Teresa’s successes from EXPO to Public Speaking are well-known, and it is this deep-seated striving for knowledge and excellence that establishes perseverance and resilience – such important qualities to have in this ever-changing world. I look forward to working with a most professional staff to grow and develop the curriculum to focus on 21st century skills. I am excited by Carol Dweck’s notion of a growth-mindset where intelligence can be developed, and we can motivate our daughters, help them to reach their own goals—personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.
I am excited to work across the whole-school: to share in the joy and excitement of learning in the Foundation Phase; to encourage and grow the girls in the Intermediate Phase when their learning becomes more serious and stimulating; and to watch with awe as the young women in the Senior School strive to achieve their goals to launch themselves onto their chosen path.
I am blessed to join St Teresa’s, and I look forward to meeting and getting to know the community. Schools are microcosms of a greater society. The collective is key: we all need to work together; 1 Corinthians 12:12 reminds us: “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body.” No matter how little the person, no matter how menial the task; each one is critical to the sound health and well-being of the whole.
A new season; a new start. Steve Jobs inspires me with these words:” The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” I pray that the Lord guides me each day to live up to the honour and privilege of my new position at St Teresa’s.
Head of St Teresa's School