March 24, 2022

Rector’s eNews – 23 March 2022

/ Rector's eNews

The first quarter of each year is, in many senses, the busiest and most tiring for the boys as they advance academically up the scale and become used to operating at a more challenging academic level than previously. They also have to grow accustomed to new situations and contend with training for and playing a summer sport whilst also beginning to prepare for winter activities. At the same time, there are demands in other spheres such as clubs and societies, and some are learning to lead. This term has been no exception to that rule, particularly since we have tried to make up for “lost time” over the past couple of years through arranging mid-week fixtures at all levels.

A feature of the past week was our hosting those who had been associated with the redevelopment of the terracing below the James Cameron Todd statue to resemble the front of the school in the 1930s. Some of our top pianists, Ian Graham, Gqamile Mbuyazi, Samir Dookie and Ben Cheales all played a selection of pieces, and these were interspersed by two items from the six-man jazz band and the four-man saxophone ensemble. Well done to our musicians!

Old Boy, Graham McIntosh, then praised another Old Boy, the sculptor of the statue of St Michael slaying the Dragon, Robbie Leggat, and indicated how long the idea had been in gestation before our Visitor, Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe, blessed the statue and our Chairman, Anthony Hewat, thanked all of those who had been associated with the terracing and with the creation of the impressive St Michael statue.

88 B Block boys then presented themselves as confirmands in the Chapel to the Bishop and, in most cases, their families were on hand to support them on this important occasion.

Our thanks go to Reverend Chris Meyer, our Chaplain, for his preparation of the boys for this important step in their lives – that of their Confirmation.

The building of the Makan Academic Innovation Hub, situated alongside the Hersov Media Centre, has just commenced. Divesh Makan is an Old Boy (OM Pascoe, 1991) and came from a family in Pietermaritzburg which has long been involved in electronics. Divesh has done extraordinarily well in the Silicon Valley over the last two decades and we greatly value his contribution to Michaelhouse which will seek to future fit our boys for the world after 2030. Further tributes will be paid to Divesh at the time of the opening of the Makan Academic Innovation Hub which should be completed by the end of this year or early in 2023 when building is due to commence on the new Tatham House adjoining the Pennington Quad.

At the end of this term we will say farewell to some members of staff: Dr Bernice Borain, English teacher, has been promoted to a position in charge of student affairs at St John’s DSG in Pietermaritzburg. Dr Borain has been an inspiring teacher and has been involved elsewhere in the life of the school, such as in Chairing the Wordsmiths’ Society. Ms Nqobile Zuma, part-time isiZulu teacher, has been offered a full-time position at St Benedict’s in Pinetown and will also, sadly, be leaving us to take up that position. Mr Matt Stringer has also been with us, initially as an intern and water polo coach, but latterly as a teacher of IT/CAT and he will also be moving on from his teaching role at Michaelhouse.

Joining us in the new term is Mrs Peta Roberts who comes to us from St Mary’s DSG where she is currently an English teacher and Head of Grade. She has been involved in Debating and Outdoor Education and has a degree from Rhodes University and a PGCE which was completed with distinction. We look forward to welcoming her and her husband, Stuart, (OM, East 1986) along with their two sons to Michaelhouse. Mr Siphesihle Rodney Zondi will be teaching isiZulu for the remainder of the year. Rodney was an intern here at Michaelhouse and has been teaching at Howick High School recently and we look forward to his involvement in our isiZulu Department and elsewhere in the school. Mr Thembela Simphiwe (Sims) Xulu joins us as IT/CAT teacher from Southdowns College, Gauteng, where he is currently Head of Computer Applications Technology and Master in Charge of Basketball. Sims was also an intern at Michaelhouse, and we look forward to his return and to his all-round contribution.

I should mention that Mr Graeme Northard (OM, Founders, 1997) will join us as Estates and Nature Reserve Manager. He is a qualified horticulturist with a passion for plants and landscaping; he has worked on golf courses and we are sure that will take our Estates Team to new heights. Mr Kyle Slinger joins us as Assistant Maintenance Manager and, with his background in electrical and plumbing works, will add immense value to our Operations Team. Lastly, Mrs Jacqui Snyman, who is married to Paul, our current HoD Life Sciences, has joined our Trade-Inn staff as Senior Trade-Inn Assistant. Jacqui’s knowledge acquired from running her own sewing business will help us in our continued efforts to provide the best service and quality merchandise in our upgraded Trade-Inn store.

We welcome all of our new staff to the Michaelhouse fold.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here

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