With the sudden passing of Mrs Selene Khan on 4 January, we returned to school with heavy hearts and an atmosphere of disbelief and extreme sadness. Mrs Khan was an outstanding, teacher, parent and human being and her presence at the School is sorely missed by many. With over a thousand people at her funeral, we get a glimpse of the high esteem and respect in which she was held in her community. It was a fitting tribute to a wonderful lady who left an indelible mark at Rietondale School.
At the end of Term 1, Mr George Moir retires after 7 very productive years at Rietondale. Mr Moir, who turns 70 in September, has a very long association with the Moot area and can regale one with the most interesting stories of people and places from his youth and beyond. Though not a former pupil of the School, Mr Moir, who joined us in 2007, adopted Rietondale as if it was his alma mater. We thank George for the many hours spent at the School, often beyond the call of duty. Many projects were undertaken during his time and he can be justly proud of his personal accomplishments throughout the School. Being an avid gardener, he set out to transform our gardens, which he did. I’m sure that I echo the sentiments of all when I thank Mr Moir for sterling work done over the years and wish him well in retirement. We salute you.
At the end of 2013, we said farewell to a number of relief teachers and Mesdames de Jonge, Moore, Meyer and Scheepers and welcomed the following staff to the School at the beginning of 2014 : Mesdames Weiss, Labuschagne, Loggenberg, Dyer, Valentine, Miles, Jacobs and Marais. Mrs S Valentine (nee Jacobs) was appointed to a new post at the School, that of PE specialist. To those who left at the end of 2013, we say thank you for work in and out of classrooms and we wish all new staff a positive and rewarding association with Rietondale School.
The big project this year is the refurbishment and renovation of our hall and the upgrading of the Rose Garden. Both are well under way and we thank Mr Kingon and his team for planning and managing the project. There is no doubt that what’s being done will add value to the School. Both projects are long overdue and we look forward to their successful completion. We’ve already had many positive compliments concerning the new air cooling unit installed in the first phase of upgrading.
We had an extremely smooth start to the year and thank parents for their very positive comments concerning the first day of school. Yes, it went like clockwork and that makes us very proud. To date, all is calm and very serious teaching is taking place. Parents who walk the passages during teaching time often comment on the wonderful quiet atmosphere they encounter.
Foundation Phase learners are already benefiting from the work done by our very dedicated moms and grans who help with the Assisted Reading Programme. Thank you..
Term 1 has witnessed many highlights and hours of dedicated work at Rietondale and I take this opportunity to thank staff for their commitment to the important task of educating your children. To the very many committed and involved parents of the community I say thank you for your support; we really do appreciate what you do.
Welcome to parents and learners who have joined the School. We trust that our association will be happy, productive and fruitful.
I leave you with this thought :
Test of Strength
Men who come up “the hard way” usually try to make things as easy as possible for their children, thus denying them the discipline of struggle and self-establishment that worked so well in their own cases. Such parents remind me of the kindhearted amateur who raised butterflies as a hobby. He was so touched by the difficulties they had in emerging from the cocoon that once, out of mistaken kindness, he split a cocoon with his thumbnail so that the tiny inmate could escape without a struggle.
The butterfly was never able to use its wings.
~ Charles F. Kettering ~
R D Hoggan