CHAIRPERSON OF THE SGB’s FAREWELL ADDRESS TO DAVID J MILLAR 29 MARCH 2017
Good evening Mr Millar, honoured guests and staff of Normies.
It is with great joy and yet some sadness tonight that we bid farewell to a remarkable principal and man. It is a rather nostalgic goodbye and yet a respectful farewell.
He arrived at Normies 13 years ago but I have had the privilege to work with Mr Millar for the past 3 years.
In the spirit of being a true transformational leader his compass was the children, their growth academically and their success as they prepare to take their place in society.
He has taken Normies from what some people would say nothing, to a school of excellence. Academic excellence and true passion for the children is his trade mark. He inspired the learners to see themselves as part of the Normies brand and denounce mediocrity.
As you leave the administration of the school, our hearts are filled with sadness and pleasant memories of the days we spent interacting with you.
Your friendly and yet stern disposition and inspirational presence is loved and admired by one and all in this community.
The school’s atmosphere was always orderly without being rigid, quiet without being oppressive, and generally conducive to the instructional business at hand.
We are extremely grateful for what you have done at Norman Henshilwood. You leave a great legacy which will be treasured always. You have only given of your best to our children and has managed the school with the utmost integrity, limitless passion and respect. Your unique quality of putting our children first will always be remembered and I hope will stay the mission of your successor.
Thank you for holding everyone accountable so that Normies continues to be the school of excellence.
Thank you for encouraging and inspiring the governors who worked alongside you. Always with honesty, respect and integrity. Every decision made was always in the best interest of the children. Always solution driven and never undermining the role of the SGB.
In closing what has made Mr Millar so admired by many parents?
- He leads by example and holds himself accountable,
- His love for the children,
- Open communication to parents,
- Excellent management skills,
- His inspiration to learners to be the extra degree, and
- His unique HOSP sessions where they get to know him.
- Underneath all that exterior as a parent community we see an empathetic and compassionate person who always endeavoured to create the best environment for the learners.
As an SGB we have been proud to work with you. Thank you for the legacy you are leaving behind. We have great respect for you as you have had for us.
May your new journey continue to inspire and transform others. We salute you sir.
“May you have known success” adapted
from Ralph Waldo Emerson (a Normies flavour)
“To have laughed often and much.
To have won the respect of the smart people,
And the affection of the children,
To have earned the approval of honest critics,
And face the betrayal of false friends,
To have appreciated the beauty,
To have found the best in others,
To leave NORMIES a bit better,
Whether by INSPIRING a child,
or lead by example,
Or redeemed a social condition,
To know one life has breathed easier,
Because you have lived at Normies,
This is to have succeeded.”
May you have known this success at Normies
Valedictory Address to Parents and Matriculants on 14 October 2016
“So it is a day filled with much sadness and yet also a day of great joy today.”
I am truly honoured to address everyone present – in honour of all the parents /family members here this morning who played a pivotal role in the lives of the matriculants.
I want to say the following as we all have our own unique histories and experiences.
Today as a parent say
I’ve done it!
They’re going to college or university or out in the world!
I raised wonderful child/ren who love their parents and know their parents.
I turned countless childhood minutes, hours, days, and weeks that would have otherwise been lost in the name of efficiency into special moments that I’ll cherish forever.
I was there with them every chance I had, and I created opportunities to be with them that I never imagined I could. I motivated, inspired and praised.
And as reward for my commitment, passion, and absolute love, I can now pass by their empty bedrooms or quiet rooms, feeling fond nostalgia and missing them terribly already. But what a blessing it is to feel No Regrets!
The days were long, the years were short, and the time I had with them was then. But I made the time and I took the time.
It was a journey that started 13 years ago with many expectations and dreams.
Now it’s my time.
I’ve earned it.
How blessed I am.
It is never about where you started but how you finish.
Next year when you start the new chapter in your lives, you are going to realise you were so protected, loved and nurtured at Normies .
You always wanted to make big decisions and writing your final school exam with much success is probably one of your biggest decisions.
Be proud of all your accomplishments you have had thus far. At school or outside of school.
Plan well, be meticulous about nutrition, exercise and taking breaks between studying.
Welcome all the attention and support your parents are giving you before and during your exam. Say thank you to everyone who supports you.
Remember you are important. You matter.
In closing: So today …
My best wishes to everyone. Thank You.
Child Protection Month
A perspective for School Governance
This is in dedication to children
Across the province in South Africa , awareness is heightened in terms of child abuse, deliberate neglect and sexual offences against children this month. As governors we also have a moral obligation and an important role to play.
I am reminded of a quote by the late Nelson Mandela “Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future. Those who abuse them tear at the fabric of our society and weaken our nation.”
The WCED’s Abuse No More Protocol sets it out clearly for School Governing Bodies on how to manage the process. Suggested Guidelines in terms of punitive measures against staff employed by the School Governing Body due to misconduct is set out in annexure H. This applies to anyone who applies for an SGB post ,be it teaching or non –teaching including volunteers. The guideline states that SGBs should ensure that applicants who are considered for appointment have not been found guilty of an offence against a child in terms of the Sexual Offences Act,2007 (Act 32 of 2007) or the Children’s Act , 2005 ( Act 38 of 2005).
Further screening should be conducted against, both the National Protection Register and the Sexual Offenders Registers. The school manager will complete Form 29 and send it off to the Director –General of Social Development to check if any names appear on the register.
Governors should bear in mind that it is an offence punishable up to 10 years in prison, or a fine , or both , to allow access to children if you have been found unsuitable to work with children ( Section 305(1) (c) .If a person did not disclose to the SGB, information regarding been found unsuitable to work with children, he or she could be dismissed.
School Governing Bodies should ensure that contracts make provision for disciplinary measures that address the allegations of child abuse. Some stipulations that could be included are suspension, ending of contracts and particular sanctions that relate to the nature of the offence.
School Governing Bodies will always act within the best interest of the child during disciplinary hearings. This will include the child’s safety during a hearing, ensure the child has access to an intermediary irrespective of the child’s age, the child has the right to choose any person to accompany him or her for support. To name but a few.
The involvement of Public Media should be referred to the designated spokesperson and under no circumstances are SGB members and other persons involved ,allowed to divulge any information of such a sensitive nature. The identity of the victim and alleged perpetrator should be kept confidential at all times. Focus should be on giving support to the victim, his or her parents or guardians, not forgetting support for the alleged offender in the event of learner on learner abuse.
In conclusion we are all responsible for ensuring that our children are protected against all forms of abuse be it physical, verbal, deliberate neglect and sexual offences. Let it never be ok and accepted and not our business. Legislation compels us to deal with the problem in the most effective and efficient way.
Source of information: WCED Abuse No More Protocol booklet (2014)
Appreciating our Staff at the end of Term 2, 2016
It gives me immense pleasure to affirm and commend the staff of Norman Henshilwood for all they do. Staff appreciation is a necessary and essential event to remind everyone whilst we are busy someone is noticing the great work that is being done. Many people have their perceptions about what makes Norman Henshilwood successful. However the people who really know are the ones who do the real work – the staff.
Norman Henshilwood is no easy school. As teachers you set high expectations for yourselves and in turn raise the bar for the learners to do the same. Thank you for owning your challenges and for being solution driven. Thank you for keeping Norman Henshilwood unique in every sense. It is hard work to keep a high school child-centred and in the same breath continue to raise expectations.
I want to acknowledge and affirm that you work extremely hard to maintain and sustain the standard that has been set. To the office staff and ground staff: thank you for always going the extra mile.
Thank you to everyone for preparing and grooming our children to become the young adults that society can be proud of. To the person who is at the heart of all the great work being done, Mr Millar. Your excellent leadership is pivotal in all that is done at Norman Henshilwood. Much appreciation and affirmation to you too.