As we bid farewell to Term 2, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your hard work, dedication, and support throughout the term. It has been a busy, productive and, ultimately, successful period for St Peter's College.
First and foremost, we have successfully navigated through the winter months and I hope you all managed to stay warm and healthy. Now, as we approach the well-deserved August holiday break, I encourage each of you to take the time to rest, rejuvenate and spend quality time with your loved ones. It is important to recharge our batteries and return with renewed energy for the final term.
Term 2 was filled with numerous achievements and milestones for our college. We celebrated our 25th anniversary, a remarkable milestone in our relatively short yet illustrious history. This occasion provided an opportunity to reflect on our journey so far and appreciate the collective efforts that have shaped St Peter's College into the institution it is today.
Our Arts Department, true to their exceptional form, presented two world-class productions, "Beauty and The Beast" and "MacBeth." These performances showcased the incredible talent and creativity within our student body and left a lasting impression on all who attended. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the students, teachers, and staff involved in making these productions a resounding success.
During the upcoming holidays, we have the GVI tour heading to Greece. We wish our participants a plethora of exciting adventures and enriching experiences during their time abroad. Additionally, we have a range of sport clinics and local sport tours planned, providing opportunities for our students to further develop their skills and passion for sports.
Looking ahead to September, we have our much-anticipated Sports and Cultural Festival. This event has become a highlight on our college calendar and draws thousands of visitors to St Peter's College each year. I am excited to witness the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and talent that our students will showcase during this festival. It is an occasion that truly embodies the spirit of our college community.
As we prepare to commence the final term, I want to emphasize the importance of returning to St Peter's College with a refreshed mindset and an eagerness to seize the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. Let us build upon the achievements of Term 2 and work together to make the remainder of the academic year even more remarkable.
There have also been some important staff movements within our college community. As we bid farewell to some valued colleagues who have decided to pursue new opportunities, we also welcome new additions to our team who will undoubtedly bring fresh ideas and perspectives.
Firstly, as you are well aware, Dominique Gaydon-Pitts, our Visual Arts teacher, has emigrated to the UK at the end of Term 2. We extend our best wishes to Dominique in her new endeavour. I am pleased to inform you that Khula Jiji will be joining us as her replacement at the start of Term 3. Khula comes highly recommended and brings a wealth of experience to our Visual Arts department.
In addition, Kelsey Gallon, our dedicated English teacher, has been promoted to the position of Deputy Head: Academics at Curro Aurora, starting from Term 3. We congratulate Kelsey on this well-deserved advancement and wish her great success in her new role. During Term 3, we will be fortunate to have Wendy McKeen, a retired senior English teacher, stepping in as a locum. Wendy's experience and expertise will ensure a smooth transition. Furthermore, I am delighted to announce that Natalie van Hille, the former HOD of English at St Stithians Girls, will be joining us on a full-time basis in January 2024.
Another promotion within our staff is Tayla Gradwell, who will be taking up the role of HOD at Steyn City from Term 3. We congratulate Tayla on this achievement and thank her for her valuable contributions to St Peter's College. To fill her position, we have appointed Chesmail Jasi, a highly experienced EGD teacher with 17 years of teaching experience at Rand Park High School.
Kat King, our talented Music teacher, has also been promoted to the role of HOD at Steyn City, effective from Term 3. We applaud Kat on her success and are excited to witness her continued growth. Taking over her position at St Peter's College is Nomagugu Makhathini, who not only teaches at Stirling Primary School and lectures at Fort Hare University but is also an internationally award-winning jazz musician.
It is with mixed emotions that we announce the resignation of our Senior Finance Manager, Ndivhuwo Nengovhela, who will be leaving us at the end of September. We thank Ndivhuwo for her dedication and hard work, and we will be commencing the recruitment process to find a suitable replacement for her role.
Lastly, I would like to inform you that Shelly Elias has been presented with a wonderful opportunity to teach in the UK, starting in September. We congratulate Shelly on this exciting endeavour and wish her the very best in her new chapter. To ensure continuity in the Business Studies Department, we have appointed Chantal Gunning as a locum for the start of Term 3. Chantal, the former HOD of Business Studies and Deputy Headmistress at Marist Brothers Linmeyer, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. She is also the senior regional and national moderator for Accounting Paper 1, making her a valuable addition to our team.
With Shelly Matthews’ promotion to the position of Principal at Reddam House Waterfall, we congratulate her on this well-deserved opportunity, which is a testament to her dedication and commitment to education. By the end of 2023, Shelly will have contributed 20 years of exceptional service to St Peter's College. With Shelly's departure, we have commenced the recruitment process to find a suitable candidate. This process will be comprehensive and thorough, involving the collaboration of the St Peter's College Council, Human Resources, and Executive teams. We are committed to identifying a qualified individual who embodies the values and vision of St Peter's College and who will continue to uphold our standards of academic excellence. The recruitment process will adhere to our rigorous protocols to ensure transparency, fairness, and equal opportunity for all applicants. We will carefully review applications, conduct interviews, and consider candidates who possess the necessary qualifications, experience, and alignment with our college's educational philosophy. We understand the importance of selecting the right person for this significant leadership role, and we are committed to finding an exceptional candidate who will build upon the strong foundation established by Shelly.
These staff movements mark an exciting time for St Peter's College. While we bid farewell to those departing, we embrace the fresh perspectives and ideas that our new colleagues will bring. Please join me in wishing our departing staff all the best in their future endeavours and in welcoming our new team members.
Last – but certainly not least - I am thrilled to share some important news regarding a significant project that will not only ensure the continuous functioning of our school but also reinforce our commitment to environmental stewardship. In light of the persistent power outages and loadshedding plaguing South Africa, we have made the decision to install a solar and battery system on our campus.
The installation of a solar and battery system has become essential for St Peter's College, particularly considering the frequent power disruptions our country is currently facing. As a school that places technology at the forefront of everything we do, it is crucial for us to have a reliable and uninterrupted power supply. With this solar project, we aim to provide a seamless learning experience for our students, even during challenging times.
However, our decision to adopt solar energy goes beyond mere functionality. St Peter's College is dedicated to becoming an institution that truly cares for our environment. By embracing sustainable practices, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and set an example for our students and the wider community.
Allow me to share the specifications of this solar project:
Timeline: The installation process will be completed within the next three months, ensuring swift implementation of this crucial project.
System Size: We have opted for a 200KW Solar PV system, complemented by a 350KVA Battery System interfaced with our onsite diesel generator. This comprehensive setup will enable us to store excess energy and have a reliable backup system in place.
Solar Modules: We have carefully selected 328 Trina Vertex – 665w Modules, which will be placed on the roof of our newly built basketball court. This location will maximize the exposure to sunlight and optimize energy generation.
Solar Inverters: To efficiently convert the solar energy into usable electricity, we will employ two 100KW GOODWE inverters, renowned for their reliability and performance.
Battery Inverter: The heart of our energy storage system will be an ATESS - Energy Storage Solution. This all-in-one power control system, housed in a purpose-designed container, will include a 350KVA battery system with a capacity of 720KWh at 80% depth of discharge (DOD). The system has been fully tested off-site and will be installed at our onsite substation.
Battery Type: We have chosen the Solar MD battery and Master Control Unit (MCU) to ensure efficient energy storage and management, further enhancing the reliability and effectiveness of our solar project.
This solar project marks an important milestone in the journey of St Peter's College towards sustainability and environmental responsibility. It represents our commitment to providing a safe and uninterrupted learning environment for our students and demonstrates our dedication to reducing our impact on the environment.
We are excited about the future possibilities this solar installation will bring, and we look forward to witnessing the positive impact it will have on our community. By embracing solar energy, we are not only securing our school's functionality but also actively contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.
Together, we can create a brighter and more sustainable future for St Peter's College and the generations to come.
Once again, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of you—our staff, parents, and students—for your unwavering commitment and contribution to St Peter's College. Your collective efforts have propelled our institution to great heights and I am confident that together we will continue to create an inspiring and nurturing environment for our students to thrive.
Enjoy your well-deserved break and I eagerly await our reunion in the final term.
Wishing you all a restful holiday and a wonderful August.
In Futurum Fortiter