Thursday, October 15, 2015

CBHS Celebration Speech by Colin Harvey - 15 Oct '15

This speech was delivered by Mr Colin Harvey, chairperson of the Camps Bay High School's SGB, at the Celebration prizegiving event that took place on 15 October 2015:

Chairman’s Report for the School Governing Body

Presented by Colin Harvey (Chairman) for “Celebration” held at Camps Bay High School on Thursday, 15th October 2015 at 18h30

Mr and Mrs de Korte, Mr and Mrs Mostert, Head Prefect Alexia Abramson, Deputy Head Prefects Connor Jackson and Jessica Way, Head of RCL Inca Horn, the great teachers of this institution, students of Camps Bay High, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Tonight we celebrate the work undertaken by the students of this school, however there are a number of formalities that need to be completed before the festivities commence.

To Victor van Heerden and his team, a congratulations for putting together an awesome event in the facility in which we now sit and a round of applause please.

I report as follows:

Governing Body

As you are all aware, at the March of 2015, a new school governing body election took place, effective for the following 3 years:

I can report that Camps Bay High has an energetic, highly motivated and efficient Governing Body made up of dedicated parents, teachers, support staff and students in keeping with the constitution of the School Governing Body foundation.

In these positions are:

Francesco Mariola (Deputy Chair), Brian Williams (Treasurer), Werner Thetard, Alten Hulme, Michele Harvey, Paula Valadas, Ingrid Van Dieman and myself, representing the parent body;

David de Korte (our Principal), Louis Mostert, Janette Burger, Representing the Teacher Body and Academic staff; Victor van Heerden, Representing the non-academic staff; Head prefect Alexia Abramson, Deputy Head Prefects Connor Jackson and Jessica Way, Head of RCL Inca Horn, representing the pupils. Staff in supporting roles on the SGB, include Vivienne Ashcroft, Lynette Olivier and Stacey-Lee Ford.

The Governing Body through its varying sub-committees oversees the policies, curriculum, teaching, learning, buildings, facilities, finances, and also addresses a multitude of other issues that are brought to the attention of the Governing Body. I am indebted to all the members of the Governing Body for the time, commitment, professionalism, dedication and efforts put into the school. This is not just a case
of attending ten 4-hour meetings throughout the year! It truly is an all-encompassing role that these individuals participate in, well in excess of normal working hours!

AGM 2016 and Beyond

It is customary for a school such as ours to hold an Annual General Meeting and Budget Meeting, so may I take this opportunity to invite you all to the School AGM and Budget Meeting “2016 and Beyond” to be held in the School Hall on the 18 November 2015 at 5 o’clock for a full presentation of the strategies and projects identified for implementation by the SGB.

These projects will add huge value to the school’s current offering and I promise you all an insightful presentation. It will give you an excellent view as to what is possibly in store for our school.

However, an abridged version of Projects completed by the SGB and the parent volunteer programme thus far include:
  • The upgrade of the Staff bathrooms;
  • The floor tiling in the passages;
  • The new sound and lighting room at the back of the hall.
Projects under taken by the Parent Volunteer Programme:
  • Various garden projects;
  • The Matric Garden;
  • The installation of additional benches.
It would be remiss of me not to thank the following individuals who stepped forward and completed these projects, for their time, connections and or donations. They are: Melony O’Dowd, Delia Kaplan, Colleen Stoltzman, Antoinette Crane, Kathy Beverage, Graham Groenewald and Rosa Grobbelaar, The Horn Family, The Jackson Family, Julian & Rozelle Abrahamson and the Matric class of 2015. Please, a round of applause.

Projects agreed to and in the planning stages include:
  • Four additional new classrooms to be built as an extension to the Art Wing, and
  • A brand new Home Economics facility,
These we anticipate to have completed in the next financial year, all things being equal.
  • On the fund-raising side we are in negotiations and anticipate holding a Sunset Symphony Concert over the weekend of the Argus Cycle Tour, 2016. This we hope will be embraced by all and become an annual fund-raising event! Our partners and the SGB anticipate an event that will attract over 2500 people.

Ingrid Van Diemen

At this time, I would like to pay special tribute to Ingrid van Diemen, mom of Inge van Diemen (who matriculated in 2014), and to Andrew van Diemen (a Matric pupil and Prefect here tonight). Ingrid has unwaveringly  served the SGB for four years, while also in an executive position at ETV. She took on the difficult task of chair of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee and has served this portfolio with great firmness but always in a fair and quietly-spoken manner. She has focused on all aspects of each incident and has always paid special attention to the pupil and the circumstances surrounding the incident. She has ensured that support be given where necessary to the pupil should it be required, in finding better ways to cope or deal with aspects of their lives which are not in keeping with our firm, and very detailed Code of Conduct. Ingrid will be leaving us this year as Andrew writes his final Matric exam and she will be missed, not only for her generosity of spirit but her professionalism, her incredible smile, positive attitude and infectious laugh.

The chair of the Discipline Committee is not an easy position to fill and I am delighted that Francesco Mariola of the School Governing Body and father of Riccardo in Grade 8 and Mattia in Grade 11, will be taking over this portfolio and I think the entire SGB will support me when I say this portfolio is transferring into very capable hands.

To the Executive:

The School Governing Body salutes you, David and Louis, for your commitment and leadership. Both of you are responsible for the ethos of this caring establishment. You allow the pupils to soar and offer encouragement to all students in pursuit of their passions. More importantly, you allow each individual an environment in which to express themselves.

Our thanks also go to the executive management committee who run the school on a day-to-day basis together with Dave and Louis. They are: Ettie Cronje, Kevin Jenneke, William Cawood and Vic van Heerden.

To the Teaching Body at Camps Bay High School:

I commend you all for a job well done!

Good schools are truly created by passionate and capable teachers. We are an excellent school with an exceptional group of teachers and support staff. The School Governing Body salutes and celebrates the staff for a job well done.

I have learned that the family is obviously the first building block of stability and success, but modern families are constantly changing and are under threat – and schools, more and more, play the part of the extended family.

The school and its teachers take on roles that they were not originally designed to serve, putting the teachers at the centre of the pupil’s emotional development and well-being. Our teachers do much more than we expect of them and do go the extra mile.

The world’s foremost education specialists, reinforce what we already know - that of all the factors inside the school that affect children’s learning and achievement, the most important is the teacher – not standards, not assessment, not resources or even the school’s leadership, but the quality of the teacher and the relationship they have with their students.

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child!

To the School:

This school creates top-class young South Africans, well prepared to meet the challenges that may come their way and well-skilled to cope with any under-graduate academic challenges should an individual, so choose.

Our students do well out there and excel in all fields, both locally and abroad.
At CBHS, we allow our students to express themselves, to be individuals and to have an opinion.
In fact, this school celebrates individuality. There is something different at Camps Bay High and to this end, we are proud of it! It is what we refer to as: “The Camps Bay way”.

To the Prefects of 2016:

You have risen to the occasion, believed in yourself and put yourself forward to be elected by your peers. We the governors commend you on this valiant commitment. It was once said “those who believe in themselves and put themselves forward will be respected by their peers in turn”. As representatives of Camps Bay High School, you have truly seized the day. Take responsibility of your individual portfolios, work as a team, but make it a memorable year.

To the Prefects & Matric Students 2015:

The School Governing Body celebrates you, Alexia Abrahamson our Head Prefect, the Prefects and the Matriculants of 2015 for a great year.

You have ALL made us proud, you have left your mark, you know how to think and you have the choice of what to think.

Please work diligently for these next few weeks. Matric exams are possibly the most important exams you’ll ever sit for. So much in the future, rides on these results.

You leave this establishment with the ethos and values instilled in you by our talented staff and your own intuition. You have gained life skills which will serve you for years to come. Extend yourself and strive for the highest. If you want it badly enough, go out and get it – you have been given those vital tools to guarantee success.

Go on and do what you love and love what you do, with pride, passion and all your heart. Tell those who ask, what it is that you do, WITH PRIDE

Author Edmond Lee once said:
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”

Education does not stop after you leave school or graduate from a college or University. It does not finish once you finish your apprentice, your tutelage, your Masters, or PhD. Accumulation of Knowledge is a moral duty, it is not just something you do to advance in life.

Some thoughts for your consideration going forward:
  • Create and Build curiosity;
  • Do think out the box, ask what is/was the box;
  • Explore new ideas and insights;
  • Learn to connect different ideas, together to create whole new ones;
  • Be aware of key drivers of the future and what they will mean;
  • Think and look for non-obvious insights and ideas;
  • Read as much as you can, as wide a variety of content as you can;
  • Ask “WHY?” often;
  • Be creative;
  • Be open;
  • Be passionate;
  • Be relentless in pursuing your dreams.

  • Keep failure in perspective;
  • Success is typically built on a series of failures or lessons learned. Successful people learn from their failures every day and recognise that so long as they do, they are still on the road to success;
  • The outcome WILL be worth all the effort, sweat and tears but ensure that you have fun along the way;
  • Remember, Albert Einstein was expelled from Technical School and Elvis Presley was written off as a kid with greasy hair and no future;
  • Be happy to build a few careers;
  • Add value to society, build empathy and leave the world a better place than the way you found it – in EVERY way;
  • So, please look around the room at all our matric and pupils who have either achieved tonight or on their way to achieving remarkable success. I would offer all of you one simple irrevocable secret to a happy fulfilled life, don’t wait until your finished school, finished your apprenticeship, finished a degree, got married, had children or any other milestone you are waiting to accomplish before you can make a difference in someone’s life;
  • Remember success is not all about the money!;
  • Above all, remain humble.
Finally the Governing Body wishes all the staff and students well and congratulates each one of you on your achievements!

Thank you

Colin Harvey