Following 14 years of dedicated service to Woodlands International College, Hilary Robinson, principal of the Senior College, will be retiring at the end of the 2018 academic year.
The search for a replacement spanned several months and resulted in a number of highly-qualified candidates being rigorously interviewed.
“Of great consequence was the requirement that the successful candidate is closely aligned with the Woodlands ethos, represent a comfortable cultural fit with its existing members of staff, and share the vision of the directors over the next decade of the college,” said founding director Ronnie Matthews.
“This vision includes the college becoming a benchmark educational facility. We have always viewed the Woodlands concept as an enduring one capable of embracing generations to come.”
Matthews said the directors were pleased to appoint Chris van Niekerk as the principal designate of the Senior College, effective the commencement of the 2019 academic year.
“He is presently the outgoing founding principal at Founders Hill College, where he earned a distinct reputation for being a consummate educator and administrator.
“Formerly, he taught at Sandringham High School, St Benedict’s College and St Dunstan’s College.
“For a number of years, he acted as an IEB sub-examinator on a national level for Grade 12 business studies.
“Benefiting from exposure to the tertiary education environment, he is also a well-respected commentator in a number of education-related articles and prides himself on keeping current with trends in education by regularly attending topical conferences and courses.”
Matthews said van Niekerk holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Industrial Psychology, a postgraduate certificate in education, and the BED Honours in Educational Management and Leadership.
“I am thrilled to join Woodlands International College next year and look forward to building on the sound academic and co-curricular credentials established since inception in 2002,” said van Niekerk.
“I am excited at joining hands with the board of directors, the school staff and the Woodlands community to cement Woodlands as the leading international school in this region.
“We will also pursue a number of strategic imperatives that include the ongoing refinement of our academic product, the upgrading of our young and developing campus infrastructure, starting with an impressive 2 500m2 multi-purpose hall, and furthering our co-curricular programmes, collectively in furtherance of our ethos of mutual respect, care, connectedness and excellence in all we do.”
Matthews said the directors have extended a warm welcome to van Niekerk.
“He enjoys the full support and confidence of the directors and the executive of the College, who anticipate that his experience, energy and enthusiasm will benefit the college greatly in its aspirations of becoming the educator of choice, both within the local community and beyond,” said Matthews.