From the Head - Headmaster's Newsletter 29 November 2018

Dear Parents and friends of Hilton,

Gratitude is infectious. It is an essential ingredient in a life well-lived.In fact, many significant people rank it as one of the more important attitudes to cultivate, upon reflection of a life well-lived.

You may have heard of the idea of doing random acts of kindness in this world of ours, which is yearning for a balm to heal and restore?After all milestones have been achieved and our lives are stripped to the bare minimum of purpose, I believe the manner in which we have lived will be the ultimate ‘measure’ of our service to humanity. In this way, gratitude and service are inextricably linked and cultivating gratitude is therefore dependent on cultivating service.

At this time of the year young people can be even more ‘me’ focussed. My encouragement is for you to help them cultivate an attitude of service.I think this attitude begins at home with a deliberate seeking out of opportunities for your son to serve.Perhaps there is an NGO that you are aware of at which your son can assist in giving some of his time?The cultivation of an attitude of service must require an element of sacrifice on the giver’s part, money alone is not necessarily the best cultivator although it too can challenge boys to be less self-focussed.

For my part I am expressly thankful for this year with all its highs and lows. Undoubtedly many more highs. It remains a privilege to serve this institution given its significance and its promise.A team of dedicated staff run this place, serving those who have chosen us as a home for five years of their sons’ formative years.I salute every one of these generous individuals.

There are few places to live and work that speak to the soul as pleasantly as our prized location. I am grateful to our founders and to the custodians of this school over years who held, crafted, protected and polished this jewel of Africa. We who enjoy the privilege of this remain indebted to these people and their custodianship. I’d like to single out the Board and our Chairman, Mr Alistair Franklin in particular, alongside all co-opted friends of Hilton who serve on various committees and who dedicate hours of their time to the betterment of this institution at no gain for themselves. I, and future generations of Hiltonians, am indebted to you all.

All institutions are ultimately about their people. May I thank you all for building up this great place as I echo the words of our school prayer and include you in my thoughts:

“Almighty God, we give Thee humble and hearty thanks for our founders, William Orde Newnham and Gould Arthur Lucas, and for the great company of those who in the past years have served and built up our school.”

May you all enjoy a Christ-mass celebration that is focussed on family.

Plans and changes for 2019

There are a few staffing changes that are important to note for the beginning of 2019, of which some you are already well aware.

We have a ‘changing of the guard’ in four houses,

McKenzie House where Mr Lionel Julius replaces Mr Paul Venter as Housemaster, and Mr De Wet Wentzel replaces Mr Mario Baptista as Deputy Housemaster;
Newnham House where Mr Chris Carey replaces Mr Andrew Douglas as Housemaster, and Mr James Robey replaces Mr Carey as Deputy Housemaster;
Pearce House where Mr James Bullough replaces Mr Sean Carlisle as Housemaster;
Churchill House where Mr Tienie van Wyk replaces Mr Lionel Julius as Deputy Housemaster. With Mr Sean Carlisle stepping down from Housemastering, Mr Tony Richter moves into the role of Senior Housemaster from 2019.

In Academics,

Mr Paul de Wet:
Mr Paul de Wet has served Hilton as Second Master for the past six years, and Director of Academics for the past 8 years. He is a thoroughbred educationalist and someone who is motivated by helping boys achieve their absolute best in all areas of their development but especially in Maths. An opportunity has presented itself for Paul to be seconded to a project that is at the forefront of piloting a cognitive acceleration approach to learning, focussing on Mathematics. This is a profound opportunity and as such, Paul has elected to take this up for the first term of 2019. He has also relinquished his role as Second Master and Director of Academics in order to pursue this new focus wholeheartedly. Our aim is for Paul to return with an even greater knowledge of learning to assist us in our quest to establish ourselves as the leading academic institution, for boys, in Africa. I will be elaborating upon this in the new year, but I would ask that you celebrate Paul’s courage to explore this avenue fully as we begin to better articulate the building blocks that are required for us to lead in the education of young boys in particular.

Accounting:
With the retirement of Mrs Anne Kriel-Brown, the post of HOD of Accounting became available and I am delighted that after a country-wide search process we promoted Ms Teresa Whitfield to this role.

Science:
Ms Kirsty Sanders has taken a post at St Anne’s for 2019 and we have been fortunate to find and appoint Mr Kwanda Sibiya to the post of Science teacher from 2019 onwards.

Economics:
By this time you may well be in the know that we have appointed Mr Msizi Mchunu to the post of Economics teacher as this post had become available in May with a resignation. Mr Mchunu will also teach some Accounting in 2019.

English:
Mr John McMichael completes seventeen years of service to Hilton at the end of this year and, although he has reached retirement age, I have asked him to stay on for the first term of 2019 whilst we await his replacement, Mr Alexei du Bois who is currently teaching at Peponi School in Kenya. We will say farewell to Mr McMichael at the end of the first term.

Zulu:
With the retirement of Mr Evan Brown at the end of this year, we appointed Mr Charles Ncobeni at the beginning of this year, in anticipation of this change.

Afrikaans:
Whilst we await the full recovery of Mr PK Ramnarain we have needed to add capacity to the Afrikaans department and Mr Burger Nel, current Deputy Housemaster in Ellis, coach and Video Analyst for the Sports Department and teacher of the Grade 8 Human Story sphere, will assume this role in 2019.

Business Office,
The position of Bursar has been divided into two functions from 2019. Mr Brett South will fulfil the function of Company Secretary and Mrs Kim Martin will take the role of Finance Manager from 2019. All monetary dealings should now be directed to Mrs Martin at the following email address: finman@hiltoncollege.com. I would like to thank Mr South for the work he has done over the past number of years as Bursar and look forward to his contribution in his new role. I am also thankful that Mrs Martin has agreed to take up the Finance Manager role in its entirety.

In conclusion, young people are undaunted by the promise of tomorrow and they reflect all that is exciting about embracing possibility. It is in this spirit of possibility that I know you will journey into 2019 with me.

Once again, my humble thanks. Regards,
George

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