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Waterstone College welcomes education leader as executive head

Waterstone College is poised for a new era of educational excellence with the appointment of JC Engelbrecht as executive head.

Waterstone College, a Curro Select School, welcomed JC Engelbrecht, a seasoned education professional with over 22 years of school management experience as the new executive head.

Having been a part of the Curro Group for nearly seven years, Engelbrecht’s appointment marks a pivotal moment for the institution. With a background in education, financial management, human resource development, and strategic planning, he hopes to bring a wealth of expertise to his new role.

Before taking the lead at Waterstone College, Engelbrecht served as executive head at various other schools, including Curro Aurora and Dainfern College.

As an environmental specialist and freelance weather presenter at the SABC for many years, Engelbrecht became a South African household name. His passion for the environment, coupled with his environmental advocacy, underscores his diverse skill set.

A varied career

Engelbrecht said his experience as a principal and executive head at Curro Aurora inspired him to take on the role of executive head at Waterstone College.

Engelbrecht emphasised the importance of leading by example in his mentoring and coaching roles.

“What motivates me is my commitment to being a role model for teachers, instilling strong work ethics, meticulous attention to detail, and a drive for excellence. My goal is to help them reach their full potential.

“My role is mentoring and guiding students towards adulthood, ultimately assisting them in finding their way in the world,” affirmed Engelbrecht.

Vision for Waterstone College

Engelbrecht envisions the institution as a cornerstone of the community – a place where young minds can be nurtured and cared for.

“My vision is to fortify the existing foundation, ensuring a culture of excellence permeates every facet of learning. This extends beyond the classroom, encompassing a commitment to unlocking potential in both staff and students, cultivating an environment of achievement inside and outside of the classroom.

“My approach to improving the educational experience at Waterstone College is multifaceted. Foremost, I place a high value on facility development, seeing it as a catalyst for increased engagement and empowerment. I also emphasise the importance of academic rigour by establishing the highest standards by IEB examination requirements.

“The appointment of experienced teachers and coaches, combined with ongoing professional development to ensure they remain at the forefront of educational best practices, is central to this endeavour,” said Engelbrecht.
For Engelbrecht, education extends beyond textbooks and examinations.

“I envision a holistic approach that empowers students to thrive emotionally, physically, and academically. This entails providing a rich tapestry of extramural activities that enrich their lives and nurture a sense of community and service.

“By maximising opportunities, I envision students growing into the best versions of themselves, equipped to face the world’s challenges with confidence and purpose,” said Engelbrecht.

Anticipated ventures and endeavours

“One noteworthy event on the horizon is the Ilanga Challenge for primary school students. This challenge not only invites the active participation of parents and learners but also seeks to engage the community.

“Through this event, we aim to open our campus doors to let outsiders witness the vibrant educational environment that defines Waterstone. The upcoming annual Waterstone College Soap Box Derby is another highlight on the fourth term calendar.

“After the festivities and community-building activities, our focus will pivot towards providing students with the support and resources to excel in their exams. This balanced approach reflects our commitment to nurturing academic success and a strong sense of community,” expressed Engelbrecht.

About JC Engelbrecht

Hailing from Potchefstroom, his early life was marked by a curiosity for the natural world and a profound connection to the environment.

Engelbrecht’s academic journey took root at the University of Potchefstroom (NWU), where he embarked on a path that would ultimately lead him to a master’s degree in environmental management and climatology from the University of Stellenbosch.

Beyond his academic achievements, Engelbrecht’s career has been multifaceted. While teaching, he also spent 15 years as a freelance evening weather presenter, capturing the viewers’ imagination with his insights into atmospheric conditions. His passion for environmental and climate issues is a direct outgrowth of this period in his life.

Engelbrecht’s love for the outdoors is a defining aspect of his character. Activities like hiking, mountain biking, and scaling the heights of Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest Base Camp have provided him with a deep appreciation for nature’s wonders.

Having traversed over 20 countries, Engelbrecht’s exposure to diverse cultures and landscapes has enriched his worldview. This wealth of experiences has contributed to his holistic approach to education and the values he seeks to impart.

Besides his professional endeavours, Engelbrecht is a dedicated family man. He cherishes the role of husband and father to Anja (Grade Nine), with a loving wife, the owner and principal of a pre-primary school in Northcliff.

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