Outgoing executive headmaster of St John’s College in Johannesburg Paul Edey has praised the class of 2019 for giving him an outstanding farewell gift.
Speaking to News24 at the school on Tuesday, a calm-looking Edey said there is nothing more he could have asked for than to maintain the 100% pass rate the school is famous for.
Edey will be replaced by Stuart West.
Edey, who has been at the helm for five years, said he leaves a legacy where each boy is an individual who the school gets to know and care for.
“There’s real emphasis on talking about the boys at staff meetings, finding out what is happening in the boys’ life at home and trying to make sure that each boy feels valued and secure.
“In a society like ours, many families and boys are extremely anxious about the future. We can’t remove that anxiety. But certainly, we emphasise on holding each boy and caring for them as they move through into adult life,” Edey said.
He continued that for many years, they have been teaching outstanding matric groups who excelled academically, on sporting fields, who were brilliant at music and outstanding in drama.
“The results reflect a well-rounded group who committed themselves across the field and broad spectrum of activities available at St John’s. I am absolutely elated by the results.
“To the class of 2019 they must realise school is just a beginning. They have been in a protected environment where teachers care about them and they are now off to university. Some going to universities across the globe,” said Edey.
‘Next exciting phase of their lives’
To his outgoing learners, Edey said they will manage at university.
“Now they are on their own. Hopefully we have given them the skills of self-discipline, managing their time, being inquisitive, curious and able to seek knowledge and be self-motivated.
“Certainly, there is no one holding your hand at university,” he said.
He thanked the class of 2019 for their contribution in the school’s history.
“We send the students off into the next exciting phase of their lives confident that they are equipped with the skills, insight and solid grounding they need to make the most of themselves and contribute to their communities in a world that grows increasingly challenging and demanding.
“Most of these young men were active outside the classroom, participating in sports, cultural activities and community programmes. The five years of high school are about more than just matric results.
“We aim to develop happy, successful young men who are critical thinkers, problem solvers and are innovative and collaborative members of society who contribute to the collective wellbeing of the world. We remain mindful of our responsibility in a society that remains so unequal, especially in access to quality education,” he said.