Orion College’s high school principal has a passion for the job

Principal also drives school bus to games and events, and coaches sport, as he does his best for learners.

If you are the principal at a high school for 11 years, you learn a thing or two along the way.

Especially if the school you lead is a remedial school.

Louis Buitendag has been teaching since 1984, but he has always been learning and growing during his time at Orion College.

“When I started, I just did admin but now I teach social sciences – history and geography – to Grade 8s as well,” he told Randburg Sun during an interview.

“As a principal, I get to know all the kids, teachers and staff. As a teacher, I have to do the admin and work of teachers and I understand their workload and struggles. Teaching as well as being principal helps me connect with children and staff better.”

He even coaches sport and drives the school bus to matches and events.

Also read: Orion College donates to women and children

Buitendag said his passion for the job and hopes to improve the lives of children and their families are what motivate him to do his best.

“Most parents are also helpful and willing to work with us to help their children reach their potential. We meet and network with the Department of Education and ISASA [Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa] and they provide support too.”

That said, some of the deadlines provided by the department can be challenging to meet.

“Another challenge I face in my job is discipline. We have the demerit and detention system, but it is important to work with parents in disciplining, and understanding, children.”

Since Covid-19, many parents have also struggled financially, and some had to take their children out of school,

The school in Randpark Ridge has seven candidates writing their matric exams come the end of October.

“Everyone did their best this year. That is what is important to us. Our systems and models in place have been successful and we know they will be even more successful in the future.”

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