Daniel Pieterse, who has been acting principal at Kamdebo Primary School since the beginning of the year, was formally appointed as principal from 1st May.
Pieterse was born and bred in Aberdeen, and in fact the first school he attended as a small boy was Kamdebo Primary! He matriculated at Spandau Secondary, and then completed a Diploma in Education IIISP at the South Cape Teachers College in Oudtshoorn.
He then moved back to Aberdeen to take up his first post, teaching standard three maths and science at Kamdebo for eight years. He was then redeployed to Aberdeen Primary School, where he taught maths and science to grades six and seven from 2009 until 2014. For the last quarter of 2014, he was acting principal at the school.
Pieterse applied for a head of department post at Kamdebo, which he took up in July 2015. After the retirement of Pieter Safers at the end of last year, Pieterse was appointed as acting principal.
Since his return to teach in Aberdeen, he has been involved in many areas of the community, as well as at the school. He has been very committed to promoting sport in schools, both locally and provincially, and is an executive member of the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) in the Eastern Cape. He is also chairperson of the Sarah Baartman Schools Football in SASFA, and treasurer of the Sarah Baartman District Sports Council. Locally, he is the CEO of Everton Football Club, in Aberdeen.
Pieterse was elected to represent the portfolio of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture on the ward one ward committee.
His interests and positions of responsibility are spread over many areas. He is the treasurer and an elder of the Uniting Reform Church in Lotusville, branch treasurer of SADTU for the Central Karoo region, and the deputy chairperson of the Aberdeen Secondary School governing body.
Giving back to the community academically, Pieterse is one of the founding members of the Quality Learning and Teaching Campaign. This group of teachers give up their time to assist their past pupils with their high school subjects, particularly in their matric year. Another important role of the group is to help these learners with applications for further study, especially those wishing to become teachers themselves.
In his personal life, he married fellow Aberdeen Primary teacher Janaine Saaiman in2013, and they have one young daughter. He also has two other daughters, one in grade eleven at Aberdeen Secondary, and his eldest (26) who is an educator in Cape Town.
When asked about his vision for the school, he started by praising his predecessors for the legacy they have given him to build on, and wished to thank his Holy Father, and all those who have prayed for him. He is also very grateful to his wife and family for their support, as well as the staff, SGB, parents and learners at the school.
He firmly supports the ancient proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”, and aims to create an environment for the learners, educators, non-teaching staff, community, parents and local government departments to all work together to be part of the education of the whole community. A target of five years has been set for the school to be one of the best in the district on all levels –not just academically, but also culturally and in sport. An example of how this is already underway is the newly-formed choir, who will sing the national anthem at assemblies.
Within that five year target period, Pieterse also hopes that the school will be able to acquire some form of transport for the children.
It is encouraging and somehow fitting to see a past pupil of the school achieve the pinnacle of principal of the school, and with the full support of the school and wider community, the school should go from strength to strength.