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From the desk of Mr Calla Niemand  Headmaster Summerhill College


The following quote by Pablo Picasso made a significant impact on me as an individual: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away” This quote played a major part in helping me discover who I am as an educator.

I love to inspire young people to be courageous in doing the things that motivate and inspire them, so that together we can change not only our personal circumstances but even our world. This is why I wake up every morning, passionate and energized, to go to work knowing I will return home fulfilled in the knowledge that I have made even a small difference and that I am part of something greater than myself. I believe that my actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and do more. This is the cornerstone of my educational philosophy.

I have been in education for a little more than three decades, serving as an educator, HOD, Deputy, and Headmaster. Summerhill College is a gem that is ready to grow and develop further, based on the great foundation laid by my predecessor, Mrs. Vashni Chetty. I see the College as a school of belonging and inclusion, with a myriad of options and opportunities for pupils with a strong academic focus. A sense of belonging with a strong sense of self-worth coupled with strong pupil-teacher relationships allows for motivated and creative learning to happen. As educators, we are reminded that every pupil has within them the seed of success and that in every seed there is a harvest. Our job is to bring that harvest to fruition. Most importantly we have to be consistent in doing so because consistency and encouragement transform average into excellence.

I would like to see a Summerhill College where we put meaning over money, people over profits, and integrity over popularity. An environment where teachers are encouraged to provide learners with opportunities to explore topics, participate in activities, and be exposed to discussions and debates that develop a skillset and the attitudes we believe every modern member of society should master. Our complex society and world demand citizens who are courageous and determined to bring about a better world. A safe space for our pupils to grow in and develop wisdom, knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. These character strengths must not only be revealed in each pupil but we must help them develop the ability to effectively engage those strengths. In short, their abilities are released to unlock a better future!

I end off with another quote, this one from Gandhi: “My life is my message, what message are you living?” I hope to live a message of inspiring excellence through opportunity within the educational realm.