Ferndale Primary principal retires

Pictured, from left, are Jenny Neil, Grade 3 teacher; Arthur Lewis, principal who retired; Amanda Cilliers, acting principal; and Louisa van Wyk, Grade 4 teacher.

Principal Arthur Lewis celebrated his retirement with a farewell party, today, Wednesday May 9, at Ferndale Primary School, in Ottery.

Mr Lewis, 62, is known to his colleagues for being a “people’s person” who loves getting involved in developing his staff.

Teacher Jenny Neil said she met him 19 years ago when he started at Ferndale Primary School.

Mr Lewis served under principal George Watkins when he started in 1999 as deputy principal. In 2004 he was appointed acting principal and in 2005 he was promoted to the top seat.

Mr Lewis thanked his staff, young and experienced, who played a significant role in help-
ing realise his goals. “Some of the older staff on the School Management Team (SMT) as well as young staff who are vibrant and com-
mitted have kept the school’s
systemic results consisted,” he

Three staff members including the acting principal gave their input on how it was to have worked with Mr Lewis.

Ms Neil, a Grade 3 teacher, said when Mr Lewis started at Ferndale Primary she was already there. “Mr Lewis is a goal-orientated and hard-working man. He gets involved in team building and staff development activities.”

She said he is known to set goals and follows it through.

One of the goals reached, said, Louise van Wyk, a Grade 4 teacher, who started the same year as Mr Lewis, was getting the school a new hall Ferndale Primary celebrates its new hall”, Southern Mail, April 18).

Ms Van Wyk said the “long overdue hall took three years to materialise.”

And Mr Lewis told Southern Mail, not in the presence of his former staff, that during his reign as principal it was all about setting goals.

On his wish list were a few goals and one of it was to get a sports field for the school, the fixing of the roof, getting a computer lab, to replace the prefab for the Grade Rs as well as lobbying for a new school hall. “We managed to reach all these goals,” he said.

Mr Lewis said he has done his job and he was leaving the school in “capable hands”.

Amanda Cilliers, the acting principal, said: “Everything is put in its place as Mr Lewis has set a solid foundation before he left. All I have to do is do the job and handle things as they crop up every day.”

Ms Cilliers said she started in 1984 and was appointed deputy principal in November last year until she was appointed acting principal at the beginning of this term.

Mr Lewis said he is looking forward to his retirement. “I will spend my time with my wife, Colleen, who is a retired accountancy teacher, and we will be doing a bit of travelling. I will also be looking after my grandson.”

Mr Lewis said he will also be renovating his house, as well as looking after his 94-year-old mother, Georgina.”

He will not be sitting still as he said he loves hiking, walking and trail running.

“I have also travelled extensively before, in South Africa and overseas. My aim is to visit the Pyramids and also touring Jerusalem,” said Mr Lewis.