Hillwood stalwart retires

Catherine Paulse who will retiring at year-end is pictured with principal Gavin Alkana.

After almost four decades, one of Hillwood Primary School’s longest serving teachers will be retiring at the end of the year.

Catherine Rose Paulse (nee Prinsloo), 58, dedicated 38 years of her life to teaching at Hillwood Primary school but said the time has come for her to enjoy some leisure time.

Although Ms Paulse is leaving teaching, she said she’ll be keeping busy with things other than marking and preparing lessons.

“Being a house wife is not part of the plan. I want to shop, sleep late and have lots of road trips. I want to sleep late and only get up when the bell rings for first recess which is at half past 10,” she said giggling.

“I also want to go to the Kruger National Park, Sun City, Robben Island and Namibia. These are just some of the places my husband and I want to visit. He’s a retired Lavender Hill High teacher and is waiting for me to finish so we can start travelling,” said Ms Paulse.

Teaching third generation pupils who’s grandparents were at the school, Ms Paulse said she’s seen many changes in education.

“Learners have more rights, and many don’t live by rules and respect. The media shows that our teachers are being abused emotionally as well as physically. Before, children had respect for teachers but this is dwindling and it is extremely difficult to teach an ill-disciplined child. There are many factors that contribute to this but my advice to those who still want to teach is to follow their passion and not give up,” she said.

Ms Paulse also advised parents to get involved in their children’s school work.

“If they can put in the same amount of effort into the child’s education as they do in proms and matric balls, it would change so many things to the benefit of the learner.”

The Southfield grandmother of two thanked all those who played a pivotal roll in her career.

“I thank the previous principals and caretaker principals as well as the current principal who guided me and gave me opportunities,” said Ms Paulse.

She also thanked her three children and husband who have been her support system.

“I’ve seen the growth at Hillwood and I hope for it to continuing being a school of excellence. I hope parents, the community learners and teachers take hands to make the school even better,” said Ms Paulse.

School principal Gavin Alkana said Ms Paulse lived by the school’s values which included respect, care, love, integrity, honesty and kindness.

“She’s an experienced educator and was on the senior management team and was someone that I could latch onto when I started as principal in 2016 because she had been a teacher at the school for so long. She’s very dedicated, honest and stood for our values system. We will miss her but she deserved the rest and I wish her well for her retirement,” said Mr Alkana.