Lavender Hill High School’s class of 2023 were sent off with much ululation when they said farewell at their valedictory last week.
Teachers, school staff and family filled the school hall on Thursday October 19 to celebrate the pupils and encourage them to believe in themselves, make their community a better place and to not give up in the face of adversity.
Principal Fuad Viljoen said the pupils’ journey wasn’t easy with many ups and downs and challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and gang violence but the class of 2023 persevered and the school adopted a six-day school week where pupils attend classes on Saturdays and stayed after school.
“The negative side of this community reared its head last week when certain people wanted to keep our community at ransom with shootings and we were worried about our learners getting to and coming from school.
“These are the things they had to deal with but our aim is to make learners who will triumph and become law-abiding, upstanding citizens and for them to contribute to our beautiful country,” said Mr Viljoen.
He thanked teachers and staff, the parents and especially the pupils for working together to give the class of 2023 a better chance at success and praised the pupils for their tenacity and encouraged them to build on what they have been taught – to never give up.
“Good can come from Lavender Hill High School and we are proving it because we are uplifting the community through our outstanding learners” Mr Viljoen said.
Head girl Juanita Lungiswa Myburgh said the five years at Lavender Hill High was a roller-coaster but said she was given phenomenal opportunities.
“Lavender Hill High shaped me and has given me amazing teachers. I thank the teachers for inspiring me to never give up on my dreams, to be the best version of myself and to be a shining light in my life. Your hard work, dedication and passion is appreciated. I am grateful to have been part of such an amazing school,” she said.
Head boy and chairperson of the (Representative Council of Learners (RCL) Liam Rhoda also thanked the teachers and said the class of 2023 will make them proud.
“They are the architects of our hearts and minds. You’ve ignited our curiosity and helped us reach our goals, patiently imparting knowledge which shaped us day by day. Thank you for all you’ve done.
“To the class of 2023, the world awaits our shining lights so with our heads held high, let us take flight because we are not the leaders of tomorrow anymore, we are the leaders of today.”
Two pupils, Malichai Abrahams and Leeroy Klaasens, also received the Mayor’s Civic Pride award, which was handed over by Ward 110 councillor Shanen Rossouw who said the two pupils were praised and received the award for helping foster a spirit of pride within their community and the city at large.
“We are so proud of the pupils who were chosen within our ward and it’s amazing to see that amid all the volatility in the Lavender Hill area, these students still strived to make a difference and want to be a part of the positive change in their communities. My encouragement is that they keep doing the good work as we strive to uplift and build the community.”