Dirk Jurgens was renowned for his sports work all over the country and later on as the principal of Hyde Park Primary School in Fairways, but now he is hanging up his teaching hat to spend his days exploring our country.
Mr Jurgens, 59, started his teaching career at Sid G Rule Primary School in Grassy Park in 1979 as a Grade 3 teacher and towards the end of the year he was asked to start at Hyde Park Primary as a physical education teacher.
In 1984 he started teaching Grade 6 but was still very much involved in the school’s sport codes.
Besides teaching, Mr Jurgens’ other passion was rugby – specifically refereeing and coaching.
In 1982 his rugby coaching and refereeing career kicked off, taking him all over the country and to many community games.
He also continued his sports codes at Hyde Park.
In later years, Mr Jurgens became a head of department and in 2008 he was appointed as acting principal. In 2010 he was appointed as principal.
Asked why he decided to retire, Mr Jurgens said: “I’ve been a teacher for 37 years and it’s time to move on. Schools need to grow and other people need an opportunity to bring about growth and improvement in the school,” he said.
“I think all the principals including myself have laid down a good foundation. We are hoping that who comes after us will build on that foundation and take the school to even greater heights,” said Mr Jurgens.
Asked what he will be doing with his time off, the veteran said he will be traveling a lot more. “I want to go to Hermanus, Kleinmond and the Overberg. Now I will have more time to do so to go fishing and spend more time with my friends who are already retired,” he said.
Mr Jurgens said he will return to schools in a mentoring capacity.
He thanks all the teachers, pupils and parents who have helped him make Hyde Park Primary the school it is to- day.
“I also want to thank my family who have been very patient with me. Back in the day I used to be away from home a lot and I didn’t get to spend all that much time with my children. Now I will be making up for that and spending more time with my grandchildren,” he said.
“I thank my wife Marline and children Candice and Kowan who let me focus on my passions, teaching and sport,” Mr Jurgens said.
Secretary Merle Allison, who has been at the school for over 40 years, said Mr Jurgens’ personality will be missed.
“I have no complaints about him. We have worked together very well. He’s fair and he has a good listening ear. His positive attitude and sense of humour will be greatly missed but we wish him well. He deserves it,” said Ms Allison.