Retiring principal not leaving her calling

Lavinia Davis

Go straight down Allenby Drive, make a right and you’ll see it – these were the words of a kind stranger who had given a young woman, travelling from her home in District Six, directions to a school for her first day of teaching in 1980.

Fresh out of college, Lavinia Davis got off at Steenberg station and walked to Square Hill Primary School where she started her teaching career and worked her way up to principal.

Last week, Ms Davids celebrated her 60th birthday as well as 36 years of teaching at Square Hill which will end at the end of this school term.

Ms Davis said the decision wasn’t taken lightly and she was extremely sad to be leaving the school where “it all started”. But she is also looking forward to some relaxation time.

“It is so emotional for me to leave Square Hill because it really has become my home. I have grown so much at the school and we have formed a family. The staff, pupils and parents have worked extremely hard to make the school what it is today and I am
proud that I could be a part of it,” said Ms Davis.

Ms Davis, an Athlone resident, will, however, not completely give up teaching.

After a couple of month of relaxing she plans to join the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to help teach children in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) phase in Cape Town.

“So many good things have been happening at Square Hill Primary because of the input of teachers and parents. I feel the need to share the good ideas and try and implement what I have learnt at in an effort to pay it forward,” said Ms Davis.

Ms Davis’ has been principal of the
school since 2002 after acting for only one year.

She wants the school to grow from strength to strength and hopes the person who fills her position will build on the solid foundation that has been built by all those who have been involved with the school since its inception.

“The teachers at Square Hill made me look good. I hope the principal who takes over takes that into consideration and builds on that to make it an even stronger school,” said Ms Davis.

She thanked everyone who has played a role in her 36 years at the school.

“I am eternally grateful for the support from parents and teachers. My wish for them is to never give up on the children. No matter how difficult it gets, education will and is making a difference in the lives of these children and we need to continue up-
lifting our children,” said an emotional Ms Davis.

Long time friend and colleague, Sandra van Reenen, said working with Ms Davis has been a delight.

“She is a lovely person to work with and she has that motherly love towards the children. There are people God has a calling for and her calling was definitely teaching. She has that passion for teaching and that’s why she is not giving up teaching but rather extending her services to those who are in need,” said Ms Van Reenen.

“She will be greatly missed and it’s sad that she’s leaving but I believe she is going to make an even bigger difference where she is going,” said Ms Van Reenen.