Being Riebeek principal runs in the family

2017-02-09 06:01
Leigh Stear (daughter), Ambesa Daniels (head girl of Riebeek College Girls’ High School), Mrs Kieran Stear, Kate Stear (daughter) and Mrs Natalie Stear (12th principal of Riebeek College Girls’ High School 1988 to 2000 and also Kieran’s mother-in-law). Photo: SUPPLIED

Leigh Stear (daughter), Ambesa Daniels (head girl of Riebeek College Girls’ High School), Mrs Kieran Stear, Kate Stear (daughter) and Mrs Natalie Stear (12th principal of Riebeek College Girls’ High School 1988 to 2000 and also Kieran’s mother-in-law). Photo: SUPPLIED

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Newly appointed Riebeek College principal Mrs Kieran Stear accepted the mantle of heading the school in its 140th year.

She is the 15th principal of the school. Her mother in law, well known and respected former educator, Mrs Natalie Stear, was the 12th principal (1988-2000).

“I am so proud of Kieran, she has done exceptionally well.

What really thrilled me at the announcement ceremony of her being the new principal, was to see how absolutely popular she is,” said Natalie Stear.

“When they made the announcement the whole school went wild, gave a standing ovation, called and beat their feet on the floor.

“I am quite sure she is going to do a fine job. She is an extremely capable person. She never panics and that is what I find so amazing about her,” said Natalie Stear.

During 1996 when Natalie Stear was principal, Kieran applied for the position of HOD: Life Sciences and got it.

At that stage the principal’s son, Robert, did some relief teaching at Riebeek.

“The two met and it was love at first sight. And they eventually were happily married for 16 years before my son passed away owing to cancer of the lung,” said Natalie Stear.

When Robert and Kieran’s children were still very young, she requested to teach in the junior school to find out how they were being taught.

“She is remarkably experienced in the junior side of Riebeek as well as of course, the high school,” said Natalie Stear.

When asked what advice and words of wisdom she would bestow upon the new principal, Natalie Stear said, “Look, every day is different with its own challenges. But first of all you have to be a fine example.

“Then you have to ensure that there is sound discipline at school, tempered with mercy. You can’t have discipline without mercy.

“And then there comes a time when you have to look at a child and give him or her a second chance.”

Strong advice from her is also to listen carefully.

In her office at the time she was principal at Riebeek, she had a plaque with the Latin expression Audi Alteram Partem, which means “hear the other side”.

She said Kieran Stear is a marvellous mother, was a loving wife and a remarkable woman. I could not have asked for a better daughter-in-law. I think of her as the daughter I never had, I only had sons.

“She was the best thing ever that happened to my son and he adored her.”

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