A vocation that lasted 44 years

2010-06-10 00:00

THIS week, after 44 years’ service in education, Northdale Primary School principal Kersie Moodley (65) is finally retiring, satisfied with a job well done.

Although becoming a teacher was far from the dream of becoming a doctor he had as a young boy, Moodley said that he finishes his race confident that selfless service­, integrity and dedication all epitomise his years in the education­ profession.

“I often ask myself how I managed to survive for so long?” he said jokingly.

Looking back Moodley said that there have been so many things he loved about his career­.

“I loved engaging with a variety of people from so many sectors of society. It was incredibly rewarding for me to have influenced the development of so many children who passed through my hands,” he said.

As a Woodlands Secondary School, old boy, Moodley qualified as a teacher in 1966.

His career began at St Oswald’s Secondary School the next year, teaching Afrikaans from Grade 5 to Grade 12.

In 1973 he became a senior assistant­ in Afrikaans at Verulam Secondary School.

He moved back to Pietermaritzburg in 1979, where he became the head of department at Deccan Road Primary School. He then taught at primary and secondary­ schools and later assumed the position­ of deputy principal in 1993 at Dunveria Secondary School. He was also acting principal at Richmond Combined School for three years.

In 2006 he was appointed principal of Northdale Primary School.

Moodley believes that for a school to thrive, passion, mutual respect and a strong desire to be successful from all parties are necessary ingredients.

In addition to availability and a willingness to work, Moodley said that teachers need to remember that “as you sow so shall you reap”. This is why he said that he treated every pupil as his child.

His advice to principals is to lead from the front.

“I’ve always strived to be a role model. I retire satisfied and convinced that my job was well done.

“I thank the Almighty for the strength to have weathered even the hardest of storms and for helping­ me come through unscathed.”

How long he will be able to stay away from education remains to be seen. Before he gets the chance to enjoy his retirement, he has already had offers to teach on a part-time basis.

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