Alex High appoints first female principal

2017-02-22 06:02

HISTORY was made at Alexandra High School recently when Anusha Pillay was appointed the first female principal of the school after 57 years.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever, Pillay said that she is proud to be at the forefront of transformational change at the school and is honoured to be entrusted with the task of heading the school.

“It is such a great achievement. It has been going well for the past few months and I think that is a testament to the strong management team, the amazing staff and the pupils who are committed to the school,” she said.

Pillay described herself as a disciplinarian and she has ensured over the years that her pupils follow the rules and work hard during the year to achieve their best results.

Pillay has been at Alexandra High School since 1999, and has moved through the ranks from teacher to head of department and now to principal. She has also got involved in numerous extra-mural programmes and even managed the first team rugby and coached the U16B soccer team, which lost only one game.

“When I got to Alex, I was one of only five teachers of colour. The staffroom is now fully transformed and harmonious, with everyone sharing the values in our mission statement. This process involved the empowerment of many people for their value and contributions to Alex,” she said.

Pillay said that she has various goals that she would like to achieve during her time as principal of the school.

Firstly, she is focused on academics and has encouraged teachers and pupils to strive for a 100% matric pass rate. “We achieved 95% last year so we are getting there; we just need to continue to work hard.”

Another aspect that Pillay will focus on is the extension of the school buildings to accommodate the increased number of pupils at the school.

“Initially, the school was built to accommodate 700 pupils. However, we currently have over 1 000 pupils. We need to renovate and extend classrooms so that we have sufficient learning spaces for our pupils,” said Pillay.

The school has also begun the ground work for building a shelter on the school property so that pupils have a safe place to wait for their transport. Her long term goal is to build an indoor sports centre.

“Although I have many dreams for the school, it is not only about my dream, it’s about the staff and the pupils as well. The most important thing at Alex is the pupils and the more we can do to keep them entertained and to get them to burn off their energy, the less likely they are to get involved in any of the social ills that are so rife at the moment,” said Pillay.

Pillay, who grew up in Pietermaritzburg and matriculated from Woodlands Secondary School, is married to Dharma and has a son in Grade 6 named Lianaran.

She is one of five siblings and said that her greatest supporters are her parents, Bobby and Maggie Barosa.

Although she has decided to take a year off from her studies this year, Pillay plans to finish her LLB degree as well.

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