To enhance the community and empower learners and staff. This is the vision Stanton Smith, new principal of Dryden Street Primary School in Salt River, has for the school.
Smith (39) started his new journey at the school a month ago. He took over from Soraya Khan, who was acting principal at the school following the passing of acting principal Cedric Joubert. He died earlier this year.
Smith, who is the former youth coach of Ajax Cape Town and head coach of the University of the Western Cape Football team, successfully completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration at the University of Charleston, West Virginia.
His passion for life-long learning saw him pursue his academic development even further by obtaining his Masters’ Degree in Education from Marshall University, in the United States of America (USA).
Back on home soil, Smith explains that his teaching career kicked off at Meadowridge Primary in Mitchell’s Plain in 2012.
“I spent a couple of years as a post level one educator at Eastville Primary. In 2019, I became a head of department at Caravelle Primary. In 2020, to my surprise, I was appointed as the deputy principal of Cedar Primary.”
Smith says he is ready to fulfil his new role and serve the Salt River community.
“I see myself sitting in my own office, as the newly appointed principal of Dryden Street Primary. I have been entrusted to head up this historical institution with so much tradition and character. My goal is to see the school develop holistically.”
Smith explains that his passion for sport started years ago when he attended The Settlers High School in Bellville. He adds that he participated in several sporting codes and had a keen interest in academic learning as well.
“Football was my passion, which saw me granted the opportunity to play and study abroad in the United States of America. I excelled during my time in the USA, by earning various awards on offer, both in football and Aacademics. Academically, I was awarded the ‘Who’s who among American student’s award’, which was given to top academic/collegiate sport achievers.”
He says being appointed as a youth coach at Ajax in 2008 sparked his love for working with and developing children and young individuals.
“Soon after, I enrolled to continue my post grad at UWC, which saw me earmarked as the next football head coach of the institution. This was a very exciting time with me heading up the football programme, which enhanced my leadership, organisational and management skills.”
Smith says he is grateful to the influential people who were on his journey with him and who empowered him.
“Today, I am pleased to share my knowledge and the experience I have gained over the years by utilising my unique set of ‘life skills’, embedded with fundamental leadership and management qualities, with the staff, SGB (school governing body), learners and greater Dryden community.”
He continues: “As a life-long learner, I am excited for the journey ahead. I look forward to growing, learning and implementing improvements with the school, step-by-step, which will result in the holistic development of all involved.”