Grahamstown based private co-ed Kingswood welcomed Dr Colleen Vassiliou as their new College Head recently.
Much to the delight of their Old Boys, she wasted no time in declaring her top priority to be the effort to see Kingswood climb up the national school rugby rankings and cement their position nearer the top. Jokes, she didn’t really say that and by all accounts word is that she is a top notch appointment who is set to become a valued asset to the school.
Kingswood will be celebrating their 125th birthday in 2019. There are only about 220 boys in the high school and they often punch above their weight in rugby. Rugby optimism is reasonably high this year. This could turn out to a good season for their 1st XV especially if they can replicate their under-16 form from 2017.
A sign of the times?
The teaching profession is having its challenges attracting male employees. Couple this with advancements in gender equality and it’s perhaps not that far-fetched to imagine more ladies being given the green light to head up boys’ high schools and the bigger co-eds on a full-time basis.
There are and have been plenty of high school headmistresses but almost all have been in charge at girls’ high schools.
The interest part will be to see how prospective parents who have boys and others connected to schools’ make the adjustment to accepting female leadership in spheres that were dominated by males literally since schooling started in SA.
Last year Andri Barnes formally took over the leadership of boy’s high school Glenwood in Durban after being the acting head for several months prior to that. Among the school’s achievements during her time so far was a first unbeaten 1st XV rugby season in yonks.