Hout Bay High School principal Juan Julius has brought down the curtain on a 37-year-teaching career.
His appointment as principal, working in the school’s vegetable garden and seeing his matrics get good marks are just some of the memorable moments he cherishes, he says.
Mr Julis attended Oaklands High School, in Lansdowne, where his father, Daniel Adonis Julius, was the deputy principal, before completing his BA, B.Ed and HDE at the University of the Western Cape.
He started teaching, in 1980, at Steynville Secondary School, then moved to Lentegeur Secondary School, where he stayed for 19 years and became head of department, before making the move to Hout Bay High School, where he was deputy principal for two years before his appointment, for the past 13 years, as principal.
He said his journey at Hout Bay High School was complete and he wanted to give time to his family.
“I need to give fresh blood an opportunity to take the school to further heights.”
He plans to keep busy with community work in Goedverwacht and help pupils from the school who want to study further.
“Gardening and travelling are also very close to my heart. So during my retirement, I will also be assisting with a bit of farming as well as the Wonderbag programme,” he said, referring to the non-electric slow cooker that saves money, time and labour.
Alice Kramer, a former member the school governing body, said that during Covid Mr Julius had arranged for families in Hout Bay to be fed with the help of donations from the broader community.
“Mr Julius and I met as part of Partners for Possibility, which brings business people and school principals together as part of a leadership development programme.
“He is an extraordinary principal and truly believes in servant leadership – he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves to get whatever job needs doing done, and he makes sure that it is done well.
“The teaching staff and pupils are lucky to have such a hard-working, inspirational and dedicated man as their principal.”
A statement from the school’s staff said Mr Julius exemplified the true qualities of a leader. “He leads with firmness yet is approachable and fair. He leads by example never shying away from tasks at the school.”
He had built strong relationships with companies and NPOs that greatly benefited the non-fee-paying school.
“He has shown that he is a man that has endeared himself to the community of Hout Bay and IY, and the members of the community have endeared themselves to him… Many of the boys, for example, see him as a father figure because many of their own are absent.”
In his farewell message last Friday, Mr Julius said: “Education is the most powerful weapon and can be used to change Hangberg, Imizamo Yethu, the Hout Bay community and the rest of the world. Be involved in your child’s life, the community’s children’s education, support the school in a constructive way. Unite as a community to trash out or minimise the socio-economic evils in our community. Stay humble and never give up.”