Melvin King – Bridge House Prep
Melvin King was educated at St Owen’s Boys High School and graduated from the University of Cape Town with a B.Soc.Sc and HDE. In 2005 he attended the Executive Development Course for Heads of Schools held at the Wits Business School.
Starting out as a teacher of Geography at Livingstone High School, Melvin was promoted to Head of Department and Deputy Principal before leaving in 2001 to found Christel House. This independent school in Athlone has grown each year and next year will accommodate 540 children from Grade 1 to Grade 10.
In addition to his formal teaching career, Melvin has been a marker and moderator for Geography in the Western Cape Education Department and a Lifeskills Facilitator at the South African Institute of Race Relations. The other area that Melvin has been active in is Badminton. Apart from representing Western Province and being named the SACOS Western Province Sportsman of the Year, Melvin has served on the committees at national and provincial level to promote USSASA.
Melvin’s passion is serving the community and this he has done through the founding and establishment of Christel House. The remarkable success of this unique model was the subject of Melvin’s address to the Bridge House community at the 2004 Senior Primary Awards Ceremony. He presented a paper at the International Symposium for Service Learning at the University of Stellenbosch which was a joint initiative with the University of Indianapolis. He is a member of the National Executive of ISASA representing the Western Cape.
Melvin, his wife Liesl and children Matthew and Kathryn moved to Franschhoek at the beginning of 2007.
Source: Bridge House School
Mike Russell – Bridge House
Mike Russell, previously Head of Redhill in Gauteng from 2003 to 2009, joined Bridge House as Head of the School in January 2010.
Mike was born in Scotland in 1954 and is married to Liz, a radiographer, and they have two adult daughters, Kirsty and Kate. After matriculating from Rondebosch Boys High School in 1972, Mike studied at UCT and graduated with a BA in English, French, German and Chemistry. This was followed up with an HDE and then a BEd degree. He later completed a Further Diploma in Educational Management and also the Leadership Development Program at Wits.
After graduating from UCT, Mike returned to teach English and French at Rondebosch Boys High for 17 years, ending up as the Deputy Principal and coach of the Rondebosch 1st Cricket XI and 1st Soccer XI. He has been involved with Nuffield Week Cricket and is a past Chairman of the WP Schools Football Association.
In a letter to Parents at his previous school, Mike Russell wrote about the strong ‘pull’ factors which influenced his decision to come to Bridge House. He said, “Bridge House is a beautiful school in a stunning location surrounded by vineyards (which of course is an attraction) and the Cape mountains; it’s growing, it’s young, it’s on the threshold of the next stage of its development; I like the Bridge House people I’ve met over the years. It just feels right.”
Source: Bridge House School
Nomhle Mbenenge – Dalubuhle Primary
Nomhle, born and educated in South Africa, is currently Principal of Dalubuhle School, which began operating under the pine trees near Wemmershoek Dam to serve the Xhosa-speaking children of the area and now serves over 350 children from grades 1-7.
Source: The Kusasa Project
Jan Cilliers – Franschhoek High
Norman Afrika – Groendal Primary
Malvin Kulsen – Groendal Secondary
Colin Thomas – Wemmershoek Primary
Lance Cyster – Wes-Eind Primary
All photos: Eddie Wilson Photography