Crestway High School celebrates their 2014 Achievers.

2014 Grade 8 Achievers with Adele Poggenpoel

I was invited to Crestway High school's Awards Ceremony today. The Awards Ceremony was supposed to take place a week ago, but the weather was not suitable for the outdoor event. Crestway High School does not have a school hall and thus the Whole school awards ceremony must be done in the school's quad.  Today, the weather was equally unforgiving, but the school had decided to push ahead.

In my speech, I highlighted the following points:

According to research, there are two key ingredients to become a successful organization:

  1. Everybody at the organization must be A-level people. A-level people are passionate, committed and disciplined people.
  2. Everybody at the organization must be be focused on the one single defining goal that drives the organisation.
2014 Grade 11 Achiever

In a school context, the A-level people are the students, parents and teachers. If each of the members in these groups is passionate about education, is committed to helping ALL the students to achieve and disciplined to ensure that they keep their eye on the `education' ball, the school WILL succeed. Whole school success depends on every single person showing up.

The one single, defining goal for schools is that all students must receive excellent education. Schools exist for the students. Period. Students, on the other hand, need to learn hard, be in class, on time, every day for the 200 school days. Parents need to support their children at all costs.

This is what is meant when we talk about a shared vision. A shared vision means every single hand is on deck, doing what should be done in a disciplined, focused way. To be successful is hard work over a long period of time. There are no shortcuts.  Neither are there miracles. Successful schools will tell you that you need to invest in the two key ingredients over a sustained period of at least three to five years.
Crestway's Top Achiever in the NSC 2014 Examinations.

When Crestway had their whole school Awards ceremony in the baking sun while learners had to sit on hard, tarred surfaces with a school notebook acting as an umbrella, I believe the school is building their success mindset.  They understand that success requires sacrifice and the will to push ahead against all odds.

Well done to all the students who received their awards today. We look forward to a growing population of student achievers at the next Awards Ceremony!

The students sitting on the ground with Vernon Safers, the principal delivering his address.


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