Controversial principal dies

Phaldie Tregonning

The former principal of Windsor High School, Phaldie Tregonning died of a heart attack last week after being in education for 29 years.

According to the Cape Times, Mr Tregonning was fired in May following allegations that he stole money from Windsor High. He had been appointed as principal the previous year.

Ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt said the teaching fraternity and his ward mourned Mr Tregonning’s death.

“I met Tregonning in Mitchell’s Plain initially, and was pleased with his appointment at Windsor High. He was committed to holistic education, and boasted a 100% pass rate of his 2017 matrics.

“Tregonning was also in the process of upgrading the school buildings and most parts had already been repainted under his auspices,” he said.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) sent its condolences to Mr Tregonning’s family.

Progressive Principal Association president Ruschda O’Shea said: “The strain on principals drains them emotionally, and the physical and mental toll becomes unbearable.

“There is inadequate support from the WCED and they need to revisit the inhumane action taken against principals when there are reports of non-compliance.

“There is a lack of training to prepare principals for the rigours and challenges which the position demands.

“Our thoughts are with his wife who is also an educator, his children and his family especially his two brothers who are also principals.”

Windsor High School was unavailable for comment.

Mr Tregonning who first began as a pupil, and then became a teacher and then deputy pricncipal at Rocklands High School had a good working record there.

Sheila Petersen who is the secretary at the high school and worked with Mr Tregonning said that he was an asset for the school.

“He had a good working relationship with the teachers and staff, the pupils respected him and he worked on various water- saving projects at the school and he was a mathematics head of department where he gave extra classes to pupils,” said Ms Petersen.

Mr Tregonning’s family declined to comment.

He was buried last Friday.