Dryden Street Primary welcomes new principal

New Dryden Street Primary School principal Stanton Smith.

Colin Jooste

Stanton Smith, the former Ajax Cape Town youth coach and University of the Western Cape (UWC) football head coach, has been appointed principal of Dryden Street Primary School in Salt River.

This appointment comes after the retirement of Bayar Laattoe and the death of the acting principal Cedric Joubert, at which time Soraya Khan was at the helm as acting principal for nearly a year.

Mr Smith, 39, a keen sportsman, attended The Settlers High School in Bellville, participating in numerous sporting codes.

As football was his passion, he was part of the South African National Under-20 team at 19 when he received a bursary to study and play football in America, where he earned many awards in football and academics.

Academically, he was listed among the “Who’s Who among American Students”, recognition only given to top academic/ collegiate sport achievers.

“I have a Bachelor’s degree in administration from the University of Charleston in West Virginia. This gave me an opportunity to pursue my academic development by obtaining a Master’s degree in education from Marshall University in the US,” said Mr Smith.

In 2008, he was appointed youth coach for Ajax Cape Town. He enrolled for a postgraduate course at UWC, and became the football head coach for UWC. “This enhanced my leadership, organisational and management skills,” said Mr Smith.

In 2012 his teaching career kicked off at Meadowridge Primary in Lentegeur, Mitchell’s Plain. From there, he taught at Eastville Primary in Eastridge, and in 2019 he got a head of department post at Caravelle Primary in Rocklands, also in Mitchell’s Plain.

In 2020, he was appointed deputy principal of Cedar Primary School in Bonteheuwel.

“Now I’ve been entrusted to head up Dryden… a historical institution of learning – rich in tradition and character. I am willing to share my knowledge to empower my team of educators, the school governing body, pupils and the entire Dryden community with my unique life skills which are embedded with fundamental management qualities.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Ms Khan, who had to step into the principal’s shoes at the drop of a hat with the sudden demise of Mr Joubert. She did an excellent job at the helm,” Mr Smith said.