Lady Buxton Preschool has said farewell to its director, Sedick Dawood, who leaves at the end of the month.
Mr Dawood, from Athlone, has spent 13 years at the Claremont preschool. He said he would be pursuing career opportunities in online teaching.
He has nearly 40 years of experience in education and taught at Rustenburg Girls’, Athlone, and Phoenix high schools before joining Lady Buxton.
Coming from a high school environment, he had to adapt to working with young children and gaining the trust of parents who were leaving their children in the care of an institution for the first time.
And then Covid-19 had presented him with a whole set of very different challenges, he said, not least of which had been the financial impact of parents either pulling their children out of the school or being unable to pay fees.
“One of the hardest things was to tell the staff that we would not be paying their full wages,” he said.
“Even though they were not getting their full salaries, we do believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
On Wednesday July 21, after work, his colleagues gave him a small farewell and presented him with a handmade card signed by the staff and featuring a portrait drawn by deputy principal Ettienne Short.
Teacher Leatitia Jacobs said Mr Dawood was a fitness fanatic and she had enjoyed the hikes staff had done with him up to Rhodes Memorial and the surf walks at Muizenberg Beach.
Teacher Ntosh Finiza said: “It’s because of working with Mr Dawood I grew a lot of confidence and got stronger in my job.”
Mr Dawood said had relished being part of Lady Buxton’s centenary celebrations in 2017 and seeing the children grow. “It was always good to see the activities that the children do and see the plans the teachers have for the children to help in their development.”
The preschool would be appointing a new principal instead of a director, he said.