Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School is saying farewell to music teacher Janet Pienaar, who finishes at the end of the term.
Ms Pienaar, 65, from Somerset West, has been in education for 40 years, the last ten at the all-girls school in Rondebosch. She says her mother, Doreen Keightley, inspired her to go into teaching.
“I did my training at Natal Teachers’ Training College in Pietermaritzburg, and when I got to teaching, I found I really loved it.
“I loved all my years of teaching, I loved working with children. This school has been innovative, and working with all the different children I encountered really made it a fulfilling time.”
She was drawn to Rustenburg, she says, after holidaying in Cape Town in 2010.
“I saw how beautiful Cape Town was, and I was wondering if this school would need a music teacher.”
Ms Pienaar plays the piano, the recorder and the guitar and she wrote music for various school concerts over the years.
“Her energy is so infectious,” says fellow teacher Lauren Lyons. “Her ability to bring such happiness, excitement and love for music in every single music class lesson is inspirational.”
Another teacher, Raquel Ngcobo, who has been part of Ms Pienaar’s lift club from Somerset West for the past year, says, “Travelling together, we never felt that we ran out of stories in the car.”
School principal Belinda Petersen says Pienaar was leaving a “big gap“ but it was also an opportunity for a young teacher to build on foundations Ms Pienaar laid.
Ms Pienaar says she will miss her colleagues a lot and all the girls she taught over the years. “I watched the girls get older and I developed a good relationship with my individual piano pupils.”
It’s not quite the end of teaching for Ms Pienaar as next year she will take up a post at Sun Valley Primary School in Fish Hoek.