World body elects Kenwyn principal as new leader

Principal of Sunlands Primary in Kenwyn, Alta van Heerden, has been elected president-elect of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP)

The head of a Kenwyn school has been chosen to lead a global body of school principals.

Sunlands Primary principal Alta van Heerden, is the president-elect of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP).

She was elected during the confederation’s convention, held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre held on Saturday 23 and Sunday September 24.

The ICP brings together school-principal organisations from all over the world to discuss challenges facing school leaders.

It promotes school leadership globally and has about 50 000 members at schools in 20 countries on all continents.

Education MEC Debbie Schafer congratulated Ms Heerden on her election, saying it reflected “the calibre of education leadership” in the country. “We look forward to learning from Ms Van Heerden and the ICP on best international practice, and to sharing our experiences,” Ms Schafer said.

Ms Van Heerden has been in education for 35 years and has led professional associations for the past 10. She has been the general secretary and president of the South African Principals’ Association (SAPA).

She has been a member of the ICP council since 2010 and has represented Africa on the ICP executive for the past four years.

She will take up her new position as president-elect in January next year and as president of the ICP in 2019.

Ms Van Heerden said she would not soon forget the reaction to the announcement of her election during the convention.

“It was an amazing but humbling experience, as South Africans and Africans responded to the announcement by breaking into spontaneous singing, ululating etc. I believe that it wasn’t just about me, but about South Africa and Africa.”