‘We’re humbled’ – heads praise outstanding class of 2023
Lorraine Srage – principal, King David Linksfield
Academic excellence is a journey marked by dedication, perseverance, and a thirst for knowledge. It goes beyond merely earning good grades, it reflects a commitment to intellectual growth and the pursuit of one’s highest potential.
King David High School Linksfield has been, and always will be, an institution of academic excellence and we know that with each passing year, our results outdo themselves. What’s important to the teachers of this school is that by the time every student receives their results, they do so knowing that their unique potential has been realised. We hope that our students feel proud of their accomplishments and that they can enter the next phase of life with confidence and pride.
This isn’t to say that the results don’t count. We’re so incredibly proud of every student. But there’s more to it than the number of distinctions per head. We aim for our school to measure that which cannot be plotted on a graph. We aspire to work with the parents of our school to make sure that their children, our students, are well-adjusted and happy, that they understand that Jewish education at this level is a privilege, and that they realise that the greatest possible rewards come from the opportunities we must give of ourselves to our community and our country.
We cannot chart these achievements; there are no statistics that account for the values of kindness, loyalty, Zionism, and selflessness. We know that these are the principles upon which our school stands, and we stand firmly and successfully only because we share this philosophy.
So my message to the matrics of 2023 is to stand firm in your foundations of the academic, the spiritual, the physical, and the emotional. Nurture your bodies as well as your minds. Nurture your friends and treasure your families. Because with a solid foundation, you can weather whatever storms come your way.
We have a world-class staff who have guided you from Grade 8 to where you stand today, and I cannot thank them enough.
Mazeltov to all on your incredible results! May the naches that you have brought to your families and to our school shine the way forward for you to grab every opportunity that comes your way with the enthusiasm of youth.
I’m so proud of you. And you’re forever part of the foundations of King David High School Linksfield.
Shane Brorson – principal, Herzlia High School
We’re exceptionally proud of the incredible achievements of our 2023 matric group. These results are phenomenal in light of the turbulent times that our pupils faced. They were a really tight-knit group with an incredible spirit. An immense love for and pride in Herzlia, and always embracing the values of Jewish life.
We’re thrilled that one of our pupils was awarded the “2023 NSC [National Senior Certificate] National Top Candidate in South Africa for Independent Schools”. Though we celebrate our high achievers and their academic distinctions, it’s important to remember that these achievements are part of the bigger picture.
Many pupils have faced significant challenges along their educational journey. Their success isn’t just a mark of their hard work and persistence, but also of their remarkable ability to keep going despite these challenges.
Kudos must be given to the Herzlia teachers who have supported our matric pupils on their academic journey. Their commitment and always going the extra mile have been instrumental in their success.
The work of Herzlia’s Counselling and Educational Support Department (SEED) has provided invaluable support, care, and guidance to pupils and their parents, as well as to teaching staff.
Their contribution is a significant part of what makes our school’s educational experience so powerful. The fact that Herzlia is an academically inclusive school makes our matric results even more impressive. We’re proud to offer a truly holistic education which isn’t just results-oriented but focuses on the values, skills, and relationships that pupils develop over time as part of our school community.
Morah Rebecca Sarchi – principal, Torah Academy
Mazaltov to our matriculants of 2023! We’re so proud of your achievements.
At Torah Academy, we believe in a holistic education and individual potential. We understand the idea that a person’s worth and capabilities go beyond the marks they receive in academic settings. Achievements should be measured by one’s potential rather than just the actual marks or accomplishments. Assessing someone’s potential involves considering their skills, talents, and the ability to grow and adapt, rather than solely focusing on past achievements or grades.
It aligns with the idea that people can continue to develop and achieve great things beyond what may be evident in their track record. This perspective encourages a forward-looking approach, where individuals are supported and recognised for their capacity to learn, improve, and contribute, rather than being solely judged based on past performance. It also highlights the importance of providing opportunities for individuals to explore and reach their full potential.
Students have various talents, skills, and interests that may not always be reflected in standardised testing or traditional grading systems. Recognising and nurturing these diverse talents is crucial for a well-rounded education. Education isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s also about character development, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to work collaboratively. These aspects aren’t always captured by grades, but are essential for personal and professional success. Important life skills such as communication, resilience, adaptability, and creativity are often not fully reflected in academic grades.
These skills are crucial for navigating the complexities of the real world. Emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills are increasingly recognised as vital components of success. These qualities may not be apparent in a grade, but play a significant role in personal and professional relationships.
Education is a lifelong journey, and the ability to learn, unlearn, and adapt is essential. A person’s growth and development extend beyond the confines of a classroom, and that’s why at Torah Academy, we ensure that in addition to our academic stream, we also make sure that every student is given the opportunity to excel, shine, and thrive in all areas of their school career.
Though we don’t believe that marks define a student, we’re ecstatic at what our students have achieved, fulfilling their potential, measuring themselves against themselves, and attaining the marks that they need to continue their studies further. We’re aware that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations, and we’re thrilled that the learning process has been filled with inspiration, personal development, and above all, loads of fun.
As you continue on your individual life journeys, remember that life is a journey not a race. Every day gives us opportunities for new experiences. Enjoy every one of them, and may your future be filled with abundant successes and happiness.
Rabbi Steven Krawitz – principal, Hirsch Lyons Boys High School
The Hirsch Lyons matric class of 2023 has a special place in my heart. Not many principals get to teach a class for six years, but I had the privilege of that honour with both the boys’ and the girls’ classes. I taught them both social science in Grades 7, 8, and 9, through the COVID-19 pandemic, and history and chumash in the senior grades. I’ve been humbled by Hirsch Lyon students’ love of Torah, dedication to klal Israel, the development of their middos, and their pursuit of all-round excellence.
I now feel like a parent whose children have left the house to pursue their life goals. But, as hard as the departure of children and students is, this is a natural step for them to become the people they are realising their potential to become.
I’m satisfied that Hirsch Lyons and I had a share to play in each of these wonderful people’s journey. Hirsch Lyons had 25 matriculants, and achieved an average of 3.8 distinctions per student. Most of our students chose not to have their picture published in the media, so the students you see in the SA Jewish Report are a small sample. My blessing to all my dear students is that you continue to walk in the light of the Torah, and that each one of you becomes a light of goodness in the world to dispel the darkness.
Andrew Baker – headmaster, King David Victory Park
The Zulu greeting “sawubona” literally translates to “I see you”. It recognises the worth and dignity of each person. “I see the whole of you – your experiences, your passions and pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You’re valuable to me.” While we celebrate the outstanding achievements of the class of 2023, we recognise and celebrate the unique qualities of each of our matric students.
Rob Long – principal, Yeshiva College
Teachers go into education because they have faith in human beings and believe that educating our youth will lead to better societies in the future.
At Yeshiva College, we have great faith in the matriculants that graduate from our campus each year. As a school, we believe that matric isn’t about what you’re going to do after school, but rather about who you’ll become. The continuation of kodesh studies into the matric year certainly builds on this.
Our school has consistently achieved an average of at least 3.5 distinctions for the past 10 years, but this year’s results reflect an unprecedented high, of which we’re enormously proud. At Yeshiva College, we believe that education is a partnership between parents, students, and teachers. The support of our parents allowed our matric students and teachers to work exceptionally hard, and I’m humbled by their commitment, diligence, and all-round effort.
This year, each student achieved at least one distinction, with our class of 33 pupils achieving a total of 154 distinctions between them. All matric students achieved a university entrance pass, and the class of 2023 achieved a remarkable average distinction rate of 4.67 across the grade. Also impressive is the fact that the grade average across all subjects was 79.6%, and that the class achieved an A-aggregate in 10 of the subjects offered at our school. Eleven students received recognition from the Independent Examinations Board (IEB), achieving positions in the top 1% of candidates in one or more subjects, and several of our students received special mention from the IEB.
What we at Yeshiva College are most proud of is that each student achieved their personal best results in the context of their struggles and triumphs, a dual curriculum, and a full extra mural offering. We wish our graduating class of 2023 much success for their future. We know that they will continue to fulfil our faith in the human spirit.