After 19 years at the helm of the International School of Cape Town, principal David Hunter is retiring.
His teaching career spans 40 years and started at a high school in Polokwane, Limpopo, in the 1980s, and he has served as principal at three schools.
According to Mr Hunter, the ISCT, was in financial difficulty and at risk of closing when he arrived in 2003. The school’s main campus at Woodland Heights was originally a privately owned estate with a terraced garden that was carefully retrofitted to accommodate 200 students without compromising the natural features that make the site, built in 1920s, a heritage property.
“We got some overseas backing, which was very helpful. And once things stabilised a bit, we started to get the numbers to grow.”
Since then, the Woodland Heights campus added six more classrooms and the Struben House campus, which accommodates the youngest pupils, opened in 2016.
The school offers a UK-based curriculum, from nursery level to Year 9, the equivalent of South Africa’s Grade 9, and a Cambridge curriculum and examinations from Year 10 and up.
“We are hard on education; we produce some really good academic results,” says Mr Hunter. “We have written A levels here for the last 22 years. There has only been one year where we have not gotten a 100% pass rate at A levels, and that was somebody who dropped one subject. So our academic levels have been very good.”
The school will mark its 25th anniversary next year.
“Our philosophy is if it has always been done like that, let’s have a look and see if that is still the right way of doing things. So we have changed a lot, we roll with the times.”
He says the school strives to produce young people who are going to be contributing members of society with an understanding of the complexities that society presents to them.
The deputy principal, Katherine Reed, will take the reins next year.
“When the deputy resigned at the end of 2019, she came and joined us in June the following year, and she has made a huge difference,” says Mr Hunter. “She is going to take what we’ve got here and put it on the next level.”