“It’s going to sound strange,” Mr Janse Van der Ryst warned, “but while I have been incredibly happy at Jeppe High School for Boys over the last four years, I am also incredibly happy to be leaving.”
Mr Van der Ryst has been appointed headmaster of Queen’s College in Queenstown from the beginning of next year and, he explained, his happiness is all about taking the lessons he has learned at Jeppe and applying them at Queens next year.
“I am excited about the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and I know that the examples I have been set here, and the interaction with the amazing boys and teachers over the last four years are going to stand me in good stead.”
There are two things about Jeppe that he will take with him, he said.
“In the first instance there is the inclusivity that you find here. Any boy who goes along with the Jeppe values is immediately accepted by all, so all sorts of boys fit in well,” he said.
Then there is the sense of family that you find at Jeppe. “The entire community: boys, teachers, parents and old boys really stick together. There have been so many stories of everyone rallying around and doing what was needed when someone needed help.”
Janse Van der Ryst was appointed at Jeppe as director of rugby in 2014. 18 months later he was promoted to deputy principal, and six months after that he became director of sport.
“I believe I grew I all of those roles, thanks to those around me, and I am happy that I leave them in better shape that when I arrived,” he said.
He was also head of Oribi House and found that experience uplifting and fulfilling. “In the hostel you really get to know the boys and it was there that I got to learn what the Jeppe family spirit is all about,” he said.
The entire Jeppe community wishes Mr van der Ryst success and happiness as he climbs the next rung on the ladder of his career in education.