Durban - Glenwood High School announced on Thursday the appointment of its first woman principal. Andri Barnes, an experienced leader at the elite school, she follows a long line of headmasters in its 108-year history.
Barnes has been on the academic staff at Glenwood since 1997. She headed the history department and served as a head of department for many years. For 10 years she was deputy principal and recently took responsibility for the top school when she was appointed acting principal.
Barnes brings a wealth of leadership experience to the position and an in-depth knowledge of the educational and developmental needs of young men. She is a respected academic, having recently submitted a PhD thesis on a topic, “Teenage boys’ constructions of masculinities”.
Further experience, which stands her in good stead, has been the role she has played in the leadership and management of the boarding establishment over many years.
Barnes also chose Glenwood as the school where her son was educated.
"I should like to congratulate the selection committee on the appointment. The qualty of the incumbent speaks for itself," said chairman of the school's governing body Barnard van Rooyen. "We are here to give our sons the very best chance in life, and so it is most reassuring to know that our leader is well versed in the thoughts and turmoils that might beset them.
"What I am sure many can identify with is that a woman is often the most important role model in the world of young men. Yes, we are admired for our sporting prowess, our easy relationship with other dads and lads, but who do we turn to for qualities of warmth and compassion. It is fortunate Mrs Barnes has the skill set to meet the demands of heading a school such as ours. Here qualities of integrity, grace, courage and empathy are a bonus indeed," he said. "I pledge my support to you."