HEADMASTER – DEON VISSER
My passion and love for children has always been the motivating factor for me remaining in education for more than 40 years in spite of receiving very lucrative offers from outside of education. I believe that it was God’s plan and will for me that my teaching career must reach its pinnacle here at Unity College.
HEAD OF ACADEMICS & HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: JUNIOR PHASE – VANESSA SMITH
My first encounter with Unity students was during one of the school’s shopping excursions. I was immediately struck by the politeness of the students and their unabated enthusiasm. I knew then that I would enjoy teaching at Unity College. My objective is to allow each child to reach their full potential in a nonjudgmental environment abounding with acceptance and love. I am delighted to be a part of the strong team who work cooperatively to impact in a positive way on the lives of these special children
ACTING HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: SENIOR PHASE –
What I enjoy most at Unity College is the privilege of being part of a dedicated and friendly team of special learners and educators. It is quite fulfilling to see learners demonstrating their unique talents, gifts, strengths and creativity despite their learning challenges. Teaching numeracy, literacy and design and technology in Special Education is my newly found and exciting experience especially after teaching in mainstream for a long time.
ACTING HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: INTERMEDIATE PHASE –
Special needs has been my passion for many, many years. I have been around the block a few times , but since I have been part of Unity College, special needs has taken me to another dimension. I am so proud to be part of an incredible team that leaves no stone unturned to ensure the learners progress.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER – MICHELLE KIRK
You need only walk in the door, see the children and some of the most passionate, most caring individuals I’ve been fortunate to meet, to understand why one wants to be a part of this FAMILY. Unity is just that, the uniting of special individuals from diverse backgrounds all working towards the same goal and with more love and kindness than I’ve seen in my 24+ years of working experience. This is a great place and an HONOUR to be a part of.
ADMIN ASSISTANT –
The reason why I enjoy working at Unity College is working with a team of very special people! I was born with right-hand side haemoplegia and Cerebral Palsy, which often makes it difficult for me to keep my balance, but knowing that there are children who have the same difficulties as I do, it just inspires me to know that they can cope with it as well as I can. These children are very special indeed!
EARLY INTERVENTION & JUNIOR PHASE ASSISTANT –
I love to work with children and have been a classroom assistant for children with special needs for many years. I have also been a facilitator for special needs children. It has always been my dream to work at Unity College; so I was very excited to be given the opportunity to work with teacher Marlize.
JUNIOR PHASE TEACHER –
I have a cousin who is special needs, she lives in Portugal. I met her a couple of times when I was younger but I didn’t understand much about Downs Syndrome at that time. As I got older and spent more time visiting my family in Portugal, my interest in (and need to understand) special needs children started to grow more and more. I have worked with special needs children in my pre-school experience and really enjoyed the challenge.
JUNIOR PHASE ASSISTANT –
I am working at Unity College because I like to work with people, especially with kids. I am glad to work in this school because it is a special school and I’m prepared to do all that I can do, to see this school to its best potential. I would love to see our learners out there somewhere, making a difference in our country or in the world as a whole.
INTERMEDIATE PHASE TEACHER – TONIC SIBANDA
It all started in 1998 when I was still a mainstream teacher. I used to see and hear teachers complaining about children with learning difficulties. I was really touched by the plight of these children and, with the permission of the principal, decided to open a special class for them. Wow, what an experience! As those children began to feel the love of a teacher, their confidence and self esteem started to grow and they began to enjoy school. My passion for working with children with disabilities is still as strong today.
INTERMEDIATE PHASE ASSISTANT – ZINTLE MGABHI
The love I have for working with children lead me to Unity College. I am grateful that I can work with the amazing children of Unity and be a part of them reaching their milestones. The love they give really fills my heart with joy and certifies that I am fulfilling my calling to teaching.
SENIOR PHASE TEACHER – JOHANN DU PREEZ-ACKERMAN
Sometimes a little experience upsets a lot of theory. I truly believe that vocational training of the youth is the ultimate solution. That is why I so strongly advocate this for our special children. We are just limited by our own thoughts. This is my motto in life and work.
SENIOR PHASE L/O TEACHER – DEBBIE RöHRS
I grew up with a brother with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He was extraordinary; so were my parents in dealing with all the challenges associated with his disability. I am therefore very empathetic and have a special interest in working with children with learning difficulties and special needs. There is nothing more fulfilling than witnessing children starting to believe in themselves, growing and reaching full potential. To be accepted for who they are.
ACTING HOD & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST –
NICOLE VAN DEN BERG
Working at Unity College is a true honour. I am proud and excited to be afforded the opportunity to work as part of a team of passionate and talented staff. It is great to be a part of a collaborative effort to empower and facilitate independence in the children attending our school.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT – HAZEL KEKANA
It is an honour and privilege to work with the learners in this school. What a wonderful opportunity UNITY COLLEGE has given me to get to know these special children. If you have determination, perseverance and open your heart for these children you will make it to the place called success.
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPIST –
Communication is one of the most important tools we use to let the world and the people in it know our thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears and dreams. Every single child will have a unique way of doing this. My passion and, I believe, purpose in life is to find and refine these communication skills. Working with special needs in a school setting has always been a dream of mine. Once we see the ability within a disability we are able to support every child to excel and perform to the best of their abilities.
SPEECH THERAPIST –
I find so much joy in working with the learners at Unity College and making such a big difference in their lives. Being able to help them communicate effectively and reaching their full potential by working within a highly qualified team is very rewarding. I knew that this was the place for me as soon as I stepped through the doors and I hope to continue to hold up the high standards of Unity College.
COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST – MARILISE NEL
Unity College has a remarkable and almost tangible essence of dedication and hope, which is something that stood out for me when I first came to the school. I knew that I wanted to be part of this team. Unity College is affording me the opportunity to pursue my passion and work holistically with children and their families, with input across various disciplines such as speech and occupational therapy, in order to offer each child the most optimal treatment.
From the moment that I set foot on the grounds of Unity College towards the end of May 2008 to attend an interview, the pervasive sense of tranquillity and containment which speaks to the very essence of all that the school stands for, resonated deep within me. Facilitating the Unity children’s social development and promoting their emotional wellness significantly enhances my own personal growth. They always give back more than what they are given – because they want to – and because they can.