RETHA VAN NIEKERK
My biggest reward in life is to be involved in a child’s life and observe the growth in confidence from a distance. I hope to make a difference at Unity College on a daily basis, serve the pupils and families they represent and contribute to the overall growth of the school.
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
HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: SENIOR PHASE – 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.
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!
JUNIOR PHASE TEACHER –
MANDY VAN TONDER
I admire differently-abled students, as I think they see the world in such a way we all can just wish to see the it. Being a special needs educator has always been my dream. Having a special needs sister I realize the importance educators play in the lives of children, therefore I am committed to the students’ well-being, both inside and outside the classroom.
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 in the Junior Phase.
JUNIOR PHASE TEACHER –
I am very honoured to be apart of the Unity College team. When I found out I got the opportunity to work at Unity, my heart was filled with joy. I have a brother who has special needs, so it has been a passion to work with children with special needs for a long time. I am very grateful to be able to change the lives of the learners in my class and be there for them in every way I can. I look forward to a fantastic year ahead with the friendly staff and learners.
JUNIOR PHASE ASSISTANT –
I want to work at Unity College as I really love and care about these special needs children. It is important to me for our children to know they are a meaningful part of society. I am determined to make a difference in their lives in the classroom so they can be the best they can be after Unity College.
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 – ANN ALEXANDER
Education and children with barriers to learning have always been my passion. I find myself back at Unity College after sixteen years, which to me is a great honour. I admire and appreciate children who not only think differently but who also use alternative methods in learning. My goal has always been to treat each child as an individual and to provide opportunities for each student to use their preferred learning style and to allow them to investigate areas of personal interest.
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.
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.
SENIOR PHASE TEACHER –
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.
SENIOR TEACHER & VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE
– SHELTER MPHOFU
Each child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique not only capable of learning but capable of succeeding. I am privileged to join the dedicated staff at Unity College. Some see disabilities but special education teachers see possibilities. My years of experience with special needs learners taught me to be patient and empathetic. Having a deaf sister in my family taught me that disability does not mean inability.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST – CARA LEE WEIR-SMITH
I count myself blessed to be part of the Unity College team and to be able to assist the children I work with. My soul is happy when I am helping kids to feel better about themselves, to achieve, to stand up for themselves and to gain levels of independence.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT & AFTERCARE FACILITATOR – 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.
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.
FULL-TIME SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPIST –
Unity College feels like one big happy family. I especially love the warm, genuine smiles that are shared so cheerfully amongst the students and staff at Unity College. The sense of positivity, togetherness and warmth makes a day at Unity College progress harmoniously and has a clear, positive impact on the students' learning and growth.
PART-TIME 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.