Returning Teacher, New Principal

20 July 2017 | Culture

Returning back to the school you previously taught at and suddenly become the new principal can be a daunting task, but for Ms Ilse Palomba this was a challenge she was ready to take on!
A graduate of The Denneoord Teacher’s College in Stellenbosch, Ms Palomba originally wanted to become a social worker to work with children and their struggles in life. She eventually became a teacher, because her father thought it would be a good idea. Her father’s good idea turned out to be a very good one, because she loved doing teaching and she was still able to work with children and their difficulties (at times) which truly became her passion. She says that her favourite part of being a teacher and principal is, “to know that I can make the difference in someone’s life today. Nelson Mandela said, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ I am privileged to be part of the process.”
She started teaching at Dolphin back when it just opened. “I started with five Grade 5 students in 2003: Tessa, Stefani, Gerhard, Chrisna and Madré. Our school started in a house that belonged to the owner of the school. Six months down the line, Juffrou Denise Theron joined. We started building the school just before December of the next year, continued building right through December (builder’s holiday) and in January 2004 we moved into our new school. More and more students came - and more teachers. Ownership changed. We expanded the property, the number of teachers and students, school fees, extra-murals activities, subjects, administrative staff and vehicles. Today we provide a first class service to the community. We know our children are well-prepared for life by excellent staff,’’ said Ms Palomba, remembering the growth of The Dolphin Schools.
She is proud to say that she is the newly appointed principal of The Dolphin Secondary School. “Many, many years ago when most of the children in our school were not yet born, I became the first and only teacher at The Dolphin Elementary School. I watched this school grow. It is pretty much like giving birth to a child and then watch it grow and develop. The Dolphin Schools did the same. It grew and grew and developed and developed, into the beauty that it is today. The teachers and the children all together form a formidable team. What is there not to be proud of? I am extremely proud, not only to be part of the school, but also to be able to help steer this ship.”
Ms Ilse Palomba wants to “educate adults into knowing that their children should be well prepared for the future. Parents should know that things have changed from the days when they were scholars. We have different systems of teaching to choose from. In my opinion the IEB system is the best one to prepare a child for tertiary studies,” she explains.
What are her future plans for TDS? “I want our school to be the best academic choice anyone can make. You can say what you want, Walvis Bay has unfortunately not provided a large number of people who have excelled enough in sport to be able to make a living of it. Academic qualifications are still by afar the most important. Students and their parents must realise that The Dolphin Schools are the right place for academic qualifications. I want parents to know that.”
Some fun facts about Ms Ilse is that her favourite colour is blue, her favourite movie is, “The Book Thief”, her current favourite songs are some old school music such as Theuns Jordaan’s “Beautiful in Beaufort-Wes”, Andriette’s “Sewe Oseane”, Sara Bareilles’s “Brave” and her dad’s favourite “Cotton Fields”. Three things that she refuses to leave the house with are her cell phone; her dogs, Zeus and Paco; and a hundred dollars in her pocket.
“At last! Now concentrate to be like one of your mentors,” were her thoughts on becoming the principal of The Dolphin Schools. I wish her luck on her new position and I know that she was the best choice for the job!

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