Diligence and resilience pave the road to success

Elnic Coetzee
Westside High School recently held its annual grade 11 and Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level prize-giving and valedictory ceremony at school. It was well attended by many proud and excited learners, but the parents were prouder and even more excited.
On this day, the school not only bid farewell to the valedictorians of 2023, but also celebrated the achievements of learners as well as that of the beloved principal, Veneza Memory Rheeder. She received her master’s degree in English language teaching from Rhodes University in absentia on the same day.
She inspired and motivated the audience with her testimony and shared her story of resilience and how she attained success in spite of her circumstances, and coming from an impoverished background.
Dr Titus Haimbili, who holds a doctorate in business and is the director of the International University of Management, delivered a speech that focused on resilience, hard work, perseverance and a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Pastor Davon from CRC also shared a very powerful word from the Bible, saying: "All things are possible with God by your side and you should seize every opportunity that comes your way".
The learners received certificates, trophies and monetary prizes for their excellent academic achievements and also for their commitment toward their assigned duties, including scholar patrol, learners representative council (LRC), library prefects and editorial team.
Some of the main awards included: The photographic enterprises award, which is awarded to an individual that excels in commerce, shows potential in all aspects of their academic career and is versatile in academics. This was awarded to Lucia Heita in grade 12.
Carmen Brockerhoff was awarded the principal’s award for her outstanding leadership, exceptional maturity and commitment. The principal’s award is not based on academic performance, but an individual who embodies the characteristics of a Westside learner.
Franklin Coetzee was awarded the dux learner, which is the highest academic achievement.
A few valedictorians delivered speeches, sharing their high school experience, lessons learnt and encouraged fellow learners before saying their final goodbyes. They also blessed the audience with joyful singing and dancing.
The teachers expressed their pride and joy through gifting them with small presents. Ms. Fischer stated: ‘’ My heart is full of joy and I am proud, because I can see the hard work and effort every teacher puts into their learners pays off at the end of the day’’.
The day concluded with them singing the school anthem one last time with hearts full of pride and honour.
"We hope through hearing each individual’s story, it could motivate you to be resilient and remember the sky is the limit."