Goodbye, principal Bellingham

As of next term, principal Marié Bellingham’s (63) office at Laerskool Nobel Primary School in Modderfontein will be empty. After 41 years in education, she is retiring. A new principal will be announced next year.

After the October school holiday, learners from Laerskool Nobel Primary School in Modderfontein won’t find their beloved principal in her office. After 36 years as a teacher and five as principal, Marié Bellingham (63) will retire.

“I always had a passion for teaching. There was nothing else I wanted to do,” the mother of three and grandmother of four told Express.

Bellingham initially studied to become a math and physical education teacher for learners from Grade Four to Seven, but when she landed her first job in 1977 as a foundation phase teacher in Pretoria, she never looked back.

“The little ones always showed more respect and you could see their progress better,” she explained.

In 1992 Bellingham started working at Nobel Primary. She became a head of a department in 2000 and principal in 2013.

“I will cherish the way I was treated throughout my career, especially here at Nobel. I would like to thank everyone who had an influence on my life and made it easy for me to do my work.”

Her hope for the school is that it will continue to move forward.

“I’m very proud of this school. Our learners travel from far and it isn’t always easy for them, but they don’t stand back for any other school in Kempton Park. Keep up the good work.”

These learners made Bellingham happy to be a teacher.

“Teachers must not be discouraged by learners who don’t give their best. The majority of children are still working hard.”

  AUTHOR
Paula-Ann Smit
Journalist

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