Staff at St James
Staff at St James Preparatory School provide for a wide range of curriculum programs and learning experiences that support the academic and social development of students.
Headmaster, Grade 6 Class Teacher, Senior Grade Maths Teacher
Mr Dilep Kala
Mr Kala holds an Honours Bachelor’s Degree Cum Laude in the field of study: Education Management. "Passion comes from experience, the joy of teaching mathematics with reason, understanding, engaging critically with relevant mathematical theories, applying new ideas and approaches, making student’s learning active and to reflect on and share experiences purposefully. Teaching in this way makes my day meaningful and improves student’s non-cognitive skills such as perseverance, self-control, attentiveness, resilience, empathy and tolerance of diverse opinions."
Early Childhood Development Class Teacher
Mrs Natisha Vithal
Mrs Vithal is a passionate Montessorian, and has been a Montessori Directress for over 10 years. She enjoys a challenge, watching the delight of the child when he opens his eyes from a meditation and when he reads for the first time. “An individualised and flexible curriculum and meeting the child where he/she is at (developmentally and spiritually) is what I think makes the difference in a St James Child. The St James ethos guides me daily to remember my purpose as a teacher - to draw out the knowledge that we all already have within, and that is true for each child.” Her areas of special expertise are assisting struggling children with literacy and educating parents on ECD, and how they can contribute to their child's development.
Grade 1 Class Teacher
Mrs Chandrika Kala
Mrs Kala has been a teacher for over 30 years, specialising on Montessori and Early Childhood Development. “I have had the opportunity to facilitate children from all socio-economic backgrounds - this has taught me that each child is unique and all they need is a loving, caring, and stimulating environment for them to blossom to their full potential.” Mrs Kala was instrumental in establishing Montessori at St James, and moved into Grade 1 after 15 years in ECD. “Teaching at St James has empowered me and strengthened my belief in the advantages of Advaita philosophy, together with our philosophical ethos of Truth, Love and Service.”
Grade 2 Class Teacher
Mrs Nadira Khoosal
Mrs Khoosal has been a teacher at St James for over eleven years, practicing in the areas of early childhood development and foundation phase. She is a teacher who believes learning is fun and you do not have to force it to be fun or turn education into ‘infotainment ‘. The child and the adult derive joy from learning and expanding their minds. St James offers the child the opportunity to be engaged in all areas of development - academic, physical, social and spiritual.
Grade 3 Class Teacher
Mrs Maryna Park
Mrs Park has been a full-time teacher at St James since 2013. She is passionate about reducing academic inequalities and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure fairness for all pupils. “It is important for me to help students to be more than good learners but also to become good citizens and to help them grow into lifelong learners in an information economy. In order for learners to reach their full potential they need to discover and understand their unique style of learning. In my teaching practice I allow a lot of time for collaboration as I believe that students learn from each other and need to interact with each other in order to internalize the subject matter.”
Grade 4 Class Teacher, Senior Grades English & GP Teacher
Mrs Rakhee Keeka
Mrs Keeka is an English specialist teacher at St James Preparatory School. She has experience teaching international students, locally and abroad. She teaches grades 3 – 7 English as well as the Cambridge subject “Global Perspectives” to Grades 4 and 5. Mrs Keeka has achieved greatly since she has joined the St James Team. One of her major achievements includes raising the Cambridge Primary Checkpoint 2020 exam results for English. Her mission in teaching is to enhance learners’ communication skills and encourage learners to improve and achieve by providing them with individual support.
Grade 5 Class Teacher, Senior Grades Science & GP Teacher
Mr Gregory Jones
Mr Gregory Jones is a passionate, creative and innovative teacher who currently leads our Senior Grade Science and Grade 6 and 7 Global Perspectives. His journey at St James began in 2009. His responsibilities over the years have included teaching, event and administrative assistance; IT co-ordination; leading soccer and coding extra-curricular clubs; and teaching (with qualifications: B.Ed and Cambridge Assessment Certificate) primary and senior grade IT, Mathematics, Science, Geography and Global Perspectives.
Grade 7 Class Teacher, Head of Philosophy & Sanskrit
Mr John Curle
Mr Curle is a senior member of the School of Practical Philosophy, and is head of Philosophy at St James. He has had many years experience teaching Philosophy to children. In line with the vision of the founder of the St James Schools worldwide, that is to give the children the simple principles of spiritual knowledge, Mr Curle teaches Philosophy to all the St James students from Grade 1 to Grade 7. Mr Curle is also head of Sanskrit at St James. He has studied Sanskrit since 1990 within the School of Practical Philosophy. He teaches Sanskrit and Sanskrit Calligraphy to all grades (1-7).
Mr Vusi Cele
Mr Cele has taught at St James for 13 years, and holds the position of Sports Coach from Grades 00 to Grade 7. His vision includes seeing St James take part in all athletic events as well as introducing Gymnastics into the Junior Primary. Cricket, Soccer and Netball are also on his horizon. Mr Cele is a keen athlete and has run 7 Comrades Marathons over the last 8 years.
Specialist Art Teacher, Grade 7 Technology Teacher
Mrs Alisa Ray
Mrs Ray has always had an interest in people and their histories and artistic expressions. She studied African and Asian Art History and Archaeology at SOAS (London) in the 1990s. She applied her knowledge working with diverse communities across Gauteng as a community arts practitioner. She has facilitated visual art classes in community settings since 2005 and has worked as a community arts counsellor since 2011. She sees art as an essential component in emotional development and well being. She also continues to create her own art.
Specialist Abhinaya Teacher
Mrs Deirdre Curle
Mrs Curle has taught at St James since 2002, and currently teaches Abhinaya to boys and girls from Early Learning through to Grade 7. Mrs Curle has a background in western classical dance, and has studied Abhinaya within the School of Practical Philosophy for over 20 years. She teaches adult groups and also performs on a regular basis within the school. She is passionate about how movement can be used to help children on so many levels – coordination, rhythm, confidence, focus as well as maintain a deep inner stillness even while performing complex activities.
Mrs Page Jones - School Secretary
Mrs Ansie van Berg - Bursar
Mrs Elna Deeke - Librarian
Mr Joseph Bwanali - Chef
Mr Phumlani Khanya - Groundsman
Mrs Margret Mbatha - Cleaning Staff
Ms Buyisiwe Mhlongo - Cleaning Staff
Ms Maggie Gamede - Cleaning Staff