MEET THE STAFF - Part Seven - Computers

August 08, 2018 | Girls’ College

HEAD OF SUBJECT - FINZEL MARTIN

Finzel Martin

Finzel Martin studied a BA in Mathematics and Russian at Wits University after which she taught Mathematics for four years at Randfontein High on the West Rand. She then worked for many years at Billiton as a data contractor in the geophysics department. This stimulated a keen interest in computers and she went on to study a BSc at Unisa in Computer Science and Statistics part-time. She joined St Stithians Girls’ College in 2008 where she currently teaches IT and Mathematics. She is the award leader for President’s Award at the Girls’ College.

Interesting Snippets: She has two sons, one is an investment analyst and the other is a database analyst. She loves learning languages and has a keen interest in all forms of dance.

DIGITAL LEARNING COACH - KATHY AITKEN

Kathy Aitken

Kathy Aitken matriculated from St Mary’s School in Waverley, from where she went on to study a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science at Wits, a BA in History and Law through UNISA, and most recently her PGCE. She worked in the IT Industry for many years, predominantly in DBM and BI for the Financial Services Industry. In 2012 she had a complete change in direction and joined Roedean School as their IT teacher. She is passionate about encouraging girls in STEM. In 2017 she joined St Stithians Girls’ College as the Digital Learning Coach, where her role is to assist staff in incorporating technology into learning and teaching in a meaningful way. She is a Cambourne tutor, has been overseeing the MeLT and Peer Mentoring Leadership Committees, joins Striders whenever possible, and runs the GC Robotics Club with Mr Simango. She has recently joined the GC Exco Think Tank.

Interesting snippets: Her daughters are both currently in GC. However, her brothers, husband and father-in-law are all Saints alumni - so this year was the 21st Founder’s Day that she has attended!  In her “spare” time, she is a rowing mom, is actively involved in her church, and runs to keep sane.

CAT TEACHER - KAREN PRINSLOO 

Karen Prinsloo

Karen Prinsloo trained as a Physical Education and Geography teacher in the early 80s but by 1988 at Wynberg Girls’ High School was already teaching very basic computing skills, on tiny machines that had no mouse, graphics or hard drives, due to her personal interest in the new and exciting field of computers.  A Disk Operation System (DOS) course set her off in the direction of Computer Science SG which morphed into Computer Applications Technology over the years.  Karen was involved in the drafting of the DTP curriculum requirements for the WCED in the very early days of the subject’s evolvement. Karen has a BA in Human Movement Studies and two Honours degrees, BHons in HMS and a BHons in School Management. For many years Karen was a marker of the Practical Examinations.  Computer Applications Technology has recently received full status as a designated subject and is probably one of the most useful life skill subjects a student can take as it deals with the processing and use of information in the acquiring of knowledge from data. Something that all of our students will grapple with in their One Research tasks in matric and of course at university.  The nature of the subject ensures that life long learning is required in order to teach this subject, as the content matter is updated annually.

Interesting snippets: She has two daughters who both matriculated from St Stithians.  One is a qualified Entomologist and the other is off to the USA to study Data Science & play water polo.

CAT & ICT TEACHER & PENCILBOX ADMINISTRATOR - CATHERINE DABBS

Catherine Dabbs

Catherine Dabbs completed her A levels in Nairobi, Kenya after which she studied a BMus majoring in Classical Ballet and Benesh Movement Notation at UCT, graduating with distinction. She then went on to dance professionally, working in South Africa and India. Following this, Catherine began teaching dance at Bryneven Primary School where her role expanded to include, among other subjects, teaching ICT whilst studying her PGCE. She was tasked with running the Pencilbox system for the school reporting process. Catherine joined St Stithians Girls’ College in 2016 as the Pencilbox Administrator and ICT Educator. She enjoys the creative side of computing, attributing this to her innate artistic nature, eye for detail and passion for Benesh. Catherine is continually excited about the ever-evolving technological innovations that can be brought into the classroom to enhance teaching and learning. She assists with the Environmental Leadership Committee, reflecting her keen interest of nature and our place in preserving it.

Interesting snippets: Catherine loves to exercise, enjoying long walks or a yoga class and is rarely without her adored French Bulldogs.

CAT & DNT TEACHER - SHEPHERD SIMANGO

Shepherd Simango

Shepherd Simango’s teaching career started in Midlands in Zimbabwe in 1993 before taking him to teach Design and Technology in Botswana from 1998-2004. In Botswana, he assumed roles of Subject Head, Head of Optional subjects as well as Chairperson of the Northern Region Design and Technology Committee. Before joining St Stithians College in 2011, Mr Simango taught at Unity College and Heronbridge College. In addition to teaching Design and Technology, Mr Simango teaches CAT – Computer Applications Technology. His journey in using computers for educational purposes started with an Apple McIntosh in the early 90s. Over the years he has used computer applications to enhance teaching and learning and also to enable creativity in his lessons. Mr Simango has the following qualifications: Diploma in Education (UZ), Advanced Certificate in Educational Computing, BED Honours and Masters in ICT in Education (UJ). Mr Simango is also a facilitator at the Thandulwazi Saturday Teacher Development programme.

Interesting snippet: Shepherd's daughter also matriculated from St Stithians and is currently studying at Rhodes University.