New Head appointed to St Stithians Girls' College: Dr Sally James

February 17, 2017 | Campus

St Stithians College is pleased to announce that Dr Sally James has been appointed as the new Head of the Girls' College. She succeeds the current Head, Mrs Ivanka Acquisto, who will be taking up the position of Executive Head at St Andrew’s School for Girls in Senderwood.

Below is a letter written by our Rector Dr Tim Nuttall.

Letter from Dr Tim Nuttall, Rector

I am pleased to inform you of the appointment of Dr Sally James as our new Head of School at the Girls’ College. Dr James will take up this position at the start of Term 3 this year, having served out her notice period at her current school.

Dr James stood out as the top candidate in a field of excellent applicants and, through a rigorous process, impressed the two successive short-listing and selection panels. These selection panels consisted of members of the Governance Committee of Council, including the Chair and Deputy Chair of Council, as well as other Council members, two current Heads of School at St Stithians, the Head of Human Resources and myself as the chair. The search and selection process was wide-ranging and drew interest from across the country, signalling the stature of St Stithians College.

Through the interview process, Dr James articulated a compelling educational vision and values framework which will provide direction and energy in her leadership of the Girls’ College during its next phase. This vision articulates very well with the current strategic intent of St Stithians and the framework of Strategy 2025.

Dr James has a distinguished career to date, and has worked in three prominent girls’ schools – the Diocesan School for Girls’ (DSG) in Grahamstown, and Kingsmead College and St Mary’s School in Johannesburg. Her subject field is Geography, and she is currently the IEB’s national examiner. She was Head of the Geography Department at Kingsmead, followed by a period of lecturing and researching in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, and is currently a Deputy Head at St Mary’s School in Waverley.

Dr James was awarded her education doctorate in 2013, and has written and presented extensively on a range of educational topics. She is a thought leader, a promoter of best practice in the holistic education of girls, and is excited by the synergy model represented by St Stithians as a College of seven schools.

Dr James will, through her leadership of the Girls’ College and participation on the College Executive Committee, contribute with significance to the intent of St Stithians to inspire excellence and to make a world of difference. 

Sally James’s personal interests and hobbies include running, hiking, mountain biking, gardening, bird watching, reading and travelling.

We welcome Sally and her husband, Jonathan, to our community.

Yours sincerely,

Dr T A Nuttall

Some words from Dr Sally James, newly appointed head of the Girls' College

"The attempt to create a schooling context where girls are free to explore, experiment and investigate speaks to who I am as a South African woman attempting to influence and inspire those around me," said Dr James.

"More than ever we require a society of strong women leaders who will go on to tackle the vast array of challenges and complexities within society at large. I believe whole-heartedly in fostering a culture of all round achievement, while at the same time providing girls with the necessary discovery and developmental support – both being paramount to success and individual happiness,” she added.

“I believe in the purpose of educating young women as lifelong learners exiting into the wider world as brave, courageous, and passionate young leaders who will have the correct value system and perspective to make sound and sustainable decisions,” said Dr James.