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Our founders

A shared vision, hard work, sleepless nights, several leaps of faith … and it was all worth it in the end. Curro’s four founders recently shared their stories with Curro Alumni.

 

Dr Chris van der Merwe 

The true founding father; the idea for Curro came from his brilliant mind. Along with the idea, all he needed to turn his vision into reality was three brave co-founders, 28 learners, a church and, of course, his wife, Stephnie. She is the real pioneer – the quiet force that kept him going. 

Their initial plan was to rent an old house where they would teach forty learners in Grade 4, in English and Afrikaans. As they told friends about their idea of a home school, more and more people started hearing about it and parents began stopping them after school, saying ‘surely you can’t take only 40 learners. It must be a bigger school’. And that’s how the ball started rolling …. 

Read his full story here. 

 

Thys Franken 

Hailed as a brilliant headmaster by his colleagues back in the day, Thys Franken was not a man you’d mess with. His formidable dark moustache and steely gaze could get any noisy kid to pipe down, yet his big heart and in-depth knowledge of school management and curriculum development made him an inspirational leader and much-loved head of primary school.  

When deciding to put his weight behind Curro as one of the four founders, Thys knew that it would be a risk, but looking back now, he knows that Curro was a success because they took things step by step – like a sculptor; chipping away at a big block of granite.  

Read his full story here. 

 

Eddie Conradie (snr) 

With his characteristic gravelly from-the-belly roar of laughter, his passion for people and their success, and a knack for telling captivating stories, this teddy bear of a man could sell the proverbial ice to an Eskimo! No wonder he rose from beloved primary school teacher to Curro’s marketing manager.  

As one of the founding four, ‘oom Eddie’ took a massive leap of faith when he resigned without pension to join his friends in opening Curro. But his unwavering faith and passion for teaching made a difference in so many children’s lives that he hasn’t ever regretted his decision. 

Read his full story here. 

 

Eduard (BoetieUngerer 

With a warm heart, a great sense of humour and a passion for seeing children improve personally and academically, Eduard (BoetieUngerer returned to the classroom after not having seen the inside of one for at least 12 years, when Curro opened its doors in a church in Vierlanden, Bellville. 

From teaching four grades in one classroom (in two languages), playing bus driver to early-bird learners, and taking a great leap of faith in resigning to start a new venture, his journey and memories vary from scary to hilarious, but his heart always stayed with his learners. 

Read his full story here.