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Curro Hermanus teacher in top 10 of Teacher of the Year competition

Hannes Coetzee, the Dramatic Arts teacher at Curro Hermanus High School, has recently claimed a spot in the top 10 finalists for the high school category of the 2023 Solidarity Teacher of the Year competition. This feat surprised no one who knows him. Hannes truly stands as a jewel in the crown of education.

Hannes earned his BA in Drama at the University of Pretoria in 1998 and tackled several successful projects before feeling the calling to enrich the young minds in his community. In 2010, he started his teaching career at Randburg High School, where he developed and fine-tuned his own teaching philosophy. For Hannes, teaching goes far beyond the mere transfer of knowledge. ‘This realisation amplifies and solidifies my passion for making a difference in the lives of the learners who cross my path,’ he declares.

Confident that his learners can tackle life with aplomb, Hannes doesn't skimp on preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead. In 2018, he moved to Onrus, Hermanus and took on roles as the Head of Culture and Drama Specialist at Curro Hermanus. Though a 2021 accident partially impaired him, it also underscored the priceless value of community and compassion. ‘My passion for my subject and my learners ensures I will never throw in the towel,’ Hannes affirms.

This significant nomination, Hannes says, is a tribute to two teachers who influenced his life, Marie Tromp, his Grade 2 teacher who has never stopped believing in him, and Maggie Olivier, who now resides in England and has been both muse and confidante. ‘A salute to both of you!’ exclaims a grateful Hannes, before adding that it is a gift from God that he is in the position to make a difference.

So, as we all eagerly await the gala event for the announcement of the winners. It's clear that many already consider Hannes a winner. The gala will take place on 6 December 2023 in Pretoria, and whether or not Hannes receives the award, his imprint on his learners and colleagues remains unforgettable. That, dear staff, is the real measure of an extraordinary teacher.