It takes a special teacher

FREEDOM TO RELAX: Phillipa Fabbri sips on a carrot, apple and lemon juice at Bocadillo’s. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
FREEDOM TO RELAX: Phillipa Fabbri sips on a carrot, apple and lemon juice at Bocadillo’s. Picture: EUGENE COETZEE

THE director of Elsen Academy – an independent special needs school she helped found 10 years ago – took a break from the classroom when she joined La Femme for brunch on Freedom Day.

Philippa Fabbri founded Elsen Academy 1 with Katherine Liebenberg with only a few primary school classes.

Today the Bird Street special needs private school has taken those first pupils through matric, and this year has a partnership with Damelin’s Intec to provide post-school vocational training.

The former head of the SA Association for Learning and Educational Difficulties has a lighter side – perhaps not surprising being married to well-known Bay comedian and musician Gino Fabbri.

The wacky comedian and dedicated teacher have two sons, aged 11 and 14.

Walmer-based Fabbri enjoys Bocadillo’s in Sixth Avenue but although it is famed for its cakes, she enjoys its healthier fare and started her day with freshly squeezed carrot, apple and lemon juice, before a croissant and coffee.

I started a school because … It seemed like a good idea at the time . . . and it was! Teaching is … not for sissies. I love to party with … amazing food, good friends and great music so we can dance all night.

Being married to a local celebrity is … awesome.

I am different to Gino … because I don’t enjoy seafood or sci-fi movies.

The person who has taught me the most is … I’m still learning and I hope I never stop.

My music weakness is … anything loud with a good beat . . . AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n’ Roses.

I absolutely hate … slimy toads and frogs.

I share my life with … my Elsen family and my three hens, one rabbit, one dog, two kids and one crazy, adorable, silly husband.

In 10 years I see myself … Prefer not to think about it . . . I hope I never have to retire. Working around children keeps me young.

My happy place is … Walking along St Francis main beach with my border collie, Robbie.

I can’t go a day without … Tea and a rusk and, sadly, my cellphone.

-La Femme Reporter 

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