EIGHTEEN young, bright pupils at Arcadia Primary School in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas could hardly contain their excitement this week when they were elected as the school’s very first honorary pupil leaders.
The staff and children at Arcadia Primary, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, call these pupils the “special bunch” as they are the ambassadors that will be leading their peers in the school’s “Ruby” anniversary year.
According to principal Gloria Loggenberg, who has been at the school since its inception in 1974, the requirements for being elected were extremely tough.
“Being a leader to your peers who all reside in a notorious area, like Arcadia is known to be, is not an easy task. Most of our pupils come from difficult circumstances and it is a challenge to lead them. To have been chosen as an honorary pupil leader, they had to complete a leadership course, meet tight requirements on academic and maturity levels and there also had to be something special and dynamic about them,” Loggenberg said.
The pupils’ parents were invited to an induction ceremony, where their badges were pinned to their blazers.
It is the first time in its history that parents of children at the school were allowed to be the ones to honour their children with this badge. Loggenberg said it was the growing parental involvement at the school, along with taking joint responsibility for shaping one’s child by helping him shape his peers, that led to this.
“I always tell our children that something good can come from Arcadia. It has been proven over and over again. We try to shape our kids in ways that will remind them that they are able to rise above their circumstances, be well educated and that being from Arcadia doesn’t mean you need to stand back for others who are more fortunate. Knowing that their parents support them, I am sure they will make a success of leading the school in this special year,” she said. – Alvené du Plessis