An open letter: Linkside head boy and JCC mayor Gerard Stuurman

The Linkside High School 2023 grade 8 application process opens on January 20 2022

Linkside’s motto underscores the belief that each child has extraordinary potential to reach enormous heights.
Linkside’s motto underscores the belief that each child has extraordinary potential to reach enormous heights.
Image: Supplied/Linkside High School

I had already applied to a high school closer to home when one of my friends encouraged me to send my application to Linkside High School. When I received confirmation of acceptance, I grabbed the opportunity and it has proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Linkside opened up a whole new world of possibility and opportunity.

I was thrilled to have access to quality teaching by dedicated teachers and be surrounded by a group of promising and gifted learners. This inspired me to realise my goal of attaining 1st academic class position in grade 10, a position I have maintained ever since. 

Gerard Stuurman.
Gerard Stuurman.
Image: Supplied/Linkside High School

My work ethic and desire to reach even higher spilt over into other areas of my life, mostly in the area of leadership. I relished the opportunity to represent my class on the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) from grade 8 to 10, and it allowed me to see what leadership is all about.

In grade 10 I was afforded the opportunity to be part of the Junior City Council (JCC) of Gqeberha. The knowledge and experience I had gained as an RCL representative assisted me greatly while serving as a councillor and I was eventually elected as the JCC mayor for the 2020/2021 tenure. With the support of Linkside’s staff and learners, I could lead the JCC in serving the city while inspiring others to become the leaders they were destined to be.

The crowning moment of my high school career was when I was announced as Linkside’s 2021 head boy. I attribute the success I attained in that moment to my holistic Linkside experience.

I experienced more than an education. I experienced personal development and the opportunity to become a leader. I learnt how to find the right balance between my academics, extramural activities and leadership roles. 

My Linkside teachers became my mentors who inspired, challenged and created opportunities for me to shine. I will forever be a Linksider because it is now part of who I am. I have gained friends who have become family, made memories that will last a lifetime, and received a solid foundation on which to build my future.

Building responsible future leaders at Linkside High School

Does your child find the prospect of high school daunting? For many learners the thought of high school can be overwhelming, especially when coming from a relatively small primary school to contemplating a high school in Gqeberha, many of which have over a thousand learners. Linkside High School is a school that’s small enough to care but big enough to be relevant and competitive, opting for quality over quantity.

The school operates as a family, offering a home-away-from-home environment that provides myriad opportunities for learners to shine on various platforms. The teachers strive to bring out the best in each learner and encourage them to realise their full potential.

Learners at Linkside High School.
Learners at Linkside High School.
Image: Supplied/Linkside High School

Linkside’s motto “Ad Astra/Reach for the stars” underscores the belief that each child has extraordinary potential to reach enormous heights. The school is dedicated to empowering all learners to find the keys to unlocking their individual talents, be it academic, sporting or cultural. 

The school’s culture of “making a difference” has culminated in three of our learners having been crowned Miss Port Elizabeth, each serving the communities of the city with compassion and dedication: Bianca-Ann Harper (Class of 2004), Nureen Hoosein (Class of 2012) and most recently, Lu-jade Pienaar (Class of 2015).

Linkside promotes responsible citizenship, community awareness and social concern which has led the school to produce three JCC mayors: Lerato Ramollo (2000), Melissa Welgemoed (2017) and the 2021 JCC mayor and head boy Gerard Stuurman. 

The Linkside experience allows learners to make lasting memories, form lifelong bonds of friendship, and navigate a steady course into the future to become successful, compassionate, confident citizens of the world.  

The 2023 grade 8 application process opens on January 20 2022. Prospective learners and parents are encouraged to visit Linkside High School’s Facebook and Instagram pages or email

This article was paid for by Linkside High School.


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