Home News HTS teacher calls it quits after 38 years

HTS teacher calls it quits after 38 years

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The 64-year-old is currently completing his final week at the school before officially retiring after 38 years of service.

RETIRING: Woodwork teacher Machiel Cronje. Picture: Danie van de Lith

AFTER nearly four decades at Kimberley Technical High School (HTS), popular woodwork teacher, Machiel Cronjé, is eager to exchange the stresses of the classroom for the stresses of the golf course.

The 64-year-old is currently completing his final week at the school before officially retiring after 38 years of service.

Speaking to the DFA yesterday, Cronjé said he was literally counting the days before he steps out of the classroom for the final time.

He added that he would be leaving the school with fond memories and plenty of time to work on bringing down his handicap, which current stands at 11.

Born and bred in Kimberley, Cronjé completed his studies in Bloemfontein, and his military service in Oudtshoorn, but soon found himself back in the diamond city.

“I’ve now been teaching for 38 years and have been at ‘Tech’ all this time,” he said yesterday. “I’ve been looking forward to retiring for quite some time and this last term feels like it has really dragged on. Now, I only have three days left.”

The woodwork teacher said that while there had been plenty of ups and downs, over the years, with widespread changes to the syllabus and what was expected of teachers, there had also been a number of constant factors that had made all the hours in the classroom worth the time and effort.

“When I first started out, I was teaching woodwork, which then became civil technology but then reverted back to woodwork.”

“I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and as a technical high school, this was an ideal place for me.”

“I have two children, a son who is a quantity surveyor and a daughter who is also a teacher in Kimberley.”

“In this profession, you find yourself spending more time at school than at home, which is not easy, but I have just been very fortunate to have worked with many wonderful children and staff over the years. I’m really going to miss them.”

Last week, staff held a retirement party for Cronjé at the school’s pavillion, a fitting venue as the woodwork teacher played an active part in its construction.

Principal of HTS Johann Steyn, yesterday wished Cronjé well, adding that his retirement had left the school with a void that would be difficult to fill.

“HTS will definitely miss him,” said the principal. “He was an excellent teacher and has always been a person that you can depend on.”

“Many children have passed through his classroom over many years at HTS and he has always been a passionate person, loved by staff and children alike.”

“We wish him everything of the best with the future, but he has left us with an enormous set of shoes to fill.”