Note: This is part of a new series where we interview/write about past and present teachers of our school. A new post will be made every Wednesday.

One of our teachers, Mr Petersen, left at the end of the second term to take on a teaching position in the UAE. One of our Press Club members interviewed him about his journey at The Settlers.

Mr Petersen started at The Settlers as a teacher in 2012 and became very involved in the sporting sphere of the school. He was the manager of the First Cricket side as well as the under-16 rugby coach. In 2014, Mr Petersen was appointed as the Pringle House Master.

Although, his journey at The Settlers started long before that. Mr Petersen is a past pupil and adds that his sporting journey was the highlight of his high school career. 

He admired how much of a well-oiled machine the school is and because of that he learnt how important organisation and preparation was. He adds that he was kept on his toes by the inquisitiveness of the learners and it helped him broaden his subject knowledge.

He described The Settlers as a beehive, with the many activities, which made the school vibrant and added to the school spirit.

Upon retrospection, Mr Petersen fondly remembers his home class of 2012. He attributes his success of his first job to the learners in his class who always helped him understand how The Settlers worked.

As this was Mr Petersen’s first job, there was much to learn. Mr Petersen said that The Settlers helped him grow emotionally and that he learnt many life lessons during this time, which helped him manage his personal life.

He reiterated that his time at The Settlers was invaluable and that he is thankful for all that he has learnt from the staff as well as the learners.

One of our Matriculants, Keanan Hemmonsbey, had this to say about Mr Petersen:

“My relationship with Mr Petersen started when I was selected by him to play in the school's First Cricket team in Grade 10. Our relationship has gone through leaps and bounds since then. He spent many Saturdays in the scorching heat supporting and guiding the team, even when we went through a rough patch, he stuck with us. Mr Petersen stayed with us through sunburn and bad umpire calls to buying us a two litre Quali juice to share during our last game. 

I later had the privilege of working alongside Mr Petersen in the Pringle House committee and what a journey it has been! While working alongside him, a great bond formed between us. Mr Petersen saw me when I was at my most vulnerable and when I was down and out but, Mr Petersen, being Mr Petersen, always managed to uplift people and he managed to uplift me and helped me believe in myself when I struggled. Mr Petersen has the ability to make people feel like they belong and like they're important by the small things he does daily like a simple smile in the passages or the occasional "Are you okay?/ Are you still coping?" "How's your mom/dad doing?"

Seeing Mr Petersen the last few times before school ended, it began to sink in that I'd never see him again. I'd never see him walking down the passages like he had something important he had to do. I'd never hear his rugby stories about how his team should have beaten Fairmont. I'd never, never be able to tease him about the bald patch developing on his head.

Mr Petersen is a great man who has taught me valuable life lessons without him even noticing. Not walking past him and messing with him every day will take some time getting used to.

Thank you for the impact you've had on my life, Sir.”

Written by Jaimey-Ann Dyers