Former principal of Ottery Road Methodist Primary School, Belinda Petersen recently made history when she became the first black principal of Rustenburg Girls' Junior School in Rondebosch.
Her appointment forms part of the 125-year-old school's direction towards the creation of a more transformative and inclusive learning environment.
Petersen has said that she has received a warm welcome from the parents, the community as well as the school's governing body.
During her interview with DBE TV news, Petersen said that the school has been making strides towards transformation. She also added that communication and thorough effective dialogue are the best ways to solve the issues the school faces.
I think being in ex-model C school, one that has always been in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, there has been a lot of challenges in terms of the school's history, a very traditional white school and so there's been a lot of other schools in the area about transformation and being more inclusive and equitable.
She adds that stepping into a school, where the previous principals have always been white, as the first non-white female principal has been challenging because of the history of the school.
Petersen also points out that it has also been quite a welcoming experience because much of the school's community have recognized that change is necessary.
She continued to say that although there has always been a higher percentage of women in the basic education sector, this has not always been the case when it comes to leadership positions and adds that this is changing as the number of female principals in schools has started to rise.
The newly appointed principal says that her main objective is to bring a sense of belonging and community at the school as this tends to be an issue when people are introduced to a school with different cultural values to what they are used to.
"What I would like to see here at Rusternberg is that our children, staff and parents don't feel like they have to depart with themselves at the gate when they walk in and that can be proud of who they are and still be a part of the community and feel a sense of belonging"