Verushca Labuschagne (Head Girl 2017), Chiratidzo Sanyika and Stacey Burrowes (Deputy Head Girls 2017)

Verushca: St Andrew’s is a place that allows each and every girl to grow, develop and succeed to reach her dreams and goals. Each and every girl is motivated to do her best and the incredible teachers and coaches at our school ensure that we have the necessary support and guidance. St Andrews is a school that teaches every pupil to never give up because there is always hope. Our school motto is “Per Angusta Ad Augusta”, which, translated from Latin means that trials will eventually lead to triumphs. This is evident in the notable characteristic of perseverance that St Andrew’s teaches each pupil.

Stacey: My name is Stacey Burrows but my close friends call me Stace. I moved to St Andrew’s in grade eight as a ‘new girl’. There is no doubt that it is terrifying, but no great adventure begins in your comfort zone. I am primarily involved in the sports sector of the school, playing both first team hockey and first team tennis. In terms of cultural activities, two of the highlights are most definitely the interhouse plays and choreography. It’s safe to say that St Andrew’s offers something for everyone.  I am confident that you will find a place or two where you will fit in, but also challenge yourself to try new things. St Andrew’s has allowed me to develop some lifelong friendships.  You will also form these bonds which will be the golden thread of your journey through high school.

Chiratidzo: I am Chiratidzo Sanyika but most people call me ChiChi. I’ve been at St Andrew’s for most of my life – I started school here in grade 0. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the junior school – beginning to find my interests, form relationships and develop core skills. Being in high school at St Andrew’s has given me the opportunity to be involved in squash, netball, guitar and voice lessons. I also thoroughly enjoy being part of the choir, the acapella group, and the marimba band and more recently, the public speaking team. I am grateful for the diverse exposure that St Andrew’s has afforded me.

Verushca: My name is Verushca Labuschagne, but Vee is a lot easier to remember! The first day I came to St Andrews I was thought to be a Russian exchange student, although to everyone’s surprise, I turned out to be a very Afrikaans ‘dogtertjie’. I did not ‘speak the English very nicely’ and chose to rather keep quiet. On my first day at St Andrew’s, I was sitting in my starched blue dress with my brown blazer hanging over my knees when, to my surprise and a bit of relief I discovered that I was not the only knee-covered grade eight. Immediately, I felt part of the St Andrean family – just from this simple gesture. Being at St Andrew’s has taught me that I am part of a family. The sisterhood you will find here is stronger than the love any teenage girl has for Justin Bieber.

Stacey: Throughout high school it has to be said that it is not about finding your husband, but finding you bridesmaids, and I feel that I have done exactly that. From the first day that I spent at this school in January 2013, I felt at home and I have grown into a woman that I am proud to see in the mirror each day. This environment has certainly played a profound role in my personal development. I have been Skilled for Life and can endure any trial and tribulation that I encounter.

Chiratidzo: The advice that I would like to share with all the girls at St Andrew’s is: If you are presented with an opportunity for you to be involved in something new, do it. I have been involved in school activities that I never thought I would do. I don’t think of myself as much of a dancer, and neither do my friends, but I found myself taking part in interhouse choreography – twice. And just last year, I joined public speaking (which I was terrified of doing for so many year) and now I love it. I always encourage girls to take advantage of these opportunities to be involved in new things because – when else are you going to get chance to do these activities? My time spent here at St Andrew’s has truly been a collection of unforgettable experiences that have allowed me to grow and develop my abilities.

Verushca: St Andrew’s is a school for girls but I would prefer saying ‘a school for sisters’. From the day you start you will immediately feel part of the school. Our school is built upon the timeless values of: Balance, Integrity, Grace, Community, Accountability and Trust. These values are what every St Andrew’s strives to portray and develop in our school. St Andrew’s teaches you to be Skilled For Life. Each pupil is empowered in whichever activity they invest their time. Whether your passion is to swim as fast as Chad le Clos or sing as well as Beyoncé, our school offers it all. The most important aspect of St Andrew’s is the quality of the education that each girl receives. This is evident in our strong contingent of old girls who have gone out into the world and achieved amazing things. We have many role models to look up to. Nelson Mandela said that, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. I believe that our school provides us with everything we need to make a difference in our community, in our country and perhaps even – the world.