MAN OF ACTION: New principal at Port Alfred High School, Nigel Adams, wants to bring his brand of leadership to the school that includes more physical activity as well as improving the overall academic standard Picture: ROB KNOWLESFollowing the retirement of former Port Alfred High School principal, Clive Pearson, at the end of last year, Nigel Kirk Adams says he is ready and able to step up to the plate to continue and even improve the school’s academic achievements during his tenure as principal.
Adams is an Eastern Caper who was born in Uitenhage and comes from an academic background as his mother was also a teacher, as is his sister, while his brother is a technical trainer. Academia was therefore on the cards for Adams at an early age. He matriculated at in the 1985/86 academic year.
Having received his BA Arts degree at the University of the Western Cape where he majored in psychology and languages, he chose to study accounting. On a part-time basis he also studied for his Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) at UWC as well as a B Ed at Rhodes University.
Already well qualified as a teacher, Adams went on to attain a sports management certificate at what is now the Nelson Mandela University and also studied school leadership and management through the University of Stellenbosch.
While at university Adams met his wife, Juliana who is currently head of department (HOD) at John Bisseker Secondary School in East London. Of their two children, their daughter Tiffany works at Mercedes Benz South Africa while their son, Kurt, has followed more in the family tradition and is a teacher.
Adams’ first appointment was at Alphendale Secondary School in East London where he spent the next 27 years, ending up at the HOD for commerce. He also worked at Lilyfontein School for two years, an adventure school with a very strong focus on sports and the outdoors which perfectly suited Adams’ sport-orientated background.
“Kids can’t be expected to sit all day behind a desk,” said Adams. “We need inclusive education where we are aware of the challenges our children will face. They need a space where they can be themselves. All children need our support as well as role models to look up to.”
Adams is particularly interested in early childhood development programmes and in relationship building and commitment to work as a team. His vision for the school is to ensure that PAHS regains its leadership as one of the schools in the district with a 100% matric pass rate.
“I want to unite the school, the parents and the community at large,” said Adams. “This will be the family school at the sea.”