The School Governing Body has announced the new Senior Deputy Principal position at Sun Valley.  At a full staff meeting this week, the Governing Body shared with the staff that Brad Keller, currently Director of Sport, Movement and Play has been promoted to the Senior Deputy Position.  From 1 January 2017, he will take on the new position of Chief Operations Officer (COO) in our Group of Schools.

Tony Fadel who worked at Apple and designed the Nest speaks about the need to DRIVE INNOVATION.  He shares a three step process ie: LOOK BROADER – LOOK CLOSER – THINK YOUNGER.

As Sun Valley re-imagines education and models a twenty-first century learning space, the Governing Body made the decision to appoint a young, talented, motivated and passionate educator who has proved his visionary leadership and product delivery both in the Classroom and on the Sports Field.  This appointment is part of the Group of Schools long-term succession planning where young talented leaders  gain the necessary leadership experience.

Brad Keller is married to our Grade 4 Grade Head, Catherine.  He joined the school as a cricket coach while completing his High School education.  The connection he had with children was magnetic and he soon enrolled for our Guided Approach to Pedagogy (GAP) programme as a learner teacher.  He completed his BEd degree and accepted a Grade 7 class teaching post.  Within a year he was appointed Director of Sport when Ross Dallas moved to St Cyprians and a year later took over as Grade Head of Grade 7.  Teaching is his first passion he explained at his interview.  “Yes, I love my sport, but teaching – watching lives change in front of you, is the most rewarding experience!”

During the past 5 years Brad has revolutionised Sport, Movement and Play.  He has taken an ordinary co-education primary school and transformed it into a high performance Sports School.  “Sun Valley was always known for its Curriculum expertise.  I was three years old when my Dad became the Principal – and I spent years watching Sun Valley get beaten on a Saturday on the sports field.  I made up my mind that one day, things would change.” Brad said.

And things have certainly changed.  During his tenure he has campaigned for a greater percentage of the annual budget for Sport.  He has hired qualified and passionate coaches and ensured a high level of coaching preparation and planning.  He single handedly convinced each Board member of the need for the investment in a Waterpolo Pool, re-surfacing the Netball and Tennis courts and new Cricket nets.  Today our Sport facilities are equal to some of the top schools in the country.  This year the school participated in 11 Sport tours – one of which was the prestigious Rugby festival in Johannesburg.

Brad will continue to teach Grade 7 in 2017 and in 2018 he will leave the classroom to take up the full-time position as COO.

How does he feel about working closely with his father?  “I’ve learnt a lot from the ‘old man’, and being on the executive for five years has given me insight into the complexity of running a school like Sun Valley.  I look forward to being his 2IC and working with my colleague, Debbie-Jayne Viljoen the other Deputy, while shaping the future of our fine school!”

School Principal, Gavin Keller said; “We need young people in education.  We need energy, passion and enthusiasm.  We need thinkers and we need people to make the dreams come true.  Brad ticks all those boxes and it will be a honour to work with him as we lead our school.”


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