By Herzlia High School Head Girl, Taya Allardice, at end of year assembly, Dec 2022.
After eight years of service and leadership, the Herzlia High School family is saying farewell to an educator, mentor, occasional teammate and principal. Mr Falconer, it brings me great sadness to say, on behalf of the student body, goodbye.
Mr Falconer started off his educational career at the university of Durban where he achieved a BA degree. He then completed his honours and masters at Rhodes university and later went on to achieve a masters in education at Wits. He’s taught in Joburg, Grahamstown and even in New Zealand and Australia. All before, coming to teach at Herzlia.
It is hard to put into words all that you do for the school. You have impacted each and every person in this school. You have supported, guided, empowered and made decisions for the best of each of us. You are a source of insight and fun – always willing to share your knowledge and experience and also willing to bring lightheartedness to a situation. Thank you for always being someone we can turn to – students, teachers and parents alike.
Herzlia has changed a lot in the years you have been our principal. And we know that change is a sign of growth and progress. Thank you for stimulating growth within our school and supporting its continued development.
Mr Falconer has always been a big supporter of leadership in the school and has hands-on involvement with student leadership which is extremely empowering. In the short time that I’ve gotten to work with you, I’ve learnt so much and am appreciative of your support, approachability and guidance. Something you told the SLC at the beginning of our term and which has held true, was that your door would always be open to us. Thank you for having your door open and for always being willing to chat and discuss things over a cup of hot chocolate.
Mr Falconer has also always been one to get involved in sports. Over the years, he’s been a keen participant in teacher vs student matches and teacher relays. He swam in the gala, played against the netball girls and joined Ms Kukard in debating against the debating students. Not to mention, his love for cycling – evident from one glance of his office.
I think this shows how Mr Falconer has never seen himself above getting involved in a hands-on way.
I think everyone will agree that your passion and skill for English is evident in everything you say and write. You are always well-spoken and eloquent – whether in valedictory speeches, weekly newsletters, parents evenings or weekly assemblies.
Despite being head of the school school, Mr Falconer is no authoritarian but a leader with a lot of heart. Leading with kindness and soul. I think that’s really important for a school like Herzlia because we are a school filled with love, gees and soul. I don’t want to speak for you, but Mr Falconer has always been someone who believes less in punishment but in restorative justice – ensuring that students are supported and learning from our mistakes. You are always encouraging tolerance and kindness and reminding us to live by these simple but vital values, always telling us to “just be lekker”.
It is so difficult to lose someone whose presence has left such an impact. You will be sorely missed.
We wish you nothing but fulfilment, happiness and success in this next adventure! We are sad to see you go but excited to see you pursue a new path and passion.