Leaving a legacy of little people

Headmistress Jenny Keegan surrounded by a few of the happy children at Dolphin Coast Pre-Primary.

If children keep you young then it’s no surprise that Dolphin Coast Pre-Primary’s headmistress is retiring long after the usual age of 65.

Jenny Keegan has been the queen bee of Dolphin Coast Pre-Primary for the last 20 years.

With her at the helm, the little school has grown from one small building in 1997 to the bustling hive it is today, and from five staff (herself included) to a robust staff of 17.

Jenny firmly believes in learning through play and is very proud of the dynamic playground the school now offers.

Much has changed over the last 20 years but ultimately children are still simply looking for love and to be taken seriously.

“The highlight of my day is to step out of my office and immediately I have a child clinging to my leg. Mostly children just want someone to listen to their stories.”

Children grow into adults and Jenny cannot leave the school without bumping into a past pupil.

“I love watching them grow and develop, even after they have left us into adulthood. It is wonderful to see the interesting people they grow into.”

She believes that central to the success of the school has been the close-knit team of teachers who have supported her.

“We are like family and they have been an incredible support.”

The grandmotherly figure began her career teaching and starting play schools at sugar mills as she moved around the country with her husband Pat, then a sugar consultant.

Dolphin Coast Pre-Primary has grown from one small building in 1997 to the bustling hive of a school it is today.

When they moved to the Dolphin Coast she worked at Stanger Pre-Primary for many years before she was asked to head up Dolphin Coast Pre-Primary.

When she turned 65 the government stopped paying her salary and suggested they convert to a crêche.

“No way were we going to convert a fully functional pre-school into a crêche! So we privatized.”

The rest is history.

Now as she retires, Jenny is preparing for more family time, gardening, trips away and her favourite local pastime, walking the mall.

“I am going to surround myself with things that I love and time will not rule my days anymore – it will be mine to use at my leisure.”

But she doubts it will be long before she is involved in her primary passion once again: education.

>>  Expect to find the latest trends in Health, Wellness and Beauty in Ballito.

>> Meet the top players in the North Coast property industry. See our Property People feature.

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Lesley Naudé
News Editor

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