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Our Principal

Dee Cawcutt, Principal, Wynberg Girls' Junior School
On 1 March 2022, the WCED and WGJS SGB were pleased to welcome, after a rigorous and comprehensive process, Mrs Melanie Sharland, as the new Principal for Wynberg Girls’ Junior School.

Melanie Sharland brings with her a wealth of experience in school management and leadership and holds a Higher Diploma in Education as well as a Bachelor of Education (Honours) degree in Educational Management and Leadership from Rand Afrikaans University. She is a life-long learner and having completed the ISASA / SAHISA Independent Schools Leadership Programme, she is also currently pursuing a part-time Bachelors degree in Theology.

Mrs Sharland began her journey in education at a public primary school in Johannesburg called IR Griffith in Blairgowrie. In 1992, she joined Vuleka School first as a Foundation Phase educator and then in the Intermediate and Senior Phase as well as fulfilled the role of HOD of academics.

In 2000, she took the opportunity to join the faculty of the school where her daughter attended, and joined Unity College Special Needs School as a class teacher.

In January 2001, she moved back to Vuleka Group of Schools where she was appointed Executive Head of the group. She has been at the helm of the Vuleka Group of Schools in Johannesburg for 18 successful years, overseeing the leadership and management of three preschools, three co-ed primary schools, a boys’ school, a special needs primary school and a co-ed high school. The Vuleka Group of Schools is a group of schools established in 1989 to serve the educational needs of previously disadvantaged children in Johannesburg and surrounding areas.
During her tenure at Vuleka, Mrs Sharland achieved remarkable results with her team – some of which include:

  • Opening three Early Learning Centres
  • Opening a Special Needs school for underprivileged special needs children in Randburg and developing a customized curriculum based on CAPS to suit their learners needs
  • The building and opening (after extensive fundraising) of two primary schools, as well as a Boys’ School in Sophiatown
  • Mrs Sharland also took over a failing High School and merged it with the Vuleka Group of Schools, turning the school around to show a 100% matric pass rate within two years.

Mrs Sharland served as an Executive Board Member of the Anglican Board of Education Southern Africa for nine years and has been afforded many opportunities to represent South African independent schools overseas where she’s been able to observe new trends in education and bring this expertise back to SA.

Mrs Sharland believes that any child can achieve anything they want if they are given the right environment and opportunity: “I believe in empowering the girl child not by disempowering the boy child, but by allowing and encouraging girls not to be silent but to stand proudly and take their rightful place in our country and in the world.”

“I have made it my life’s work to encourage young people to reach for the stars and be their own champion on their individual journey.” Mrs Sharland is very excited to be part of the Wynberg community and believes she has the ability, passion and determination to play a valuable part in leading the school to continue to achieve its mission of inspiring and equipping girls to be the best they can be in order to thrive and serve in future society.

“Our girls are encouraged to embody our values: To be Respectful, Reliable, Proactive, Aware, Persistent and Resilient.”

Dee Cawcutt, Principal, Wynberg Girls' Junior School