The Rector, Mrs Celeste Gilardi, is the Executive Head of St Stithians College. The Rector is the custodian of institutional values, and has the responsibility to provide strategic direction, academic leadership and global management of the seven schools that make up the College. St Stithians is a non-profit educational entity that is managed according to sound and accountable corporate governance policies.
The Rector stands "on the bridge". This space connects the constituent schools and provides the corporate infrastructure for inspiring excellence and making a world of difference. From this vantage point, the Rector is well placed to see the "big picture", to enable energy flow, and to create opportunities for synergy in the interplay of relationships, ideas and resources.
The school heads, campus directors and superintendent chaplain report to the Rector and constitute the College Executive Committee. The position of Rector was created in 1998 to enhance executive oversight of the College which, at that point, consisted of two boys’ schools and two girls’ schools.
The Rector is a member of the St Stithians College Council, the governing body, and through participation in Council committees connects the functioning school to governance policies and oversight.
Celeste Gilardi is a ‘devoted’ Stithian, who led the Girls’ Preparatory for the last nineteen years. Prior to joining St Stithians, Celeste was Deputy Head at Sacred Heart College Primary School, where she held the role of Acting Head at various times.
Celeste is an alumna of Sacred Heart College, where she was Head Girl in her Matric year. She was awarded the Serviam Award (for excellent service – only awarded if there is a suitable recipient). This dedication to service is a hallmark of Celeste’s character.
Celeste completed her studies (Bachelor of Primary Education, Bachelor of Education and then Master of Education) at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Celeste is an engaged member of various local and international organisations and is a committed lifelong learner. She places importance on all her relationships and has an established and respected network across many sectors of society, reaching into and beyond the educational sphere. Celeste embraces change, she is intrigued by the future and believes in the power of hope.
She is married to Franco, who is also a teacher. They have been blessed with two wonderful daughters who began, and will complete, their educational journey at St Stithians. This gives Celeste the unique ability to see the College not only as a member of staff, but also through the lens of a parent.
Celeste is the fourth Rector of St Stithians College and the first woman to be appointed to serve in this role.