MEET THE STAFF - Part Two - Student Centre Department

June 04, 2018 | Girls’ College | Author: Ms Carey-Ann Dellbridge

Welcome to the Wellness Wheel

Message from the Head of the Centre - Carey-Ann Dellbridge

I am inspired and excited to present you with some of the developments that we are presently working on at the Girls’ College Student Centre. We have started to address perceptions of Psychology and support and what exactly it is that we do here. Most importantly, we are working on a shift towards a Positive Psychology paradigm. “Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive.” (Positive Psychology Institute, 2015). The science of Positive Psychology has developed over approximately the last two decades and has gained significant momentum on a global level. There has been an increased awareness of the limitations of a purely “medical” or “disease” model and greater investigation into what it is that makes people resilient, fulfilled and successful in various contexts. Wellness is integral to this approach and we are aware of the diverse aspects of wellness, and how we go about working towards it. There are numerous models of wellness to consider; the model below seems to best encapsulate the aspects of wellness with which we are most concerned in our role at the Girls’ College. We have a dynamic and powerful team of professionals who are passionate and committed to offering support on various levels, within the wellness framework and ultimately a Positive Psychology paradigm.

Carey-Ann Dellbridge

Carey has the privilege of heading the Wellness Centre and is Director of Psychological Services at the Girls’ College. She provides short-term counselling and therapeutic support to our students and their families, as well as staff, and assists with referrals for various psychological and support services. Carey develops and delivers the ‘Space 4 Wellness’ programme to our Grade 8 and Grade 9 students, meeting with each class on a bi-weekly basis. She consults with teachers and grade directors when relevant and promotes systemic wellness within the school. Carey is currently enrolled on the Saints Leadership Development programme and, along with her syndicate group, is working on developing our Saints concept of wellness and ideas for further practice. Carey sits on the Campus Psychological Services Committee as well as the Girls’ College Executive Committee. Carey enthusiastically connects with people at various points along their life journeys and is especially passionate about facilitating increased self-awareness and consciousness in order to empower others and facilitate growth and awareness. It is from this perspective that she works within the Girls’ College as well as in her private practice. Carey has a special interest in Mindfulness-based practices and was invited to present her research at The First International Conference on Mindfulness in Rome in 2013. Carey has 10 years of teaching experience across all ages and grades, and this is her 10th year in practice as an Educational Psychologist. Her qualifications include a BA degree (WITS); Honours degree in Clinical Psychology (RAU); HDipEd (WITS), and a Masters degree in Educational Psychology (UP). In her spare time Carey enjoys cooking new recipes and travelling when possible. She lives with her partner Carlo and son (10yrs) and daughter (7yrs). They have a family tradition of ‘Tombola’ (Italian Bingo) and she is presently working on picking up the Italian course she began in her university days! 

Megan du Toit

Megan is an Educational Psychologist and the Director of Academic Support at the Girls’ College. During her last five years at St Stithians, Megan has grown the academic support programme significantly. She has a passion for inclusive education and academic support, and promoting this on a systemic level. Megan works with students, parents, staff and fellow professionals in order to support students experiencing barriers to learning, on both an individual and systemic level. Megan assists our students in building resilience, learning effective coping strategies and developing the independence to apply their strengths and achieve to their best potential. Megan sits on the Campus Learning and Teaching Committee and the Campus Psychological Services Committee. She also chairs the Campus Academic Support Committee, which manages the support practices across the five St Stithians College schools. Megan graduated summe cum laude with a Masters degree in Educational Psychology from the University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg, with an additional major in Ethics, before writing her Health Professions Council Board Exam in Educational Psychology. Megan has previously worked in pre-school, primary school and high school settings as well as in special needs education. Recently, she has presented talks on ‘Legislation relating to inclusion’ at the ISASA Deputies’ Conference hosted by Kingsmead College and on ‘The influence of social media and the digital age on boys’ and girls’ at the Raising Boys and Girls Conference hosted by St Stithians College. Megan enjoys unwinding by doing Pilates and baking delicious treats in her spare time, and is looking forward to visiting Croatia with her boyfriend in August.

Carolyn Grainger

Carolyn Grainger is originally from the United Kingdom and moved to Johannesburg with her South African husband and two young boys. She studied at the University of Wales in Cardiff, achieving a BA Honours in English Literature and a PGCE in Secondary Education. She also studied for the CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) qualification at International House in London. Carolyn taught English to students between the ages of 11 – 18 in a range of schools in Cardiff, Buckinghamshire and London before moving to South Africa. She joined St Stithians Girls' College in September 2013 in the Academic Support Department. During the past five years Carolyn has been dedicated to providing specialised assistance to all students, helping to address their needs for support and enrichment. She sees students at breaks and after school for individual sessions that usually include a focus on study techniques, time management, comprehension and language skills. Carolyn teaches study skills and organisational support to the Grade 8 classes during their academic timetable. She has taught in the Life Orientation and English departments, and currently teaches a Grade 8 and Grade 9 English class, which she loves. In addition to juggling these roles Carolyn also manages and supports the scholarship students at the Girls’ College. Carolyn is a dynamic and enthusiastic personality who is always ready to assist. She is a dedicated mother, wife and runner, but currently appears to be spending most of her time watching her sons play soccer!

Zanele Lukhele

Zanele is from Estcourt, KwaZulu Natal and moved to Johannesburg in 1995. She matriculated at Amahlubi High School in KZN. Zanele completed the ‘Professional Receptionist & Personal Assistant’ course at Damelin College, as well as ‘Office Computing’ at Falcon Business Institute and ‘Business Management & Administration’ at Varsity College. Zanele has over 20 years’ experience in office and personal assistance, reception and secretarial duties. She transferred to a school environment in 2011 when she began at Trinityhouse Pre-Primary as a receptionist, and was quickly promoted to the position of school secretary at Trinityhouse Preparatory in Little Falls. Zanele gained extensive experience in school administration and personal assistance and provided integral support during the opening of new Trinityhouse campuses. We are delighted that Zanele joined St Stithians in January 2017 as Assistant and Secretary to the Girls’ College Student Centre. She is our central support person and unfailingly provides us and our clients with all kinds of administrative assistance; always with a calm and service-oriented demeanour. Zanele holds the fort and is the first person to contact should you wish to see anyone at the Wellness Centre or simply require a time-out or cup of coffee! Zanele is married with two children; a daughter (21yrs) and son (12yrs). In addition to her busy days at our College she is also dedicated to her church community and plays an important role on the executive church committee.

Sharon McGorian

Sharon is our Career Development Coordinator. She has a special interest in career psychology and psychological assessment and completed two honours degrees at RAU university, in Psychology and Psychometrics. Sharon has been practicing as a registered psychometrist since 2008. After a stint in the field of Human Resources and the corporate work environment, Sharon spent a year at the University of Johannesburg’s Career Services team, where she counselled students in career development and conducted workshops to prepare them for the world of work. Sharon joined St Stithians Girls’ College in 2011 and has made significant strides and updates to the career development services offered. These include formal and informal subject choice assessments at Grade 9 level and full career development assessments for Grade 11 and Grade 12 students. Sharon writes the ‘Career Corner News’ and coordinates and distributes relevant information to our students. Sharon and Carey are currently presenting an 8-week Career Development workshop to the Grade 9 students, to introduce the topic of career development and to assist our students to make well-informed subject choices. Sharon has completed training on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), the most well-known instrument used to assess personality preferences. This is widely applied in different contexts, especially within career psychology, to 6 assist various aspects of individual and team development. Sharon is presently administrating the MBTI with our Girls’ College Exco team and we look forward to the process! Sharon consults with students and parents to discuss all issues relating to tertiary studies and career development. She arranges information sessions with tertiary institutions and is involved in the Career Expo at both the Girls’ and Boys’ College. In 2012 Sharon introduced the ‘Career Speed Dating’ event for our Grade 11 students. This is a fun evening during which our students are invited to connect with approximately 40 professionals from numerous fields of work. The students select who they would like to meet with and professionals share their experiences and answer pertinent work-related questions. This event has consistently been met with enthusiasm from both our students and attending professionals, and its success has made it a permanent feature on our annual calendar. Sharon is married and has two gorgeous girls, aged 3 and 18 months. Sharon is a coffee fanatic and can be found escaping with a cappuccino when she is not doting on her family, our students, or her lucky colleagues! I am delighted to announce that we will soon be renaming the Student Centre in order to bring in a fresh perspective and to reflect some of our recent developments as described... watch this space!