Rector announces next Head of the Girls’ Prep, Dr Melanie Drake

April 08, 2020 | Campus, Girls’ Preparatory

The Rector is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Melanie Drake as our next Head of School at the Girls’ Preparatory, with effect from January 2021.

Melanie Drake is currently the Principal of Clarendon Primary School for Girls in East London. She brings to the role of school leadership a strong emphasis on values-based education; rich experience of best practice in girls’ education; curriculum leadership, innovation and digital education; an inspired research mindset and publication record; and impressive experience in building community within schools.


Dr Melanie Drake 

A talented musician, Melanie Drake’s undergraduate studies were at the University of Cape Town. Her postgraduate studies in education at Rhodes University were followed by a doctoral degree in education at the University of Auckland, attended on an International Commonwealth Scholarship. Her career as an educationalist has spanned St Mary’s School in Johannesburg, Clarendon Primary in East London, and the Faculty of Education at the University of Fort Hare.

The advertisement for the position of Head of School at the Girls’ Preparatory specified an inspirational, innovative and influential educational leader, to join the remarkable leadership team of St Stithians College. Melanie has the attributes to lead the Girls’ Prep with distinction and will make a significant contribution to the College as a whole.

Alongside her personal interests in the creative arts, Dr Drake is enthusiastic about environmental education and community engagement projects.

The St Stithians community looks forward to welcoming Melanie to Saints, along with her husband, Dr Tobi Vaudrey, and their family of four children, Cadence (9 years), Charlee (6 years), Ceithin (3 years) and Cincade (4 months).

Dr Drake stood out as the top candidate in a field of excellent applicants and, through a rigorous process, impressed the short-listing and final selection panels. These selection panels consisted of members of the Governance Committee of the St Stithians College Council, including the Chair and Deputy Chair of Council, the Chair of the St Stithians College Endowment Fund Trust, as well as other Council members representing the Methodist Church, our parents and alumni. Also included were two Heads of School at St Stithians, the current Head of the Girls’ Prep in her role as incoming Rector, the Head and Deputy Head of Human Resources, and the Rector in the Chair.