In 2019, The River School engaged the services of Dr André van Zyl, Managing Director of Improving Schools Australia to guide us through the Non-State Schools Accreditation Review. He acted as the External Validator and provided us with a most professional and timely service throughout 2019. We are happy to report that The River School is now accredited for another 5 years owing to his involvement in this Review. I have no hesitation to recommend his services to other Schools who require this comprehensive, professional and well guided service.
Andre is a true professional with a broad range of leadership skills acquired through his years spent in numerous leadership roles. In recent, Andre has provided me with priceless mentorship that has been guiding me through a difficult career transition. In addition, Andre has also been valuable in providing extensive business mentorship on side projects, stressing risks which in general are not easy to identify. He demonstrates high ethics and integrity with all tasks, big and small and is a true people’s person.
I have known Andre Van Zyl for seventeen years in various capacities including in my role as a board member of St Paul’s School where Andre fulfilled various positions at different times including Deputy Headmaster, Acting Headmaster, Executive Director of Business. More recently I have worked with Andre on Somerset Education consulting activities. I also know Andre’s personally through church, music and associated activities. Andre is a very impressive person of high integrity with a uniquely broad set of leadership, educational and financial skills.
I first came across Andre through the CEO Institute where he presented to our group some of his outstanding work in the ‘strategy innovation’ and implementation space within the education sector. His presentation was inspirational and took us on an engaging tour of the pressures facing the education sector. More importantly, Andre worked through a real time scenario on how one school he worked with was utilising this innovative approach to strategic mapping to prepare the school; the teaching staff; and the student body for the future. It was an engaging presentation and Andre’s passion for his work and the future of the sector was clearly evident. His evolutionary strategic thinking approach and the following stakeholder engagement process to implement the project was a real ‘takeaway’ for us all and something I will use in my own projects going forward.
Andre is one of those quiet achievers in life. He brings substantial learned-from-experience to any challenging situation. He has high ethical values that are reflected in his daily behaviour. I hold Andre in high regard and trust him implicitly.