Mr Richard Whitaker
My wife is perfect for me. Our two sons bring me indescribable joy. God amazes me. I have a passion for learning and a passion for teaching. I am happiest in the bush, on top of a mountain, by a fire or next to water. My favourite pastime is making things, preferably out of junk. I enjoy making mistakes, then improving a design – usually by simplifying. I love problems and see them as opportunities to find solutions. My latest motto (they keep changing!) is “Acquire skills, put them into practice, and then pass them on.” An attribute I admire and aspire to is GENEROSITY. I do not like sleeping. I think that the Bryden community is awesome and I am so happy to be here. It took me less than a fortnight to consider Bryden as being my home.
My philosophy on education is really rather simple. I believe that my job is to empower our team to produce pupils;
- who don’t just have knowledge and skills, but who have an ability to apply that knowledge and those skills to creatively and collaboratively solve problems,
- who leave our school not just with answers, but who leave us with curiosity
- who have acquired life skills that will help them to contribute positively to our society,
- who have a solid understanding of what it means to be a servant leader, and
- who have a high self-esteem.
Our aim is to meet every individual where they are at and then guide them onwards and upwards towards being the best that they can be.
I am convinced that these lofty ideals can only be achieved by relying on the wisdom of God and His strength. I also firmly believe that school should be fun!
Mrs Alison Peters
Deputy Headmistress & Grade Six
Alison was born in Bulawayo many aeons ago. She attended Kumalo Primary and Townsend High School. She read a BA in French and English then completed her Grad CE at the (then) University of Rhodesia. Alison has taught at Oriel Girls’ School, Arundel School, Eiffel Flats Primary (ten years as a teacher, seven as Head) and Bryden. She teaches, amongst other subjects, Grade Six and Seven English. Her passion is words and the English language in general and she loves to see her pupils using some of the advanced vocabulary they are taught. She also runs the French Club for Grade Sevens to give them a head start at Senior School. It is always wonderful to meet her past pupils and hear how well they are doing. Alison has reached a stage where she is teaching the children of children she taught. Amazing!
Ms Tessa Nortier
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tessa graduated from Lomagundi College in 2001. She then moved to Ireland and lived there for two years and then onto London and South Africa, and finally returned to Zimbabwe in 2010. Tessa has studied Early Childhood Education, Montessori education, N.I.L.D and Search and Teach Early Intervention. She has two children.
Mrs Nicolette Kaye
Nicolette was raised in the small town of Redcliff. She graduated from the University of Natal (Durban) with a Bachelors of Primary Education. Nicolette has been at Bryden for 12 years and is currently the Grade One teacher and Head of Infants. Nicolette started teaching in 1987. She has a passion for Art and Drama and enjoys the theatre, dance and the great outdoors.
Miss Megan Botton
Megan was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She attended university in New Zealand where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Megan then moved to England for two years. On returning to Zimbabwe in 2013 Megan worked in Harare in both Retail and Catering before deciding to follow her passion of teaching. This led her to completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Megan joined the Bryden team in 2017 and has worked in many areas of the school including Grade 4, Admin, Remedial, Grade 1 and the Early Learning Centre. She is currently very happy teaching the Grade 2 class.
Miss Victoria Willcock
Victoria grew up in South Yorkshire in the UK. She graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University, in 2012, with a degree in Sociology. She then went onto complete her Initial Teacher Training and Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at Hull University. Victoria has worked in both mainstream and special needs schools in the UK. In 2017, she left the UK and went travelling around South America. She then moved to Zimbabwe (in 2018) to live with her partner, who she met while visiting Zimbabwe in 2012. Victoria became our Grade Three teacher last year and is thoroughly enjoying her experience of teaching here in Zimbabwe.
Mrs Martha Chamunokara
Martha is the beautiful wife to Coach T. She was born in Gweru and learnt at Regina Mundi High School. She obtained her Diploma in Primary Education at Midlands Christian Training Centre and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Education Honours Psychology degree with Great Zimbabwe University. Martha also holds certificates in Human Rights and a Healthy Lifestyle and one in Counselling Children and Adolescents with UNISA. She loves playing tennis, coaching hockey and travelling.
Mr Edgar Nxumalo
Ed has his roots in rural Mberengwa where he was mostly brought up. His father, a teacher for 45 years, taught at various schools in Mberengwa District. After his primary education, he was sent to a boarding school in West Nicholson. The school closed down because of the war in 1977 and he was moved to Bulawayo where he completed his ‘O’ Levels in 1979. He enrolled to train as a teacher at Mkoba Teachers’ College in Gweru in 1981 and graduated in 1983. His first posting in 1984 was Kwekwe Junior School where he taught for 10 years before moving to Goldridge Primary School in 1994. In 2002 to 2005, Ed served at Goldridge as a deputy head and hostels superintendent. In 2006 he moved to Bryden as a Grade Seven teacher, where he still enjoys his tenure to this day. He is a competent but shrewd rugby and cricket coach at Colts level. His hobbies are cycling and tennis. His 32 years of teaching Grade Seven has been full of challenges, surprises, satisfaction and pride. He has three grown up children, the last two have graduated from Universities in South Africa and China.
Miss Kirsten Peters
Kirsten was born in Harare and grew up in Eiffel Flats. She attended Bryden and Eiffel Flats, then went on to Chisipite Senior School. She went to Rhodes University for a year before coming back to her beloved Zimbabwe. Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communication Science. She has one son and now lives at Bryden. She has been teaching computers and Grade Six Environmental Science since 2008. She loves showing the children new technology and believes IT as a subject, is a great way of teaching problem solving skills.
Mrs Tambu Nxumalo
Tambu was born in Zvishavane district and did her secondary education in Gweru, and went to college where she obtained a Certificate in Agriculture and in Animal Science. ‘ Amai Nxumalo’ currently teaches Shona and Agriculture at Bryden Country School. As a holder of an Honours Degree in Counselling, she helps children in difficult circumstances. Tambu has a passion for her job and seeing children excel in education. Tambu is also a mother of two.
Mrs Helen Laister
Twenty odd years ago, Helen left Yorkshire, UK to start working as a Braille tutor to a pre-school blind child. She had never before been to Zimbabwe or anywhere else in Africa. She immediately felt at home here. After her first job had finished, when the family she worked for emigrated, she briefly returned to England to work, but missed Zimbabwe. Fortunately, she was then offered a job at Eiffel Flats Primary School before moving to Bryden Country School eight years ago. Helen now lives in Eiffel Flats and she accompanies the Kadoma pupils on the Bryden bus every day. Her hobbies include reading, embroidery, crafting and gardening.
Mrs Rebecca Pondwa
Remedial Maths Teacher
Masvingo is her home town. She trained at Mutare Teachers’ College and then specialised for visually handicapped children at United College of Education. She holds a degree in English Communication with the University of Zimbabwe. After teaching at Jairos Jiri School for the Blind, Cam and Motor Primary School, Eiffel Flats Primary School, she joined Bryden in 2009. She is passionate about matching her teaching strategies to the individual learning needs of each child so that each child realises their full potential.
Mrs Helen Meyer
Born in South Africa. Family moved to Zimbabwe when she was only 5 years old. Helen attended primary, secondary and tertiary education in Harare. Helen is a Widow and Mother to three awesome children: Tamsin, Byron and Miles.
Mrs Melody Annandale
Melody hails from KweKwe and joined the team here at Bryden as School Secretary in 2015. She is a fun loving person and enjoys sugar craft, fishing, reading and general socialising. Melody’s role here at Bryden is a change of pace for her, having been a full time mother to her three children before joining Bryden, it’s a challenge that she is enjoying immensely.
Miss Heather Rollo
Heather grew up in Harare and attended the Dominican Convent from grade 1 through to Upper six and Commercial. After leaving school in 2011, she started working part time at a local Luxury Bed & Breakfast where she worked her way up to Duty Manager. In 2014, Heather left Zimbabwe to work in Abu Dhabi UAE, for the Luxury Resory Park Hyatt Hotel & Villas. After a year she returned home to Zimbabwe. Heather worked briefly for a doctors surgery before joining Dulux Zimbabwe in 2016 where she found an interest and passion for marketing. In November 2018 Heather joined Bryden, where she hopes to spend many years and begin studying and following her dream career in teaching / facilitating special needs children.
Mrs Ruth Paice
Born and raised on our ranch in Kadoma, I’m a committed tree hugger and conservationist. I attended Grade 1 at Hartley Junior School, followed by Munro and Sir John Kennedy schools in Kadoma; finishing off my schooling education at the Dominican Convent (Regina Mundi) in Gweru. I wrote my ‘O’ levels and Royal Academy of Music examinations whilst at Jameson High School in Kadoma.
Mrs Irma Schar
Born and educated through high school in Michigan, USA, I studied at Taylor University in Indiana, receiving my Bachelors Degree in Music Education. I married, had three children, and lived in Michigan, Illinois, California and Colorado. Though always involved in music in some way, I was not always in a formal teaching setting. I taught piano from home while my children were young and volunteered with music programs in their schools. I lead choirs in churches, taught at Azusa Pacific University for two years, sang background vocals for studio recordings while living in Los Angeles area, and also started a school for the performing arts. I came to Zimbabwe almost 20 years ago and have enjoyed getting involved in music and teaching once again, as well as living close to my daughter, Shelley Croudace, and her family at Lasting Impressions.
Mrs Florence Samboko
Mpho Florence Muteta Samboko was born in Botswana many years ago. She is a passionate musician and vibrant music educator who seeks to work with children, introducing them to the world of music. Most of her life was spent in a small neat town of Masvingo and later moved to Harare. Graduated with a National and Advanced Certificate in music with the Zimbabwe College of Music, then further acquired a Bachelor of Music degree in Ethnomusicology with Africa University. Mpho has worked with other schools as an assistant music teacher which include Twin Rivers , Springvale House and was once a music educator at Mother Touch Primary School and Ashmil Prep school. Whilst studying at the college she was selected for a program that worked with children with autism, getting them involved in trying out musical instruments and rhythm & movement. Mpho took part in some international music programs like UMoJa CFC and Mother Africa Cirque in Germany which enhanced musical ability and performance. All this and more was done before joining the Bryden team in third term of 2018
Mrs Kelly Odendaal
Kelly grew up in Harare where she did both Primary and Senior school. She moved to Kadoma in 2001, and started work at a local vegetable shop. Kelly left to do farming for a while with her husband. From there she worked for a friend running a Take-Away and eventually ventured on to open up her own coffee shop at the local garage in Kadoma. A year later Kelly started baking from home and selling her produce at the weekly Kadoma market where she became known for her samoosa. She joined Bryden at the start of 2019 as cook matron. Kelly is a mother to 5 children.
Mrs Yvonne Steyn
Born and raised in Chegutu, Yvonne went to Hartley Junior School. Her parents moved to Kwekwe and she attended Kwekwe High School. She trained as a nurse and midwife at Pariranyetwa and has worked in Harare at private and government hospitals in the past. Yvonne is married and has 3 grown children, all of who went to Bryden.
Coach T grew up in Kadoma and graduated from Lomagundi College in 2006. He represented Zimbabwe in Athletics and Rugby between 2005-2007 and received a bronze medal in the Southern African Regional Championships for the 110m Hurdles event in 2005. He then moved to England where he played semi-professional rugby for Coventry until 2013. He concluded his rugby playing career in Durban, South Africa where he played a season for Durban’s Northwood Crusaders before returning to Zimbabwe. He studied Sports Coaching and Management through Gateway Christian Training College and is very passionate about his sport.
Originally from Gweru. Mother of four, granny of three. Nurse and teacher trained. Loving the new environment at Bryden.
I was born in Zambia, then moved to Zimbabwe when I was three. I was educated at Hallingbury Junior School and at Ellis Robins High School. After school I qualified as a Printer, but have always had a passion for farming, so I moved into the farming trade and served a number of years as farm/pack house manager for a number of horticulture enterprises. I have a passion for fishing and cooking, and love the challenges at Bryden being the Estate Manager.