From the letter to Staff, Parents, Old Boys' and Friends of Highbury from Mr Brendan Stewart, Chairman of the Highbury Board.
There is no question that appointing the right person to head up this fine school with over a century of tradition and stellar achievements behind it, was critically important to its future. The role of Head of School demands natural leadership, vigour, compassion, strong Christian values and a clear vision of the future of education. We believe that we have found these qualities and more in Mr Roland Lacock and it is our great pleasure that he has accepted the position of Headmaster of Highbury Preparatory School, a role that only five people have held since the school's inception in 1903.
Mr Lacock, who leaves Uplands Preparatory School in White River, Mpumalanga, joins Highbury with effect from 1 July 2017, accompanied by his wife Lindy and their three daughters. While 41-year-old Mr Lacock's career has taken him abroad to the Middle East where he gained invaluable experience in boys' education, he returns to KwaZulu-Natal, the province of his youth and formative years, as Headmaster. He was schooled at Merchiston and Maritzburg College, and then chose to dedicate his life to teaching. He studied a Higher Diploma in Education at Edgewood College, a Bachelor of Arts at UNISA and holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from the Open University in the UK. Returning to his home school of Merchiston and then Cowan House to teach, he was later appointed Acting Principal at Glenelg Boys' School in Abu Dhabi before returning home to South Africa to take up the role of Deputy Headmaster at Uplands Preparatory School.
In addition to his reputation as a professional executive keenly involved in strategic planning and advancing education through technology, Mr Lacock has coached rugby, cricket, hockey, athletics and swimming. "It is a great privilege to be appointed by the Board as the next Headmaster of Highbury Preparatory School," he says. "I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity of working with and leading the team of dedicated staff, getting to know the Highbury boys and building a healthy relationship with all the stakeholders. Highbury has a wonderful reputation of academic, cultural and sporting excellence and I look forward to being part of this prestigious school’s story."
We would like to thank the members of the School Head Selection Panel who generously gave of their time and energy throughout this selection process. We would like to extend our deep gratitude to Belinda Willows for her excellent stewardship of the school over this transition, and for the term to come. "I am so excited by the news of Roland’s appointment," Belinda says. "He is highly respected amongst the education community. With a strong team already in place, his added leadership at the highest level will set Highbury up for a great future."
Highbury Preparatory now enters what we believe will be one of the most exciting eras in its illustrious history. Lead by a Headmaster who is focused, passionate about education and goal-driven, the school is set to grow a new generation of young men not only secure in their early grounding but confident to pursue their future goals and dreams.