Updated: May 18, 2022
Candy Voss, Principal of EduExcellence Noordhoek Campus, has always been passionate about her career which spans both education and autism. She loves creating supportive settings for neurodiverse students, and creating an atmosphere where learners are actively engaged in the learning process. We asked Principal Candy a few questions, so see what she had to say below:
"I found that teachers don’t have enough support structures to support neurodiverse learners in the classroom."
Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I am happily married and a hippie at heart, living in Kommetjie with my two adorable children, chickens, school puppy, and a shy cat. Outside of school time you can usually find me with my shoes kicked off, feet buried in the sea sand while watching my kids play at the beach. We are a very active family so I tend to spend a lot of time hiking, gardening, and spending time in nature. I love cooking and baking, and in the evenings, I love sewing and felting. I have always been very passionate about my career and have always been very involved in education and autism.
Why did you choose to be in education?
I have always been involved in education. I first started my education journey by working with younger children on the autism spectrum. I worked closely with these children and their families, finding that they were just not coping in schooling systems. I then worked in schooling systems, where I found that teachers don’t have enough support structures to support neurodiverse learners in the classroom.
I then devoted myself to providing all schools within the Western Cape with training and support strategies, while bringing awareness and acceptance of autistic individuals. I have worked with young children, school-aged children, adults, families, inclusive schools, mainstream schools, special needs schools, as well as protective workshops and residential facilities.
I must say, I feel very privileged to work with such a variety of people and in a variety of settings. I love to think creatively with multidisciplinary teams to create supportive settings for neurodiverse individuals.
"I try to create an atmosphere where learners are actively engaged in learning."
Why is EduExcellence different from other schools?
For years I have been making recommendations to schools which are ingrained in the EduExcellence principles and philosophies. As I have been involved in multiple schools all over the Western Cape, I can say with great confidence that this is the only school working with learners in such a holistic way. Every aspect of a child’s development is supported and catered for, with dedication and individualisation. It is also the only school I am aware of that focuses on neurology.
What is your favourite part about the school day?
First thing in the morning. I am often on campus before learners and teachers arrive. The campus is calm and peaceful and ready for the day. I often just take a breath and look forward to what the day is going to bring.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I love looking at teaching through a lens of genuine curiosity. I try to create an atmosphere where learners are actively engaged in learning, by asking questions and experiencing the curriculum practically. When we do this we bring the curriculum to where the learners’ needs are. All aspects of learning should be motivated by inclusive education and should look at how to include learners that are going through challenges or have complicated profiles.
What is a favourite inspirational quote of yours?
“Be the calm in the storm.” – Michael Dolan
What is the greatest challenge facing educators these days?
Creating an environment that caters for many different learners within one classroom, and then receiving support for those learners. EduExcellence has strategies and many different support structures available for educators, but sadly this is not the case for the majority of teachers in other South African schools.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
GENUINE – DEDICATED - CREATIVE
EduExcellence Noordhoek was the second remedial school established by EduExcellence founder, Dr. Beulah van der Westhuizen. If you’d like to get in touch with Principal Candy, reach out through the channels below:
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