2019 Leadership Group
Head of School: Cameron Coley
I still remember driving through the McKenzie gates in January 2015, with mixed emotions. Excitement about finally becoming a Hilton Boy and fear of what the unknown had in store for me. Due to the fact that McKenzie house was under renovation, I arrived outside ‘Old Pearce’, and was greeted by the older boys who would be my matrics for the year. I then went inside and met a bunch of boys who I was told were going to become my brothers.
Never did I imagine that over the rollercoaster of these past four years, would we bond as deeply and depend on each other as much as we do, just like brothers. Coming from a small farming town called Eshowe, in Zululand, I never really imagined myself having the privilege of attending a school like Hilton College. This added to my restraint around meeting new people, and I came across as a really shy, quiet boy. But soon, with the help of all my newfound brothers I began to find my feet. Now, here I am, going into my matric year. My hope for my time here has always been to not just simply exist and pass through these gates having left Hilton unchanged. I have always wanted to leave my mark and make a difference. It is for this reason that I have tried to be actively involved in many aspects and activities that the school has to offer. This has led me to being part of, among other things; the debating society, playing the drum-kit, practicing Falconry and actively participating in sport. Another opportunity that Hilton has given me was the chance to take part in the Exchange program where I spent three months attending Woodberry Forest School in Virginia, America.
Hilton has offered me an environment where I am not afraid to make mistakes, as they are rather treated as opportunities to learn and grow. Hilton is also a place where every boy is encouraged to find their passion and reach for that which drives them to become better. Relationships are certainly a big part of what makes Hilton a special place because they allow you to connect to your friends on a personal level and forge a brotherhood, which will last an eternity.
My advice to any young Hilton boy is to not simply waste the precious opportunity that you have been given, but to grab all opportunities with both hands and make the most of them. It is very sad to think about the day that my time at Hilton will come to an end, when I have to call myself a Hilton Old Boy. Looking back on my time at Hilton I feel as though it has passed by in a flash and I still have so much that I would like to try to accomplish. Use your time wisely, because sooner than you think it will be gone and all you will have left will be the memories. Make as many fond memories as you can, so that you can look back and laugh, smile or even cry.
2019 promises to be an eventful year and it is my honour to lead the school along with Lengana Mashaphu and the leadership team. I have no doubt that next year promises to be a great one for Hilton College. I know that the entire 2019 matric body is excited about the prospects of next year and we will all work closely together to make it a great one. The people are what make Hilton the great school that it is and it is my wish that each boy reaches his potential here by using all the opportunities. I would like to see the young boys entering these gates grow into men who will each forge their own future in the world. Lets keep the Hilton fire burning. Looking back with Pride, and looking forward with Excitement and Expectation.
Deputy Head of School: Lengana Mashaphu
I am Lengana Mashaphu. I live in Johannesburg with my mother. I was raised by my grandparents in Polokwane.
Before Hilton College, I attended the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. My time there allowed me to explore the passion that I have for music and unlock my truest potential as a classically trained vocalist and pianist. In my final year, I was appointed as the Head Boy and the Head Chorister of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School.
I joined the Hilton College family in 2017 as a grade 10 pupil in McKenzie House. I was welcomed into a school with limitless opportunities. I was granted a special opportunity to attend Eton College, a school in the United Kingdom which has educated prime ministers and members of the aristocracy. I am thankful for having been afforded this opportunity because now, I can share what I’ve learnt with Hilton College in my new roles as Deputy Head of School and Head of Choir.
I encourage the incoming grade 8s to make good use of the opportunities offered here at Hilton College and to make the most of your time here.
Head of Churchill House: Thomas Hamlin
My name is Thomas Hamlin and I am the Head of Churchill House for 2019
Although everyone starts their Hilton career off on relatively unsteady and perhaps even rocky ground, I can say with confidence that this school has shaped me into the person I am today. It has taught me to stand firm in my values and to trust in myself, these are valuable lessons which I will stand by for the rest of my life.
My dorm and close friends have become the most special part of my time at Hilton. My dorm, after four years of being together, has become something of a family. Before I came to Hilton I had heard many friends, who had either attended or were still attending Hilton, talk about a ‘brotherhood’, and at the time I was not entirely sure what that meant, but I soon came to understand its true meaning, and the friendships I have forged in the classroom, in the boarding house and on the sports field are strong enough, I believe, to stand the test of time. Dorm activities, such as playing touch rugby on Main Lawn, taking a walk down to the Gwen’s waterfalls or simply disobeying the lights out curfew to stay up and talk, have given me the means to form bonds that I know I will have for the rest of my life, and I will take them with me wherever I go.
Before coming to Hilton College, I attended Clifton Preparatory School in Durban. I am an only child and as a result my parents and I have a very close-knit relationship. They have helped me and supported me throughout my journey, to where I am now. The decision to attend Hilton was a relatively easy one as my father, as well as his father before him, attended Hilton, but I know for others it is not necessarily so easy, but I still firmly believe that it is the best decision I have ever made and I cannot thank my parents enough for sending me to such an incredible place.
If Hilton has taught me anything it is this: Take charge of your Hilton career; it is in your own best interests to build a legacy here, and Hilton certainly gives you the means to do so. Find something that interests you, or something you are passionate about, and take it to new heights. I am passionate about rugby, and when I came to Hilton I was never the star of the team, but nevertheless a hard worker, and through this, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of teams that have achieved at the highest level, and I believe that this is because we took command of what we were given, and we made it our own. I am extraordinarily excited for the new year and all that Hilton has in store for me in 2019.
Head of Ellis House: John Turner
My name is John Turner and I am in Ellis House. I attended the Ridge School in Johannesburg before arriving at Hilton in 2015.
I live in Johannesburg with my parents, and I’m extremely grateful to have their support and backing in whatever venture I lay my eyes on. While at Hilton I have I tried to immerse myself in as much as possible, especially my academics and sport.
Since the age of nine, I had always wanted to come to Hilton. My cousin introduced the school to me, and from that moment I knew it was the place for me. The expectations which I had coming into Hilton have been blown away. I have loved my time here so far, and this is undoubtedly because of the unrivaled opportunities, amazing facilities and all the people who make up the Hilton community.
If they is one piece of advice I can give anyone starting high school, it is that you must try to take part in as many different activities possible and make sure you make the most of what’s on offer over the five years. You do not want to look back on your time at high school and say “I should have”.
I am excited to be leading Ellis next year with an impressive group of matrics and to have a leadership role in the Hilton community. I am looking forward to 2019 and all that has to come with it.
Head of Falcon House: Patrick Plunket
My name is Patrick Plunket and I am Head of Falcon House for 2019.
I live in Harare Zimbabwe and attended St John's Primary school before joining the Hilton College community at the start of 2015. Four years down the line and I firmly believe that attending Hilton College has been and will be one of the most enjoyable parts of my life. I have always been a keen rower and academic and Hilton has done nothing but provide me with every platform to achieve my full potential.
In coming to Hilton, I have grown into an ambitious, determined, empathetic, strong willed young man that can solve various problems with an open mind-set. Through the course of the 2019 year, I strongly feel Falcon House will reach new heights with a very strong matric leadership team and all the fundamentals needed to grow the house even more. I am very excited for the many successes that will be achieved during this year. It is going to be a memorable one!
Head of Lucas House: Thomas De Beer
Hilton College has allowed me to discover my passions and develop them to the best of my ability.
Having come from a small Afrikaans day school in Johannesburg to a big full boarding English school in Pietermaritzburg, I can confidently say what it means to be independent. At Hilton you will see me either taking a shot at goal in the pool or making a tackle on a rugby field. I work hard and focus on academics as it will always play a vital role in my life. I take pride in everything that I do.
I will always remember Hilton because of the memories and networks it has allowed me to create. The words ‘lifelong friendships’ might sound like a cliché, but having experienced brotherhood at Hilton, I can state that it is not. I am excited to be part of the Leadership Committee for 2019 and know that new heights will be reached.
“The sky is the limit.”
Head of McKenzie House: Kopano Segoale
My name is Kopano Segoale and I will be the Head of McKenzie House in 2019. I am a proud generation of a South African boy who has been gifted with one of the greatest foundational opportunities of attending my high school at Hilton College. A school that is deeply traditional and refreshingly contemporary.
Within this paradise is McKenzie House that will be your son’s new home for the next five years. A home that will bring joy, smiles, and times, tears to the eyes of your boys. A home that has all but good intentions to shape your son into a true Hilton Boy that will no doubt be ready to take on the world by the end of their stay. And as my own mother reminded me recently, “it is a scary step to take as a parent; letting go of your own son into a new school/new environment that is 500km away. But as a parent, you will soon realize that sending your child to Hilton College will turn out to be one of the best decisions you will ever make as a parent”.
At McKenzie House, we are wired to be competitive and strive for not only great accolades and high achievements, but also a brotherhood that supports those amongst us that may take a little longer to settle; especially during their first year. We focus more on the general well-being of an individual boy, and unlike many other systems in other schools, we tend to lean away from the hierarchical approach of enforcing respect. We understand the limited perks and the anxiety of being in Form 1 and in essence, starting from the very ‘bottom’. Ours is to help you through it all, knowing very well that we all had to grow into it before we begin to enjoy all the perks of being at the top during your final matric year.
In the end my mission alongside dorm cops and all†the other Heads of Houses and the rest of the school’s authorities is to play our role in the development of all young boys into young men. Young men that reflect good character and integrity; young men who value courage, respect, humility and more importantly, compassion. Young men who will emerge as modern gentlemen and step into the world determined to fix the ever growing problems and aware that they have a responsibility to do so.
Head of Newnham House: Thomas Macleod-Henderson
I am Thomas Macleod-Henderson, the Newnham Head of House for 2019.
I attended Winston Park Primary in Hillcrest before starting at Hilton, and I came alone, which allowed me the opportunity to start a new chapter in life. Hilton has afforded me the opportunity to grow into a young gentleman, and to improve in whatever activity I chose to pursue, regardless of the difficulty or time needed. Hilton is a special place to the boys, as the opportunities are endless in this institution. One just needs to make use of all the resources in the short time we have here.
Born and raised in Durban, I enjoy frequent trips to the warm beaches. I also enjoy playing rugby, soccer and lastly basketball, of which I have recently become an avid fan of. Hilton has allowed me to nurture my enthusiastic and helping nature, and over the years I have taken in many positive traits of the leaders that have passed before me.
I am looking forward to running Newnham next year, together with a group of impressive matrics, and also to have a leadership role in the greater Hilton community.
Head of Pearce House: Mark Armstrong
My name is Mark Armstrong and I am in Pearce House. I came to Hilton College in Grade 8 after attending D.P.H.S in Durban for eight years.
I am a passionate rugby player and really enjoyed the 2018 season playing for the First XV. My dad and his four brothers are all old boys and I have a brother in Grade 10. I have found my Hilton experience to be more than I could ever have imagined and I have made friendships, which I know will never fade. You realise that your dorm turns into your family as you near the end of your Hilton career.
I am very excited for the upcoming year, and welcoming all the the new faces to Hilton. The new boys arrive bringing a wave of new energy, which I am very excited to be a part of. My role is to lead Pearce House with the help of my dorm mates, knowing that with their help I will be ready to face the upcoming challenges, which this role entails.
Portfolio Head of Academics: Thomas Little
After going to primary school in Johannesburg at Pridwin Prep I made the decision to come to Hilton College and was placed in McKenzie House. Hilton has played an important role in shaping who I am and has grown all aspects of me. I was fortunate enough in junior years to be involved in the jazz band and a few theatre productions.
I look back to my fond memories on Hilton’s sports field and am excited to make many more. Academics has been a big part of my life at Hilton and has afforded me the opportunity to excel in my subjects of interest.
Academics plays a pivotal role in the life of a Hilton boy. I look forward to adding value to the academic space at Hilton next year and am keen to be part of a year that could take Hilton to new academic heights.
Portfolio Head of Community: Onye Adirika
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” - Albert Einstein
My name is Onye Adirika and I am the Head of the Community Portfolio for 2019. I attended Clifton School in Durban for 8 years until I set my first steps as a proud Hiltonian in 2015 as a grade 8 new boy.
Throughout life I have always had an interest in topics pertaining to the human mind, social adaptation and politics. I have a fond passion for debating, sport, music and most of all the art of ‘controlling a crowd’.
I come from a loving family of five priding itself on instilling values of integrity, compassion and respect which is why Hilton was the perfect fit. Going forward in my role next year I plan to not only better my personal understanding of the world but moreover, to be the shepherd that leads Hilton to greener pastures enriched with understanding and the willingness to grow together. After my Hilton Career comes to an end my goal is to pursue a PPE and LLB degree at New York University or the University of Chicago.
I welcome all the new boys of 2019 and look forward to partaking in this journey with you all.
Portfolio Head of Culture: Kutloano Modisaesi
My name is Kutloano Modisaesi and I come from Randburg, Johannesburg. I was educated at The Ridge Primary School before taking the lunge towards the seemingly unreal privilege of being educated at Hilton College. When I accepted the academic scholarship to attend this institution I was truly honored to be blessed with such an opportunity and I have never looked back.
My two main passions are music and academic endeavor. In my free time I have never hesitated to get involved in the school's cultural program as I began to play the drum kit and joined the Orchestra, Jazz Band and entered the Marimba Band.
As the newly appointed Head of Culture for 2019 my goal is to raise the profile of cultural activities at Hilton College to a greater level of excellence in every aspect whether it be music, art or drama. I look forward to bringing a new sense of creativity to this leadership role and enhancing the quality of all our cultural endeavours for 2019 as a school.
Alongside the leaders of 2019 I wish to welcome the new members of Hilton College into our community and I trust that your experience here will be excellent.
Portfolio Head of Estate: Rory Plunket
My name is Rory Plunket. I am the Estate Portfolio Head for 2019. I am from Harare, Zimbabwe. I grew up on a forestry estate in the Eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. I was always in the outdoors, making tree houses to fishing with my twin brother. I am very fond of the outdoors and the many happy memories that nature has brought me.
I am also heavily involved in sport. I row at Midmar Dam nearly every day. It hugely brings in the aspect of being outdoors as you are always fighting the wind and huge waves. The Hilton College Estate is a fundamental part of our school and adds to the many happy memories boys leave with.
I look forward to leading this position and hope to inspire boys to appreciate and indulge in the Estate as much as possible.
Portfolio Head of Spirituality: S’bonelo Phungula
“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
Hebrews 11: 1
In 2019, ambitious targets and goals have been set for Spirituality at Hilton College. I am very honoured to have been appointed this role and am very thankful for the awesome team I will be working with: Our Chaplin, Richard Wyngaard, newly appointed Head of CF Sicelo Mahlangu and the CF committee under him.
Faith is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the assuring, unshakable belief that God’s love, and all he is was put on a cross for humanity. That we have a second chance, not to live perfectly but purposefully in accordance to the plans God has for us. “Plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah29: 11). One very important woman in the Hilton College staff challenged me when said “You have a hard task this year because there are many distractions in the world today. People struggle to hear the spirit. People are not always in tune with their spiritual being.”
At Hilton College, we strive to make spirituality something boys can carry long after they have walked out the McKenzie gates by making it more exciting and dynamic. To start off, we have created a communication team.comprised of energetic and insightful boys in the school. Their task will be to take down notes or important quotes and record exciting events happening around the school in terms of spirituality. There ‘findings’ will be stuck on the school walls. A prayer team will also be added to pray for needs. Community Church’ is a new initiative once a term where we make the service more vibrant and invite a guest speaker.
We look forward to 2019 as a spiritual team, contributing to the school and allowing boys to search within and, most importantly, grow spiritually.
Portfolio Head of Sport: Murray Schnell
My name is Murray Schnell and I am in Ellis House. I attended prep school in Johannesburg at The Ridge but my family moved down to Durban at the end of my Grade 8 year at Hilton. Sport really helped me to find my feet at boarding school and it has played a major role in shaping the person that I am today. I love all sports but at Hilton I have focused on Water Polo and Rugby.
Out of school I really enjoy being with my family and surfing. 2018 was an incredible year for Hilton College sport and this has left me with big shoes to fill. I am really excited though at the opportunity that I have been given as Head of Sport to be part of a team that will try and take Hilton College to new sporting highs. The 2019 year has huge potential and I can’t wait to see how it pans out. I am especially looking forward to meeting and working with the new boys and seeing the flair that they can bring to Hilton College sport.
Portfolio Head of Outreach: Darrel Nkomo
My name is Darrel Nkomo, I am the Head of the Outreach Portfolio for 2019.
I live in Johannesburg and attended Crawford Lonehill, before joining the Hilton College community in 2015. I am passionate about sport and in particular soccer, hockey and basketball. Hilton College has afforded me many opportunities and a journey which is irreplaceable. Before arriving, I had high expectations for this institution, however since joining Hilton I have been more than impressed by the standard and the morals instilled in the boys. Through Hilton I have built great relationships with my friends at this school, that will go well beyond my high school career. I have learnt what it means to be a true gentleman.
As the newly appointed Head of Outreach, I want the Hilton College boys to give back to less fortunate communities as most Hilton boys come from privileged backgrounds. I want to do a lot of “hands on work” using personal time to improve other communities.
“We rise by lifting others”.