Appointment of a New Executive Headmaster of St Johns College

8 April 2019

Dear Members of the St John’s Community

Appointment of a New Executive Headmaster

After a rigorous process over the last four months, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Council has appointed Mr Stuart West as Executive Head from January 2020. Mr West will become the 16th Headmaster of St John’s College.

Selection Process

The position of Executive Head was advertised in the national press and on the ISASA website in November 2018. Council also appointed an experienced search company to headhunt suitable candidates. A selection panel representative of all sectors of the school community and bolstered by external experts in education, transformation and governance oversaw the process. In all, 85 applications were received from across Southern Africa and overseas. A shortlist of seven very strong candidates went through an intensive series of interviews, psychometric evaluation and reference checks culminating in the final selection being made last week before being approved by the Visitor, Bishop Steve Moreo.

Stuart West

Mr West is an experienced educator and Head who comes to us from Herschel Girls School in Cape Town, regarded as the Western Cape’s top academic school as well as having an outstanding sporting record and strong arts programme. Prior to that, he was College Principal of Dainfern College for seven years following a 19-year spell at Bishop’s (Diocesan College) where he served as an assistant day housemaster, boarding housemaster and vice-principal. It is unusual to find a Head with such a vast range of whole-school experience in both boys’ and girls’ monastic as well as co-educational schools.
Educated at Graeme College in Grahamstown, Rhodes University and UNISA, Mr West holds a BA (Hons) degree in History and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Stuart is an accomplished sportsman having played and coached at the provincial level. He is married to Joyanne, Head of St Cyprian’s School-in-the-Woods Pre-Preparatory in Cape Town and they have three adult children Kristy, Shelley and Michael.


As an ordained Anglican lay minister, Mr West is aligned with the Christian ethos of St John’s College. During his career, he has shown himself to be an inventive thinker able to lead schools in 21st-century curriculum innovation. His experience and vision align well with Council’s strategic planning, he has great experience in pastoral care and an impressive record in driving transformation, diversity and social justice in South African schools. A notable strength of his is an ability to gather and motivate teams able to implement a strategic plan.
During the interview process, Mr West described St John’s as “an iconic school perfectly suited to drive innovation and change in South African education.”
We are privileged to have someone as experienced and motivated as Stuart West lead St John’s College and assure him of the support of Council and the entire school community.

Yours sincerely

Jon Patricios
Chairman of Council