Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference.



Acudeo College

Karthi Pillay, 34, is the first non-catholic principal at Acudeo College in Soshanguve. He strongly believes in youth leadership and in giving every child an equal opportunity as they have the ability to change the future. He has a keen passion for education, whereby he was a math teacher by profession. In this regard, Karthi believes that all his students should be equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills. His enthusiastic nature in teaching allows him to be a much-loved educator when in the classroom. In his role as principal, Karthi has counselled many youths, allowing them a second opportunity. He is an avid believer that education needs to “build children and not break them”. This has allowed many of his prep school learners to move into high school confidently. He is also aware that education has changed and so should teachers and classroom environments. Consequently, he encourages all his staff to have a happy, safe, and conducive learning environment where learners can thrive and enjoy school. Karthi reminds everyone that children are all different and that diversity should be embraced and positively reinforced. He leads by example and is a hands-on leader. Karthi demonstrates all the qualities of a great educator and continues to show forward-thinking and 21st-century teaching strategies.

  • Advanced certification in education, University of Free State 
  • BEd, Northwest University

  • Trailblazer 2019
  • Deputy principal, at the age of 32. 
  • Phase leader at Crawford International certified world international teacher

I did not come from a wealthy family and needed to secure a bursary after matric. I was unsuccessful and fees became an issue. The memory of my parents struggling to make payments inspired me to do more with my life and achieve better.

Never lose hope no matter how dark the day becomes.

I would love to see the public sector education improve we have all the talent which is being thrown away. I would like to see children being introduced to the inquiring methods of teaching

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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