Staff at Cornerstone School

Mr Calvin Pienaar
Mrs Shena Audhpersadh
Mrs Nokubonga Shozi
Miss Trisha Mariappen
Miss Sarah Ferreira
Miss Jasmin Appana
Miss Kerusha Haridut
Miss Liesel Usher
Mrs Lindsay Smith

Director / School Counsellor

Mr C Pienaar

 

After many years of being an active member in the community and working with various children’s homes, schools, orphanages, trauma centres, SAPS and working in private practice, Mr Pienaar discovered a dire need for remedial schools in the area and a need that could no longer go unassisted. Mr Pienaar therefore took the plunge and founded Cornerstone, in 2012. Since its inception (with just one student), Cornerstone Remedial School has flourished, having assisted many learners and families in the Durban and South African community.

 

Mr Pienaar has studied many courses over the years and in various fields, however he formally graduated from UNISA with a BA Degree in Psychology and Communications. He then went on to obtain a BSoc Sci Honours in Psychology at UKZN followed by a BPsych at UNISA, which lead him to register with the HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa) as a Registered Counsellor.

 

Mr Pienaar is currently doing his Research Master’s through UNISA and hopes to follow these studies, as a keen lifelong learner. Mr Pienaar works hands on with all students and plays an active role in each student's career at Cornerstone Remedial School. His passion for working with both children and families is what lead him down this path and one that he is grateful for on a daily basis.

 

Deputy Principal / Developmental Class Teacher

Mrs S Audhpersadh

 

Mrs Audhpersadh has been a part of Cornerstone Remedial School since January 2014. She is a graduate of UNISA with a Bachelor of Education degree in the Intermediate and Senior Phase. She has been teaching for 13 years and has experience in the Foundation Phase as well as the Intermediate and Senior Phase.

 

For the past 6 years Mrs Audhpersadh has diversified her knowledge and experience in the remedial and special needs environment. She has been influential in the academic structure across all grades and has grown in her position at Cornerstone Remedial School to that of Deputy Principal.

 

"My passion for children has led me to Cornerstone. I have been teaching since 2007. It is my goal to ensure that I instil in my learners strong character, skills and habits of mind, for life in an ever-changing world. Helping children discover
his or her passions and potential is of utmost importance to me."

 

Mrs Audhpersadh enjoys Photography on a part time basis and is a professional in this field. "It is wonderful capturing those special moments that can be treasured by many through generations to come."

 

School Receptionist

Mrs Nokubonga Shozi

 

Mrs Shozi is an invaluable part of the Cornerstone family as the schools Receptionist / Administrator.

 

She has seven years work experience, working within Office Administration roles. She has an Office Administration qualification obtained from the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) together with Boston City Campus & Business College.

 

She has a warm personality, cares about the wellbeing of child and for people in general. Her moto in life is that: “People give you the kind of energy you give out.”

Intermediate and Senior Phase Educator

Trisha Mariappen

 

Trisha Mariappen is an educator at Cornerstone Remedial School, in the intermediate & senior phase. She has been with Cornerstone since 2019 and absolutely loves her work! It has always been a passion of hers to be able to work with children, and being able to do so, is extremely important to her.

 

She has a bachelor’s degree in education, specialising in English and Psychology  and has also obtained supporting certificates in the special needs & remedial field. As a passionate and dedicated person in the teaching profession, Miss Mariappen is a person capable of adaptability, as well as teamwork. She believes that all challenging situations that one may find themselves in, are simply guidelines to discover a creative solution.

 

Miss Mariappen can be described as a friendly, down to earth person with an amazing sense of humour. She is always forthcoming and helpful with those around her, which has enabled her to build amazing relationships with learners and staff alike.

 

Her hobbies include: reading, watching mystery/detective movies and she enjoys interacting with nature and animals. She’s also interested in space and technology inventions that allow us to explore the unknown perils of space, planets and other universes. Her motto: “Be kind wherever possible”.

 

Intermediate and Senior Phase Educator

Sarah Ferreira

 

Sarah Ferreira is our Grade 5 class teacher but will also be teaching various subjects to the other grades. She has a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Psychology and Geography, as well as a PGCE in Intermediate and Senior phase teaching. She has been teaching for nearly 5 years now and loves every minute.

 

Sarah has taught in a number of schools in South Africa, but her most recent experience was in China. She taught in an international school in a city called Kunshan. Although she enjoyed working with the learners in China, she was saddened by the lack of remedial intervention. Sarah strongly believes that every child should be given the chance to learn in their own, unique way. Due to her strong belief, Sarah has been on many courses to discover and learn the best way to help all learners feel confident and enjoy learning new things. She, by no means, believes that she is done learning and evolving.

 

Although Sarah loves teaching and working with children, her first love is animals. She has five beautiful dogs and two wonderful cats and she would definitely have more if she had a bigger house. Sarah loves horses and is most relaxed when riding. She thoroughly enjoys reading, and at any given time you will find at least three books on her bedside table.  

 

Foundation Phase Educator

Jasmin Appanna

 

Ms Appanna currently teaches in our foundation phase at Cornerstone Remedial School. She studied at Embury Institute for Higher Education and obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree in Foundation Phase Teaching.

 

After graduation Jasmin volunteered at various schools and a tutor centres to better her experience and knowledge of the education sector.

 

She is passionate about working with young children and helping each child reach their potential.

 

In her leisure time she enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as reading, afternoon runs on the beach, baking and exploring her beautiful city, Durban.

 

Foundation Phase Facilitator

Kerusha Haridut

 

Kerusha Haridut is formally from Kwa- Zulu Natal, Durban who graduated with a BA Psychology Degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She furthered her studies by enrolling in her Honours in Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology at the University of Kwa- Zulu Natal. Her study of child development and behaviour in psychology has given her a sound background on the delicate treatment of children and she has found her forte with special needs children. It has become her passion as she feels that these kids have so much to offer and their unconditional love and trust is extremely awe-inspiring and satisfying.

 

She has had the privilege of working at Cornerstone Remedial school since the beginning of this year. This first-hand experience has shown her that not only can we change the lives of the children and parents, but the job itself can change you as a person! Establishing a good rapport above all has brought her so much closer to these kids. She say that she is inspired every single day and describes the kids as bright , intelligent children that just require patience and a different way of teaching. It is very important to able to teach at their level of understanding. This brings so much joy both to the teacher and the pupil.

 

Being a part of the Cornerstone family means a lot to her and she is extremely motivated in making a change and being a part of this school and would love to continue working with the beautiful, gifted children as it is indeed an honour to be able to work in a unique school like this.

 

Developmental Unit Facilitator

Liesel Usher

 

Liesel Usher has been a part of the Cornerstone family, as a facilitator, since 2019. She has eight years of experience working with children and is currently completing a Bachelors’ Degree in Education for the Foundation Phase.

 

After matric, Liesel decided to take a gap year to discover herself, as is the trend with millennials. She saw a course being offered at a school and applied for it with an open mind to new experiences. It was then that she discovered her love for working with children, and even more so with children that have learning barriers. As that often results in them getting left behind in the educational system.

 

Liesel believes the quote that states, “Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.” She believes that every child has an attribute unique to them that is invaluable. Children should be given the support, understanding, and the time that they need to nurture their gifts. Then they will be able to find their voice, follow their dreams and shine their light on the world.

 

Liesel enjoys travelling to new destinations. She loves completing piece puzzles and appreciates spending time with family and friends.

 

Solace Wing Educator 

Lindsay Smith

 

Lindsay Smith, also goes by the names Linds, Lindsay, Smithy and Mrs Smith.

 

Lindsay is strongly passionate about and has a heart for children. She has been working with special needs children for over 11 years, and as much as she has been their teacher, she has learnt so much from the children that she has worked with. It is a very humbling experience for her and she does not take her job very lightly. Lindsay not only has a responsibility to the children she works with, but also to their families.

 

She is always up for the challenge that comes with working with children, and believes that together we can strive to reach goals and milestones however long it may take. She is the wife to a wonderful husband. Lindsay enjoys living an active life and she is always looking for adventures to go on. Some of her hobbies include reading and writing poetry. She also enjoys being outdoors; hiking, cycling and running - to name a few of her favourite things to do on weekends.

 

Lindsay describes herself as “unsociably sociable, if that makes any sense at all”. She loves helping and caring for those around her. Lindsay has also done a year of missions and spent two months in a remote village in Zambia.