The United Herzlia Schools Board of Governors has announced that they have awarded a prestigious Honorary Life Membership to Natalie Barnett, joining all her predecessors. Matthew Gruzd, current Herzlia Board of Governors Chair, says that “this award acknowledges Natalie’s exemplary service over many years, and in various capacities, including leadership, vision, commitment, empathy, constitutional development, appropriate role definition of the governors and succession planning. Special mention must be made of Natalie’s introduction of the Menschlichkeit pillar to the Herzlia values – Natalie personifies all of the attributes of this pillar!”
Gruzd explains that “Natalie has been involved with Herzlia for over two decades starting with the PTA and then served on the Board of Governors for around 18 years – two of which were as Board Chair. Natalie is extremely dedicated, uncompromising, smart, invested, professional and empathetic. Large parts of what people know, and love, about Herzlia today comes from initiatives that Natalie spearheaded. Despite not being an alumna herself, Natalie’s husband, Clifford, and all their children are proud Herzlians and she is as much a ‘Herzlian’ as any of us.”
Recipient of the award, Natalie Barnett shared that “this is a wonderful honour and I feel extremely humbled by the beautiful award and accompanying message. Thank you. I salute all those who came before me, those who served with me, and those who continue to carry the torch. Kol hakavod l’kulam. I am truly grateful for having had the opportunity and privilege to serve and work with the Herzlia leadership, staff, pupils, board and trustees and I wish them every success for the future. Todah rabah and let’s always remember: Im tirtzu ein zo aggadah, because if we will it, it is no dream.”
Andries van Renssen, Executive Director of United Herzlia Schools says that “Natalie Barnett was the Chairperson during the time that the Board decided to appoint an Executive Director and was at the forefront of the process. Natalie was visionary in understanding the needs of the school, recognising that change was imminent and had the ability to articulate this with such clarity. She understood the world is changing rapidly and she acted decisively about the need to change. Natalie was tremendously valuable and generous with her introduction of me into the Herzlia community and the workings of the Cape Town Jewish community. This support enabled me to move swiftly into a position where I could start implementing practical initiatives and changes. I feel much gratitude for her input.”
Website: United Herzlia Schools
• Published in the PDF edition of the September 2021 issue – Download here.
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