farewell to the stevens family

BY Administrator

Riebeek College Girls' High School Press Release - Farewell to the Stevens family
Mrs Viv Stevens of Riebeek College Girls’ High School and Mr Peter Stevens of Muir College retire at the end of this year having made a huge contribution to education and the teaching of Mathematics in Uitenhage.  Mrs Stevens spent 23 years at Riebeek and Mr Stevens spent 37 years at Muir.
Mr Peter Stevens served as Muir Deputy Headmaster, Hostel Superintendent, Academic Head, Senior Mathematics teacher.  He was thanked at a special function at Muir College for his contribution to the school and all his years of loyalty. He attended school at Muir College and matriculated there.  He returned to his Alma Mater, Muir, to teach and spent 37 years there as an education and Senior Management Team member.
Mrs Stevens joined the Riebeek family in 1996. She grew up in Zimbabwe and studied at Rhodes University. Mrs Stevens said that her high school Maths teacher played an important role in her love for Maths, and she in turn has become an inspiration to many of her learners. She holds a BSc Masters in Mathematics and Physics. She loves doing cryptic crosswords and setting the general knowledge quiz at the end of every term and says she is horrified by the learners’ lack of general knowledge. Mrs Stevens has visited Europe and the United States. She has participated in the Corporate Triathlon of Iron Man three times, cycled the 109km Cape Argus twice and completed two Two Oceans half marathons. 
Mrs Stevens met her husband of 37 years at Rhodes University. Mr Stevens said, “She chased after me until I eventually gave in.” Mrs and Mr Stevens are both Maths teachers, although Mrs Stevens says that Mr Stevens isn’t quite as clever as she is. They have two sons, Gavin, who works in Cape Town, and Dryden, who lives with them. Mrs Stevens is extremely proud of her children's accomplishments.
Mrs Stevens advised the girls to “Find your passion and follow that.” Mrs Stevens has most certainly done that and in doing so she has not only ignited that passion in many of her learners but has shown them that by following your passion you can never go wrong.
Mrs Stevens believes that her highlights are the little, daily things, such as when her learners do well in a test or when they pay her a compliment.  Another highlight was when her niece was Head Girl in 1997. Mrs Stevens loves seeing the girls at events such as the Gala.
Lindsay McFarlane, Old Girl, shared, “When I think of Mrs Stevens, I  think of the saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Looking back, I think this quote has been one of the biggest lessons I learnt, and something that I constantly remind myself of when I feel I am rushing into something. I always thought this saying was ironic coming from Mrs Stevens, as  she is one of the most competitive people I know. Knowing that even someone like her needs to be reminded of going slowly and steadily really encouraged me to stop and take my time, doing things properly rather than finishing first.” 
Sinovuyo Madlavu said, “She is kind hearted, although she has her own quirky way of showing it. Her passion and brilliance inspire me every day. She has cultivated excellence and a love for Maths in me and is one of the reasons I will be pursuing actuarial sciences. I feel eternally blessed to have been taught by such an amazing mind. Mrs Stevens has become one of my role models and not merely a teacher. She has shaped me so much, and I cannot thank her enough.”
It will be difficult to fill her shoes. She has been a driven teacher who aims to help children to excel in Maths. Mrs Stevens’ dedication and commitment came through in every Maths lesson. She is known to never give up, not only when it comes to problems but with the girls too. Sayings like “money for jam”, “this isn’t a pick a number show” and the Beyoncé lyric “to the left, to the left” will stay with the girls as the words put a smile on the faces of the girls unless it was written on their test.
Mrs Stevens plans on spending more time outdoors with her husband and younger son. Furthermore, she plans to play bridge, tennis, and do some Pilates and more travelling and perhaps go back home to visit Zimbabwe. Mrs Stevens will most certainly miss teaching but she’ll especially miss her colleagues and the friendships she has formed in her 23 years at Riebeek.
Husband Peter Stevens said, “Viv’s proudest moments as a mom include Dryden bringing joy to all who know him with his positive outlook on life and Gavin enjoying a successful career in Cape Town. A highlight for us was our family holiday to Disney World and Universal Studios: four children playing together! I have no doubt that my sons would agree with me that Viv is the best Mom and wife ever!”
Mrs Anne Peltason, a colleague at Riebeek College, wrote, “Highly intelligent and interested in everything, Vivienne Stevens made her mark setting up creative general knowledge tests. She is no slouch when it comes to words and can solve a crossword puzzle quicker than most, including the cryptic crossword which remains an unsolved mystery to me. This means that had Mrs Stevens been born forty years earlier she would probably have  been  a very good code-breaker.
Her cycling team-mate is her husband Peter, who shares many of her passions. Both are Mathematics teachers, both have the kind of sense of humour that their pupils respect and fear.
Mrs Stevens was one who kept things running smoothly.  She liked things the way she liked them, and she liked her coffee hot. Mrs Stevens is not into hugging, and yet she has a heart of gold. She has sometimes been a little like Eeyore, but she never lets up on her professionalism, even when things were getting her down. We will miss her, both as a colleague and as a precious friend, and we wish her many glasses of delicious wine, quaffed in a deck chair, feet up, with Peter, at Trail’s End.”

 December 12, 2018
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