New science teacher a passionate all-rounder

CÉLESTE-MARIE ENGESTROM

MRS KAREN VENTER, the new Science teacher at Saint Michael’s, has an Honours degree in Plant Health as well as a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology – and obviously a PCGE. She spoke Xhosa before she learnt Afrikaans.

She was born in Mthatha, grew up on a farm in the district of Ugie in the Eastern Cape and later moved to Bloemfontein.

Mrs Venter matriculated from Hoërskool Hangklip in Queenstown after which she took a gap year to work at a forestry nursery. Teaching was not a childhood dream, but she stumbled upon a teaching career when she was asked to stand in for a teacher. Once in front of a class, she realised that she was energised by the environment, and especially her interaction with the learners.

Physical Sciences have always interested her and she never finds it monotonous or boring. She is passionate about her subject and pushes her learners to do their best. Apart from teaching science, she was also involved with squash and hockey when she taught at Grey College.

Here at SMS, she finds the girls overall well-mannered and easy to work with. She also finds that most SMS girls work hard and put their all into her subject.

Mrs Venter is a woman with a wide range of interests. She loves to take photos – one of her photos of the Amanita muscaria mushroom was published in an academic book. She also grows her own mushrooms and enjoys fishing with her dad, writing her own blog and travelling with her husband. A surprising fact about her is that she loves war movies. Saving Private Ryan is her favourite!

She loves animals in general, but her favourite animal is an eagle, most importantly because of its symbolic meaning: the eagle is known for its ability to rise above a storm. We should do the same, and look at our problems from above; then our perspective changes.

Her motto is: ‘Nothing beats hard work. You may be talented but if you do not work hard, you will not attain the desired results.’ Her future plans do not include teaching though, but rather applying the degree in Psychology that she is currently studying for.

Mrs Karen Venter in front of her favourite transformer, Bumble Bee, in Bali.
Photo provided