Karl Verspyck receives the Sponela Magwaza Outstanding Leader Award

St. Mary's Menston's Year 13 Presentation Evening saw the presentation of the Sponela Magwaza Outstanding Leader Award

Photo: Mr D Beardsley, David Geldart, Mgr Paul Grogan, Karl Verspyck, Mrs C Chattoe, Mr R Lavery


Karl Verspyck visited South Africa In June 2014. From the onset Karl did everything that he could to ensure that he was fully prepared for his work in South Africa. He was adamant that he wanted to get the most out of his visit.

Karl was keen to share his educational experiences with students living in KwaZulu-Natal. He knew that he wanted to share Mr Priestley’s plate tectonic lesson and teach the students of Mnyakanya High School the geography he had so enjoyed learning.

Way in advance of the visit Karl set to work producing lesson plans and resources. He knew that he wanted to bring the students out of the classroom to teach his geography lesson. Karl worked hard to ensure that the students from Mnyakanya High School had the privilege of an all action, dynamic lesson on plate tectonics.

It is without doubt that Karl and his lesson made a massive impact on the students in South Africa. When St. Mary’s returned a year later the students and teachers both asked, “What was Karl was doing now?”

Photo: Karl in South Africa, June 2014

Photo: Karl in South Africa, June 2014


“It is such a privilege to receive such prestigious award for the work I did in South Africa. I had a really fun time working with Mnyakanya and fellow St. Mary’s students. The trip itself was rewarding enough so to be honoured with the Sbenelo Magwaza Award for outstanding leadership its truly humbling. The whole trip has affected my outlook on life and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go out to South Africa.

I look forward to keeping involved with the partnership I am excited to see it grow and become a real force for change both in the UK and internationally.”
— Karl Verspyck

In June 2015, the same award was presented in South Africa to a young student called Magwaza Standiwe.

Photo: Mr T Pringle, Magwaza Standiwe, Mr G Wilkes

Magwaza Standiwe was given this award because he had demonstrated that he had a positive attitude, good communication skills, new ideas, was good at listening, great at sharing and making decisions, but above all was someone who is keen and able to help others.

Like Magwaza Standiwe, Karl has all of these qualities and always uses them to good effect. Along with his unforgettable lesson it is without doubt that Karl Verspyck is very deserving of The Sponela Magwaza Outstanding Leader Award.

Well done Karl your work had a massive impact on the people in South Africa!