History of St Mark’s
St Mark’s College was founded 37 years ago in Jane Furse, a rural service town tucked away in the heart of Sekhukhune District of the then Lebowa Government. The school is inextricably intertwined with the community of Jane Furse as the centre of excellence that provides quality education to its residents and those of the surrounding villages. While an important part of the community in which it is located, the school had a much wider appeal with pupils drawn from far-flung corners of the now Limpopo Province as well as surrounding provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, previously known as Transvaal and Eastern Transvaal, respectively.
It is in many ways a school that pushed the boundaries of education in the province. Having begun life in 1948 as a seminary for the Community of the Resurrection, it was forced to close doors in protest against draconian apartheid legislation that prevented blacks from receiving the same quality of education as their white counterparts. A long hiatus followed the said closure until loopholes were found in apartheid legislation, which gave new impetus to The Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist to establish a school that would bear its name in 1985.
This marked the first rebirth of the school, one which sought to make a new entry on the educational landscape of the then Northern Transvaal in the quest to change the socioeconomic circumstances of the people of Sekhukhune and Lebowa as a whole. Under the exemplary leadership of Peter Anderson, the school’s first principal, St Mark’s College was able to rise from obscurity to become a true educational establishment that broke the mould of poor education outcomes in the region. Not long after it was established, its pupils were able to distinguish themselves from their peers in the region and the province at-large, with many going on to achieve impressive academic results that bore testament to the school’s unflinching dedication to good education.
The true litmus test of the 1985 experiment came in 1990 with the school’s first matric class achieving excellent results that got the school noticed as the paragon of academic excellence at regional, provincial, and national levels. Indeed, the decade of the 1990’s proved to be the school’s golden era, with subsequent matriculating classes achieving results that followed the example of the cohort of 1990. The school would further go on to be placed in the Top 100 Best Schools in South Africa by the Sunday Times for two consecutive years.
Front Row from Left to Right: Tebogo Jan Diale, Colin Mateme, Robert Rankapole, Khomotso Alfred Naka, Rogers Makuba, Lindsey Meleeme, Khepu Joseph Mushi
Second Row from Left to Right: Japhtaline Linky Makgoba, Mamongae Mahlare, Paulina Makuba, Debra Malekana, Molebogeng Motswaledi, Nombulelo Nkanama, Tebogo Justicia Maleka, Dorothy Molete, Madimole Mpetle
Third Row from Left to Right: Leseilane Winston Phasha, Felix Mashifane, Nathaniel Maleswane, Enoch Thobejane, Theophilus Masemola, Patrick Kgoete, Molefi Moloantoa, Fitzpatrick Mashilwane
Fourth Row from Left to Right: Benjamin Mokgwatsane, Dior Masemola, Stanley Mmotong, Thabo Tjatji, Dineo Dolamo, Mogologolo Phasha, Percival Mushwana, Nathaniel Seleka, Masotha Mlangeni
Fifth Row from Left to Right: Maureen Mokgwatsane, Pippin Anderson, Beatrice Maserumule, Rebotile Concelia Moetanalo, Refilwe Tau, Mmasamo Masekela, Thembi Rasmeni, Cleopatra Mangoenyane
Academic and Support Staff in 1990
With the millennium fast approaching, in 1998 the school bid farewell to its founding headmaster, Peter Anderson, a momentous occasion that marked the end of an era. While attempts were made to continue the legacy of the school’s founding leadership following the departure of the Andersons, these became forlorn as the school soon became marred by a myriad of setbacks, which it desperately sought to rise above.
Despite the existing challenges, there was a certain radiant and resilient quality about St Mark’s, both of which showed in the quality of matric results that surpassed those of many schools in the province. Nevertheless, the school is fast recovering whatever ground it lost during the difficult years, as many of its pupils continue to achieve excellent matric results, earning them top spots in leading universities in the country. As it enters a new era as a specialised high school focusing on Maths and Science subjects, there is not a shred of doubt that St Mark’s, true to form and its founding values, will continue in its long-standing traditions of academic excellence.