St John’s D.S.G. Old Girl, Leigh-Anne Cooke (née Gaylard, Class of 1993) has been living in Cape Town for the past 24 years. Married to Darren, they have two children, daughter, Jordan (Grade 12) and son, Dan (Grade 10). Leigh-Anne sells property in a security estate, five minutes from her home, which she really enjoys. She takes family photographs as a hobby and often trail runs in the Cape mountains along with her Jack Russell and close friends. As a family, the Cookes spend a lot of time at the Breede River, on the Cape Town beaches and on the side of the sports field. They also absolutely love to braai!
What is your favourite memory from your time at school?
My favourite memory from school is definitely the girls! Especially the girls in my grade and in the grades above and below. I so fondly remember my first day and subsequent week at school and how kind, warm, friendly, loving and supportive everyone was. Although homesick at first, I felt as if I had arrived home. Still, to this day, St John’s D.S.G. girls are just so wonderful. This was highlighted for me at last year’s 125 birthday celebration. So many years had gone by, yet once we all got together it felt as if no time had passed at all. We are a close sisterhood. It’s hard to explain but once having pinned the eagle’s crest on, you become part of something really great!
What do you think makes St John’s D.S.G. the special school that it is today?
It is very clear that the school has deep roots and a real sense of identity that cannot be shaken. A strong Old Girls Association and generations of families having gone to the school are what maintain this. This goes hand in hand with really strong leadership. To work is to pray. Almost every St John’s D.S.G. girl I have ever known is hard-working, motivated, driven and kind.