Deacon takes reigns

Jaco Deacon, new CEO of Fedsas.

Jaco Deacon has taken over as the CEO of the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) this week, after acting in this position following the retirement of Paul Colditz after 14 years as CEO.

According to Deacon, it is a privilege to take over the helm of a ship that is already going ahead at full steam. “Probably the most important legacy of Paul Colditz is that everyone at Fedsas knows exactly why we are doing what we do. Technical skills can be acquired, but a team can only move forward when decisions are made and actions executed with the right motivation.”

The chairperson of the National Council of Fedsas, Shaun Mellors, said Jaco has been with Fedsas for more than a decade and has helped to build Fedsas into the influential organisation it is today. For any organisation, this is the ideal scenario for succession planning.

Mellors said Deacon’s status as education leader, locally as well as internationally, means that Fedsas can continue to build on the strong relationships the organisation has with other education role-players. “In Jaco we have a dynamic leader, with the vision to take this established and respected organisation into the future.”

Technically and professionally Deacon is, however, already exceptionally well- qualified for the position. His training as lawyer started under the guidance of Colditz where he worked in education law as candidate lawyer. He completed a doctorate in labour law while working as senior lecturer in the Law Faculty at the University of the Free State.

In 2008, Deacon was appointed by the Minister of Labour as part of a task team to review labour laws. In 2013, the Minister of Basic Education appointed him to the South African Council of Educators, where he has also been serving on the ethics committee. He is also president of the South Africa Education Law Association.

Deacon said, for both him and the rest of the Fedsas team, education is their passion.

Sazly Hartzenberg