Six Principals Who are Holding High Ranks in The Government Due To Their Outstanding Performance

High School principals are always etched in our memories for the pivotal roles they played in our lives. While some have fond memories of their principals, to others , they remain a stark reminder of the time they would like to leave in the past.

In most cases, a principal’s leadership would determine the success or failure of the school. This has seen a number of former principals lead their schools to success which in turn propelled their careers forward.

Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at six former High School principals who literally made it to the Mount Rushmore of scholars.

Christopher Khaemba

The former pilot with the Kenya Air Force is renowned for his time at Alliance High School where he led the academic giant for over 10 years. He initially joined as a Mathematics and Physics teacher before ultimately climbing the ranks from Housemaster to Careers Master, Senior Master, Deputy Principal and finally principal. According to the school’s history, Khaemba’s no-nonsense approach to academic activities earned him the moniker ‘Sodium’ from the students.

He is remembered for reinstating the position of Alliance to top tier level with the school consistently ranked among the top ten performing schools in KCSE.

Khaemba went on to become the inaugural dean of the African Leadership Academy in South Africa. He also served as an education advisor in the office of the Prime Minister from 2012 to 2013.

Between 2013 and 2015, Khaemba served as the County Executive in charge of Education, Youth Affairs, Social Services, Culture and Children at Nairobi City County before being to the Urban Planning and Lands docket from 2016-2017.

In 2015, he went on to establish Nova Pioneer alongside a team of scholars.

Simon Nabukwesi 

Nabukwesi is the current Principal Secretary of State Department of University Education and Research. Prior to that, he had a stellar career in the teaching profession from 1989 to 2000. He was the former principal at Friends School Kamusinga in Bungoma County.

Afterwards he undertook diplomatic duties, serving as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Canada and the country’s envoy to Cuba.

His eleven years of service as a diplomat led to Nabukwesi become the Commonwealth Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In February 2020, he was appointed as the PS in the Ministry of Education by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Cleophas Tirop

Cleophas Tirop is synonymous with transforming Kapsabet Boys into an academic powerhouse. He later served as the boss, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association before being selected as the principal of Nairobi school in 2010.

Due to his academic success, Tirop was appointed as a commissioner of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC). He later retired after two years at the Commission.

Prof Laban Ayiro

Born in Kibera slums, the professor rose to become a renowned scholar and is currently the Vice Chancellor at Daystar University. Before Joining Daystar, Prof Ayiro was the Acting VC, Moi University.

He is a former principal of several high schools including Sunshine Secondary School in Nairobi as well as Lubinu Boys School in Mumias East. A dormitory at Lubinu is named in honour of the former principal.

He was then moved to the Ministry of Education’s head office in Nairobi, where he served in different capacities, including Provincial Director of Education, Deputy Director of Staff Training and Senior Deputy Director for Policy and Planning.

The good professor currently possesses five degrees from distinguished universities.

Geoffrey Griffin

The late Griffin is synonymous for been the founding Director of Starehe Boys’ Centre and School. While at the helm of the school, he ensured it was consistently in the top five position countrywide.

He ran the school through barazas, where prefects and students had more say than teachers. The school has gone on to produce prominent figures holding various positions in the society.

They include the likes of current secretary general of the Jubilee party, Raphael Tuju, Olympic gold Medalist,Paul Ereng and former Senior Deputy Director of Medical Services Dr. Ambrose Misore, just to name a few.

Griffin later succumbed to cancer at the Nairobi Hospital in June 2005.

Daniel Karaba

Karaba served as Senator for Kirinyaga County from 2013 to 2017 after clinching the seat on The National Alliance party ticket.

However, prior to that, he served as a deputy principal and later a principal in various schools in Kenya including, Kagumo High School, Highway Secondary School, Kianyaga High School, Kirimara High School, Njegas Secondary School.

He also served as the chair of Secondary Schools Heads Association between 1984 and 1998. The former principal then ventured into politics in 2002 and won in his first elections, clinching the Kirinyaga Central parliamentary seat on a NARC party ticket. In 2007, he would lose the seat to John Kariuki.

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