Executive Team

Sean Carlisle

Executive Head

Sean has a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience working in both close communities and high-profile schools with demanding standards. A seasoned educator who is greatly respected, Sean has a calm, thoughtful, collaborative and inclusive approach to work.

Sean Carlisle is no stranger to Uplands, having grown up in the Lowveld and having taught at both the Preparatory and College in his younger years. After studying to be a teacher at the University of Johannesburg, he taught History for a very short time at Roosevelt High in Johannesburg.

Sean started his Uplands teaching career in 1994 as the Deputy Boarding Master in the Prep and had to check the water pumps each day, and then ended his rounds doing a fence-line security check each evening. He was part of the team that launched Uplands College, spending over eight years with us, in amongst time overseas teaching at Woodbridge School in the UK.

Sean has spent the past 11 years at Hilton College in several teaching and sporting roles. He was a member of Hilton College’s Executive Committee, having finished his contract as Executive Housemaster and Housemaster of Pearce House.

Sean has a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience working in both close communities and high-profile schools with demanding standards. As a former member of the Hilton College strategic planning review team, he helped shape a whole new contemporary approach to boarding that is proving to be highly successful. A seasoned educator who is greatly respected, Sean has a calm, thoughtful, collaborative and inclusive approach to work. His strategic, holistic and team experience will serve Uplands well, as our ‘One School’ moves into a new and exciting era.

Outside the academic day, Sean has coached both 1st team Rugby and 1st team Cricket, as well as a whole range of other sports. He is married to Kerry and they have two daughters, Megan, as well as Hannah who is at Uplands in Grade 11.

Allan Laing

Head of Uplands College

Allan Laing comes to Uplands from Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal where he was Deputy Rector: Pupils. Allan was born in Kabwe in Zambia and obtained his Honours and Master’s degrees from the University of Johannesburg.

Allan Laing comes to Uplands from Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal where he was Deputy Rector: Pupils. Allan was born in Kabwe in Zambia and obtained his Honours and Master’s degrees from the University of Johannesburg. His independent teaching experience started at St John’s College in Johannesburg. After 11 years at St John’s, Allan moved to Michaelhouse in KwaZulu-Natal.

Allan has always been passionate about Pastoral Care, and Boarding in particular, for the past 25 years. He has thus made it his goal to increase the development of all involved in this vitally important aspect of the care of young people within schools. Allan is a Lay Minister in the local Anglican Church as well as at Michaelhouse and is also the National Director of the Boarding Schools of Southern Africa Association.

Allan is married to Caireen and they have four sons – Andrew, Jonathan, Ross and David. He enjoys a number of hobbies and interests, including sports, reading, fly fishing, caravanning and the bush.

Scott Hauptfleisch

Head of Uplands Preparatory

Scott Hauptfleisch was schooled at St John’s College and studied both locally and overseas. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and education.

Scott Hauptfleisch was schooled at St John’s College and studied both locally and overseas. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and education. He joined Uplands as the Headmaster of the Prep School in 2021. Prior to that, he was at St Peter’s for the past 11 years. He also spent time at Brisbane Boys College, St John’s Prep School, St David’s Marist Brothers, Corpus Christi and Cyril Jackson Primary School in London. His time at St Peter’s took him through several teaching roles. As a result of his passion for IT and Pastoral Care, Scott was appointed the ICT Integrator for both the boys’ and girls’ schools, as well as Deputy Head of Pastoral Care and Additional Learning for the Boys’ Prep School.

Scott has also worked in the private sector outside of education. He has always had a passion for leadership, teaching and mentoring - and leads by example each day. He sees himself as an innovative, positive, patient, empathetic and compassionate leader who loves working with people. He is also well known for being highly competitive on the sporting front! Scott’s wife, Lorin, is an Educational Psychologist also working at Uplands as Head of the Learning Support Unit and they have two boys, Sam and Joey

Heather Prior

Head of Uplands Pre-Preparatory

Ms Heather Prior is the Pre-Preparatory Headmistress at Uplands. Heather has been devoted to early childhood education for her entire adult life and is passionate about the importance of quality early childhood education.

Ms Heather Prior is the Pre-Preparatory Headmistress at Uplands. Heather has been devoted to early childhood education for her entire adult life and is passionate about the importance of quality early childhood education. She is a highly-experienced Pre-Preparatory teacher and holds several early childhood qualifications, including a Diploma in Educational Management in Early Childhood Development. Her unique professional experience stems from 30 years of teaching and working with young children from all cultural backgrounds, including children with barriers to learning.

Heather believes that a well-balanced, culturally-enriched and play-based programme builds self-confidence and inspires children to develop a lifelong love of learning. Heather’s core belief is that relationships are at the heart of her work and that a happy day at school includes plenty of laughter and creative fun outside on the beautiful playgrounds at Uplands. Establishing trusting relationships with families and working together as a team improves children’s academic achievement, social competencies and emotional well-being. She enjoys reading, relaxing in the bush and being with her family and friends in her spare time

Dr Nicolette de Bruyn

Executive Director Uplands Outreach

With her PhD in Education Leadership, Nicky has spent the majority of her career in the education non-profit arena, working intensively with school leadership and the professional development of educators to boost achievement.

Dr Nicolette (Nicky) de Bruyn is the Executive Director of Uplands Outreach. With her PhD in Education Leadership, Nicky has spent the majority of her career in the education non-profit arena, working intensively with school leadership and the professional development of educators to boost achievement. For over a decade, Nicky has facilitated the professional development of over 130 school principals and deputies, who have received accredited training through a partnership with the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Education.

Nicky’s key strengths lie in education strategy, leadership mentoring, andragogy (adult learning), professional development, staff engagement, school cultures and change management. She has served on four boards and has published both academic and general articles. Nicky is passionate about highlighting evidence-based best practices in education leadership – and has an abiding interest in the welfare and work engagement of school Heads. She is never far from her family, a book and nature.

Themba Kgopane

Business Development and Marketing Director

Themba Kgopane is a seasoned Marketing professional who holds a PDBA (Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration) from Wits Business School and a BA from the University of Pretoria.

Themba Kgopane is a seasoned Marketing professional who holds a PDBA (Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration) from Wits Business School and a BA from the University of Pretoria. He is highly-skilled as a marketing executive in the education sector and has undertaken some consulting work in the low-cost aviation industry and for a major premium retailer.

Themba worked for brands such as Barnstone Education, Curro Holdings and the University of Pretoria and has consulted for Woolworths, Skywise Airlines and other upcoming SMMEs for development, management and implementation of clear marketing plans that yield tangible ROI. He is also experienced in managing agency relationships, digital marketing and stakeholder relationships.

Xandra Malapane

Head of Human Capital

As the new Head of Human Capital at Uplands, Xandra Malapane’s key responsibilities include People Strategy, Cross-Campus Culture and Staff Wellness, Professional Development, Human Resources Administration, and Transformation and Diversity.

Xandra Malapane’s key responsibilities include Human Resources Strategy and Planning, Professional Development, Wellness, Cross-Campus Culture and engagement, as well as Transformation and Diversity.

Xandra aims to give back to the community that gave her both roots and the wings to fly. Her roots are anchored in the Lowveld, as she was born in White River, hails from Bushbuckridge and was a former Uplands Prep boarder from 1983 to 1988.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, majoring in Organisational Psychology and Industrial Sociology, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her working experience extends across corporate classic marketing, as well as training and development roles within various sectors.

Xandra is passionate about people, endeavouring to help them reach their full potential and ensuring that they are healthy and happy.

Jaco Diedericks

Business Manager

As the new Business Manager at Uplands, Jaco Diedericks has a wide-ranging role that encompasses many aspects of the complex operations at school. Undaunted, Jaco says, “I am extremely fortunate to work daily in my dream occupation.

As the new Business Manager at Uplands, Jaco Diedericks has a wide-ranging role that encompasses many aspects of the complex operations at school. Undaunted, Jaco says, “I am extremely fortunate to work daily in my dream occupation. I believe that quality educational institutions, available to everyone alike, are the key in making a lasting impact for a better and harmonious world. Education holds the key to breaking poverty cycles and creating leaders for the future that are responsible, caring global citizens.” Jaco believes that his contribution to quality education is working within educational institutions to develop and improve all aspects of the finance, operations and management of the school and to keep teachers teaching: i.e., making sure we support that their work hours are dedicated to what they do best and our team will take care of them and operational challenges they face. In his role as Business Manager within an ISASA school for over 10 years, Jaco knows that what we do is unique and that we all contribute to sharing knowledge, best practice, support and develop staff within our circle to deliver what is needed to make schools successful in an ever-changing educational sector. There are no grey areas when it comes financial management, legal compliance, confidentiality, respect and integrity.

Jaco is passionate to work in a school environment, hearing the laughter of children, watch kids develop into holistically educated young adults. His passion extends to the teaching staff as well as operations and outsourced staff. His philosophy is that everyone works hard and contributes to the success of our pupils and a happy and effective school.