Meet the Team
We have incredibly dedicated, passionate and skilled staff and are grateful for them every day. Our goal at the Centre is to graduate young men and women who are employable and, together with their families, are empowered to deal with their challenges.
Founder and Chairman
Jami Kastner is the founder and chairman of the Butterfly Centre, a registered NPO started in 2014. The oldest of her three sons, Jack, has Global Developmental Delay. The Kastner family searched high and low for answers and the right learning environment for their child, but failed to find the right fit. They could no longer watch his confidence erode as they tried to force him through the mainstream school system, and they knew that there must be other parents in a similar position. Now 13 years old, Jack is a student at the Centre. As with the other Butterfly children, the improvements in his learning capacity and general wellbeing have been remarkable.
A family tragedy in 2013 was the driving force behind the start of the Butterfly Centre. In order to honour the life of their youngest son Sam, lost that year in a drowning accident at only 18 months, they started the NPO. The Centre itself was started in a rented premises in Stanford with Jack and just one other boy. In the years since, they have successfully raised enough money to build a permanent home for the Butterfly Centre at Stanford Hills Estate, the Kastner farm just outside the village of Stanford.
Jami was named Overstrand Woman of the Year 2019 for her commitment to helping children who are “different” and her fight for inclusivity and opportunities for all. She is the author of a book entitled Sam and Me and the Hard Pear Tree, detailing her journey with special needs as well as her continued healing and search for meaning in the wake of Sam’s loss.
Centre Manager / Teacher for Senior Phase
Ally Cowley has more that 20 years experience working with children, much of that time spent supporting neuro-diverse children on a one-on-one basis within the mainstream school system. She spent 13 years working in the Middle East, the last 8 years as Head of Early Years in intrnational British Curriculum schools. She returned to South Africa i 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and has now settled in Stanford with her three boys.
Teacher for Junior Phase
Ros Howlett is a teacher with 30 years experience in remedial teaching. She comes with a wealth of skills and specialises in curriculum development.
My name is Vuyokazi Siza, I was born in Queenstown, at Ilinge. I came to Stanford in 2008 and I enjoyed staying here because I found Stanford as a peaceful place for a person like me. I have a good heart for people especially for the kids. My dream is to have my own salon just for the kids (KIDS BEAUTY). To look after the kids is very important to me.