Born in Somerset Strand and eventually moving to District 6 at a young age, Riyaad Najaar was schooled at Muirstreet Primary and Harold Cressy High School before being uprooted from District 6 in 1972 and moving to Crawford. He would later attend Hewat Training College and begin his teaching career in South Peninsula in 1976.
He would complete his BA degree as a part-time student at the University of Western Cape and would go on to complete his Honours and Masters part-time while working. Forced to transfer to Sonderend Primary in Manenberg and then to Phoenix High in 1983, he would then find himself at Spine Road High School in 1984. He would become principal in 1993 and serve with distinction until retiring in 2018.
A man of many talents, Mr. Riyaad Najaar played a pivotal role in the formation and creation of the Progressive Principals Assoication – serving as its first President and as a mentor and inspiration to many of the principals and educators who would follow in his footsteps.