From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Friday September 22, 2017

Tena koutou,

We are into our last week of Term 3 and it is important we finish the term the same way we started it - with a positive attitude and continuing to give our very best in the classroom. As parents, it would be valuable to remind your son or daughter of this even though they will be tired from a busy term.

I wish you all a relaxing break in the upcoming holidays. For our seniors, ensure that they have both time to get much needed rest combined with a commitment to the study needed for the school exams in our first week back next term. These exams are crucial for both ensuring students know their subjects and where they sit, as well as being prepared for the NCEA exams that follow these. As parents, don’t let them make decisions on what they attempt and don’t attempt without speaking to both their Dean and subject teacher. A poor decision can have a major impact later in their lives and affect career paths.

Subject Choices

Over the last few weeks, I am sure that you and your child has been looking at subject choices for next year [Year 10-12]. This can be a difficult plan to decide upon but there are a number of things to consider.

  1. Ensure that the choices made are subjects that your son/daughter has a passion for; and is needed for the career interests that they have.

  2. Make sure that you have spoken to the HOD or Subject teachers on any areas you are not sure of. It pays to know what information the teacher can share with you and your child.

  3. Make a time to meet the Academic Dean - Mr Jason Shaw, or the Career Dean - Mr Mark Romans if you need guidance on these 2 areas.

Your son or daughter’s Vertical Form teacher will also be able to support you around the wider aspects of school so don’t hesitate to contact them. It is best to make good decisions now than wait till part way through next year to realise things need to change.

Ex-Pupil Nikki Kelly - World Hall of Fame

Ms Nikki Kelly a former student of Geraldine High School has been inducted into the Whitewater Hall of Fame recently. She is a phenomenal athlete and certainly an inspiration to every one of our students at Geraldine High School. Nikki went through doing the Outdoor Education programme under our past HOD of Outdoor Education, Mr Drew Brown and It proves that it doesn’t matter where you come from, with the right attitude - anything is possible.

As a school, we applaud her recognition on the world stage of whitewater paddling and rafting and wish her well for her upcoming World Championships. We hope to have the chance to get Nikki down from Rotorua to speak to our school in the future. Well done Nikki. (See article later in the newsletter.)

Spring Challenge

Speaking of adventures and challenges, we have a large number of students and staff involved in the Spring Challenge Adventure Race this coming weekend. This women’s race is the biggest in the world and there will be over 1,800 competitors racing over 3, 6 and 9 hours in the Geraldine region.

We are fortunate to have Mr Nathan Fa’avae who organises this event with his wife Jodie, coming to speak to our Yr 11-13 students on Wednesday morning. Nathan is regarded as the best adventure racer in the world and has a wonderful life story so far and the many challenges he has faced.

We are also heavily involved as a school in the Spring Challenge race with a number of our senior girls helping at the finish line, our Outdoor Education students are assisting at transition points and the rafting get out point, some of our Geography students and the PTA are doing food at transition points for all the support crews, Mr Mike Harding - parent of Stephen, Matt and Tom is assisting with the course set-up, and Mr Hayden Titchener, our HOD Outdoor Education, is involved in the rafting side.

And let’s not to forget the students and staff racing in this. We wish all of them the very best;

  • Mrs Cathy Patterson
  • Mrs Andy Morrison
  • Mrs Rachael Linklater
  • Mrs Mel O’Connor
  • Miss Bronwyn Clarke
  • Ms Sally Houston
  • Ms Eve Meyer

And students;

  • Kate Brown, Tianna Curtis, Maisie Fisher, Amelia Houston, Charlotte Stack, Brooke Dwyer and Bridget Hussey.


We have promoted recently and mentioned in previous newsletters that we highly recommend a BYOD [bring your own device] for next year as we integrate digital fluency and application of technologies in all of our curriculum areas. We have been doing a great deal of this in the last few years but our next step is students having a device of their own to assist to grow this further and prepare our students better for the world beyond school.

On Tuesday afternoon we had Harvey Norman put on a display of devices that will work well in our school environment and offer options in purchasing a device. There was a range of prices and also types to suit the areas that your son/daughter was interested in. An example of this is if they are interested in the Graphic Design/DVC side then they need a device that is powerful enough to run software such as Photoshop. The Harvey Norman team will be back in Term 4 to do a few more afternoons for parents.

Pathway Assembly

Last Tuesday, we had the third of our Pathway Assemblies with the team from Barkers speak to our Year 10-13 about the many Pathways that exist in their company.

Organisational Development Manager, Jeff Richardson brought a number of staff and they gave an outline of what they do at Barker’s. We heard from David who is part of the food science innovation team; Rachel who works in sales and marketing; Ben who is in the supply chain; Michael, a process leader; Jess who is from the food quality department; and Jo, an ex-Geraldine High School student, whose role is in customer support. It was fascinating to hear from them all and we hope that the students had a greater appreciation of the opportunities available at a company such as Barkers.

My thanks to Mrs Anita Body for organising these events. We aim to have six pathway expos and assemblies on a range of businesses and what they offer in our community for 2018.

Music Events

This week we have continued the many cultural events of this term with the ‘Music by Candlelight’ performance. I am sure that this will be another great showcase of the musical talents that we have at our school and for the students involved to push themselves and use the talents that they have in this area.

Enjoy the holiday break and spending time with family and friends. See you all in Term 4.

Tena koutou, Tena koutou, tena tartoe katoa.

Greetings, Greetings, Greetings to us all