Message from the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman, Principal | Posted: Thursday March 17, 2016

Term 1 can be very frantic for our students and staff as we have such a range of exciting, educational activities and opportunities going on .

Tena Koutou Katoa

Our students need to be mindful of their commitments and in particular ensuring that they are well planned and organised. I was speaking with a group of Year 13 students a few days ago about the value in developing these skills particularly in readiness for what life is like after school with a number of other pressures and things to get done.

It is a vital skill in life for our students to learn how to manage their time, meet deadlines and meetings and ensure that they keep up to date with important events. We have a school diary which is a valuable resource for information as well as a good source for homework and assignment deadlines. Many of the Year 13 students I spoke to have a device whether it be a smart phone, laptop or tablet and we discussed how useful these devices are in scheduling their classes, meetings, emails, as they manage busy days. Part of managing time is keeping an eye on what is coming up so it is timely for our NCEA Year 11-13 students to realise the time available to them this year - we have 18 days left of Term 1, 48 in Term 2, 40 in Term 3 and 20 in Term 4.

New School Car from Geraldine High School Trust

You may have seen a white Toyota Ipsum getting around Geraldine lately with the school crest on it. We have been lucky enough to have had this purchased for us by The Geraldine High School Trust. This Trust has been in existence for approximately 13 years. It was established with monies remaining from a fundraising effort for the student common room and has since grown substantially.  Over the years the Trust has dispursed approximately $80,000 back into the school. The car will be available for our BOT members, teaching staff and support staff to use for GHS business or associated courses, and school trips. We would like to thank the Trust for sponsoring the car which will be a great asset for the school.

Radio Time

This week, Shania Dudson Cooney, our Head Girl, and Charlotte Rowley, a Year 8 student, went to speak on the Port FM radio station. We have attached the Sound Byte from this, which was aired yesterday on Port FM from 4-5pm and on The Edge from 6-7pm.  Please click on the link attached to this article to listen.

Charlotte spoke about the amazing gesture she made last weekend at the ‘Relay for Life’ where she shaved her head to raise money for Cancer Research. Charlotte made a significant amount of money and was well supported by many members of our community. I would like to commend the many other Geraldine High School students who were involved in other teams which made a commitment to this event that recognises the impact that cancer has on so many people’s lives.


We had a wonderful Assembly this week where we recognised the swimming feats of a number of our students. It was also a privilege to hear from Mrs Virginia Johnston who is the mother of Hamish Johnston whose record was broken by Year 9 student Connor Foley-Smith. Virginia spoke about her son aspiring to do well all his life, setting goals and believing in himself. All of these being important messages for our students.

We have the Athletics assembly on Tuesday 5th April. We would like to encourage all parents of these students who excel in these areas to attend these assemblies as we recognise their hard work and achievements.

Academic Blues Assembly

Next Thursday before Easter we are having our Academic Blues Assembly where we will recognise the achievements of our students involved in NCEA last year who achieved excellence endorsement. We are fortunate to have ex-student Nicky Donkers who is Sales and Marketing Director at Barkers, speak at this assembly. We invite all parents to attend and particularly those who have children who are the recipients of the Blues Awards to be part of this special occasion. My thanks to Ms Adele Quinn for the organising of this event.

Easter Baskets

Many of our students have been busy this week in preparation for the delivery of the Easter Baskets to our wider community. This has been a regular event for our students since 2012 and this year will be very important as we remember Mrs Jo Nicolson who was the instigator of this wonderful community event.

Year 9 Camps

On Monday night I went out to the first of the Year 9 Camps which was 9E, held at the Peel Forest Eco Lodge. It was an opportunity to see our students in a different environment where they had to collaborate on a range of tasks, learn some new skills and to experience the atmosphere of a Camp nestled in native forest and bush that is unique to the South Island. Part of the experience is understanding how a range of buildings without power operate. The Camp is a unique experience and was supported with Year 13 Outdoor Education students as well as teacher. My thanks to Mrs Morrison and Ms Clarke for the wonderful dinner I received that evening.

New Student Rep and upcoming BOT elections

Congratulations to Year 13 student Levi Wilton-Armitage who has been voted on as the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees for this year.

A reminder of the upcoming elections in June for our Combined Carew Peel Forest and Geraldine High School Board of Trustees. We have 6 parent positions for this Board and, as I mentioned in the last newsletter, if you are interested or want to know more about what is involved please contact our Board Chair Mrs Sally Prattley on 021 322 329 or email [email protected]

Have an enjoyable Easter break.

Nga mihi