By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Sunday June 20, 2021
I look forward to receiving the Geraldine News each week to read about the wide variety of events, activities, people and opinions from around the community. Hugh and Fi McCafferty do a tremendous job of covering so many of these events but also providing a newspaper that is well designed and has wonderful stories.
What I have noticed particularly over the last few papers is our students showing amazing leadership and being proactive in what they are involved with. We feel very proud at school when we see articles featuring our students showing maturity and independence. Of note in recent weeks have been the students involved in the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day at school, the images of our PIA students out cleaning up on farms after the flooding, and our students leading the school and community in raising awareness of the World Vision 40 hour famine. All of our students in these situations are wanting to give back, to help and support others which is an important part of instilling empathy and compassion for everyone in our High School.
Like many families and businesses in our community, we were affected by the torrential rain and subsequent flooding a few weeks ago. As a school we had damage to buildings with leaks and some flooding but our most noticeable damage was the erosion of the riverbank caused by the tremendous volume of water flowing down the river. This loss of land has affected both our PIA fencing area and our agricultural garden plots. Long term it will mean the loss of some trees, and some further loss of land as ECan work on securing the bank and creating a slope down to the river for safety.
We are very aware of the damage and loss for families and businesses and we extend our support especially if you have been badly affected. Our Counselling staff are ready to work with your children and you as parents if you need support of any kind over the coming weeks and months.
A few weeks ago we had the first time Business Pop Up Shops for students involved in Business Studies. What really appealed to me was the enthusiasm the students had for their products and the marketing they had in place to sell these products. Speaking to most of the students on the day, they all made a profit with many having sold everything.
It was pleasing to see so many people from our community coming in and being involved in this business opportunity and there were a number of entrepreneurs in the school hall. My sabbatical work on education to employment was seen in this event where the students are developing future skills for employment, gaining financial capability and learning some of the basics around business development. Mr Andrew Parkin, our Business Studies teacher, has done a tremendous job with all of these students and no doubt his business background prior to entering the teaching workforce had a large influence over our students.
Last week I watched a nail biting game of basketball as our Yr 7 and 8 Boys basketball team played St Joseph in the final of their competition. With 24 teams in their grade it was an achievement just to get to the final. They played with great passion and a never give up attitude which saw them win the game 29-22. It was wonderful to see so many parents present but also a large number of our staff come along to watch. Congratulations to Ivan Orbase, Dillan Sami, Koby McNamee, Harvey Watkins, Cayden Halsey, Ryan O’Connor, Lenny Simpson, Riley Craig and the wonderful coaching they have had from Sonya McNamee.
I was also able to get to the second half of our girls Rugby team, so ably coached by Jason Hurley and Craig Arras and managed by Courtney Bates, play against Craighead at Raukapuka domain on Wednesday. What an incredible team these girls are!! They played with such determination and ferocious tackling. The most striking aspect I noticed was the great team work and team spirit throughout the second half even though they were down in the scoreline. Congratulations to this team and I look forward to seeing another game in the coming weeks.
As you read this, we would have had the last meeting of the Geraldine High School and Carew Peel Forest Board of Trustees which has been in existence since 2001. We now have separated with each school being large enough and in strong positions to function independently with their own Board of Trustees.
I would like to acknowledge the working relationship I have had with the Principals of Carew Peel Forest - previously, Mrs Kay Ward and currently, Mrs Sharon Ketter who have been great to work with and be able to learn more about the way a Primary School functions. I wish Mrs Ketter and her new Board of Trustees all the best as they start a new journey together in governing the highly functioning Carew Peel forest School.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa