From the Principal

By Mr Simon Coleman | Posted: Wednesday July 7, 2021

Tena koutou,

Thank you to all of our parents and our wider community for your support throughout this term with the many activities, events and celebrations of our students.

Student Talent and Achievement

The main focus as a school is to develop and nurture the talents of our students and to see a high level of personal achievement and over recent weeks there has been much to celebrate. Below are a few highlights over the last few weeks.

  • Our Yr 9-13 Speeches were superb and I was very impressed with the ability and confidence these students have in speaking to a large audience. My thanks to Mr Jason Shaw and Ms Maria Heitkonig for the organisation of this.
  • Last week we had Airwave which was a wonderful evening of a wide variety of music from our talented students. My thanks to Mr Cameron Love for organising this and the many staff who assisted to make it a very professional event.
  • Senior Quad last week was a great spectacle to see another group of talented sports students competing against Mt Hutt College, Darfield High School and Ellesmere College. My thanks to a large number of staff and parents who were involved in running the various teams and a special thanks to Ms Courtney Bates, our Sports Coordinator who did a great job in managing the whole event on our school grounds.
  • Our Girls Rugby team who have shown great team spirit and commitment each week and who had their first win this week. My thanks to Jason Hurley, Craig Arras and Courtney Bates.
  • Our teams that competed in the national finals for Young Farmers and Teen Ag last weekend and performed very well against strong competition.
  • And our Te Whare Ako SPEC students who had success in their academic work that they have been doing this year at a recent verification marking day.

Achievement for all our students comes in many forms and as a school we value all levels and variety that this can be so to all these students that were part of these events mentioned - well done and continue growing and developing your skills and knowledge in these areas.

Rotary Visit

This week we hosted our local Rotary club who were the group that enabled the solar panels and converters to be established at our school. It was a pleasure to have this group tour and ask questions about our school. My thanks to Yr 13 students Robert Furrer, Hazel Fisher, Mackenzie Robertson and Conor Foley-Smith who did a wonderful job both answering questions and taking this group around the school.

New Geraldine High School Board of Trustees

We now have a new Board of Trustees that is just for our High school effective from Tuesday this week and I am looking forward to working with this group that is focussed on the best outcomes for our students and their futures.

Our members are Parent Reps, Ms Sally Prattley, Mr Glen Smith, Ms Pip Long, Mrs Chelley Leov and Mrs Sharon Wallace; Student Rep is Year 13 student Courtney Howell until the September Elections and Staff Rep, Ms Michelle Cramond.

There are many exciting areas coming for this Board from the new Strategic Charter and Direction for the school, to major property projects and a revitalised school curriculum to name a few.

Staff Changes

Last week we had a farewell event for the four staff who have either left or will be in the near future. These were Mrs Ange Dudson-Moko who will leave mid term 3 and Mr Borom Blakie who is leaving at the end of Term 3. We also farewelled Mrs Anita Body who finishes at the end of this term and Mr Len Hawkins who retired earlier this term.

Mrs Anita Body has transformed our teaching and knowledge around Careers Education that is a vital part of the work we do at our school. Having come to us from a business background, Mrs Body brought a set of skills and knowledge that bridges the transition between school based learning and employment which has been invaluable. We wish Mrs Body all the best as she spends time with family over the rest of this year and we hope we can continue to utilise her skills in some capacity next year.

It is always with a degree of sadness when you farewell a person that is retiring from education having given their career to this vocation. Mr Len Hawkins has certainly had a big innings in the classroom at Geraldine High School over the 45 years of work and seen many changes and developments of the school and it’s community. He has been a large part of the Maths department over all these years and led this curriculum area with Calculus being a significant area of expertise. And when someone commits 45 years to a school then they also contribute across many aspects outside of the classroom which has seen Mr Hawkins involved in areas such as Sports Teams, Camps, Stewart Island Activities, driving buses and being the PPTA rep to name a few. We wish Mr Hawkins an enjoyable retirement.

I am pleased to announce some recent appointments which are,

Miss Imogen Youngs will take up the Homeroom position for Ms Amy Ross as she takes maternity leave.

Mr Karl Hermann will join us mid Term 3 in the Maths Department from Taupo where he has been teaching for a number of years.

And Mrs Lizanne van Heerden will stay with us through to the end of this year in the maths department.

School Property over the break

Over the break there will be a number of changes around the school that will mean a number of staff will be situated in a different area for the remainder of the year.

Our main office is being refurbished for the next 4 months and so from the start of next term, this block will be fenced off. It means that Mr Wilson, Ms Coburn, Mr Harvey, Ms Pidduck and myself will be based where the Hauora Hub is now.

The Main Office, Sick Bay, and Hauora Hub will now be situated in the house at the east side of the school in front of our School Gym. There will be signage for all of this at the beginning of next term so that you will know where to go should you need to come into the school for any reason.

Our School Hall is also being upgraded over the break with new lighting and speakers. As I have mentioned previously, the tender for our Gym has closed and we will be appointing a contractor soon to start the Design and Build process. There will be more updates on this in our next newsletter.

Finally, it has been a busy term with many tired students and staff and I wish our students and staff an enjoyable holiday break and time to refresh ready for term 3.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa