Board of Trustees Report

By Ruth Barnett (Chairperson) | Posted: Thursday November 21, 2013

Kua mutu kua timata "It is finished, but has again begun" is on our school crest and seems to fit the end of year which is a time of finishing and a time of beginning.I am going to write about some things which have finished and some things which have begun at Logan Park High School in 2013.

The Board were very pleased when the ERO visit had finished. We were especially pleased with the feedback we were given. ERO really seemed to understand what makes this school the great place it is. They recognised that we as a Board have a strong determination that every student will succeed and that our teachers have high expectations for their students’ learning. You students know what your teachers do for you, we were really pleased that ERO really understood this when they visited. Thank you to everyone who helped – our students who set the tone with the welcome in the whanau room, Caroline who made food, Ms Walsh and Mr Penny who spruced up our gardens, and you – our teachers and students. 

ERO left us saying that a strength of our school is our desire to respond to the needs of our students and they believe we are well placed to sustain and improve this. We heartily agree.

We are sad that Adult and Community Education Classes have had to finish. Funding from central government has changed and we were the last school south of Christchurch to be offering night classes. Sadly we can no longer make these economically viable and they will cease at the end of this year.  

After elections in May we said goodbye to several Board members who had finished their time with us – Phillip Scadden, Chris Addington, Ethan Gaffney, and Alex King. These people contributed hugely to the work of the Board and I certainly appreciate all that you did. Thank you for making Board work fun but also successful. 

This year we also said goodbye to Noi Hudson who has been on the Board since 1995 imparting her knowledge with dignity and wisdom and a gentle smile. We are delighted that she will stay in touch and be our school’s kuia. Arohanui Noi.

Talking of beginnings, new Board members have begun to work with us, joining re-elected members Han Verberne, Caroline Rickerby and me in forming the new Board. Rachel Spronken-Smith, Kerri Cleaver, and Andrew Lonie were elected in May and Kate Atchison and Virginia Campbell were co-opted in October.

We have begun work on erecting the old King Edward Technical College bell. The bell was gifted to us by the college when it closed in 1974 and we are pleased to have such a reminder of the place that this school began from. It will be placed in the courtyard near the staffroom where it can easily be seen but is well away from bell-ringing hands.

We will all be making new beginnings next year. I’ve always been told that giving advice is not a good idea. So this is not advice – it is just two things that I have learned that have helped me, and they may help you too.

The first thing is to smile.  A smile will open doors. The most grumpy person behind a desk is much more likely to help you when they are approached with a genuine smile. With a smile on your face you will make better connections with the people around you and that will make everyone feel good.

The second thing is to be thankful and acknowledge it. I go outside and feel the sun on my face and am thankful that I can. I am thankful for what people do for me. I can’t do what I do on my own. It is so important to acknowledge the people around us who have helped us and to thank them. They’ll probably do even more for you if you do!

Year 13 of 2013 we thank you for all you have done for our school. You have shared your knowledge and skills. You have given us colour and movement and sound and laughter and emotion. Please keep on doing what you do so well.

I’d also like to thank our marvellous inspiring and inspired teachers for the humanity and care and knowledge and fun and wisdom that they bring to their work. Thank you.

It is finished, but has again begun. Kua mutu kua timata.

I wish parents, teachers, students and friends well as you come to the end of this school year and wish you all well for the years and new beginnings to come.