Board of Trustees Report

By Ruth Barnett | Posted: Wednesday January 1, 2014

At the end of every year I find myself thinking about what the next year will bring.

Many of you will be thinking something similar. Some of you will be deciding what subjects to take next year. And some of you will be making bigger decisions about what you will do with the next stage in your life.

At Logan Park High School your marvellous teachers are committed to teaching you so that when you leave school you will be a well educated person. Our job on the Board of Trustees is to make sure that happens. We want to make it possible for every student to achieve and reach their potential.

I remember being asked that question “What are you going to do when you grow up?” It was an easy answer for me. I always wanted to be a teacher. I ended up doing Science at high school. It was the 1970’s and science was where the jobs were. I gave up French and Latin for 3 Sciences and Maths. A careers advisor said I’d get bored teaching.

At the age of 17 I came to Dunedin and did Medical Intermediate which was the 1970’s equivalent of First Year Health Sciences. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a doctor but I did get in to Medical School. I spent my first four years getting used to the idea of being a doctor. I spent my first year on the wards putting more energy in to avoiding doing things than actually doing them. I began to see that being a doctor might be ok. I began to like the work. I liked the problem solving, I liked being able to make a difference, and I loved the people.

I guess it was because I liked doing most things and I loved the people that I found that being a doctor could be as good a job as being a teacher.

In 2008 the Medical School Curriculum changed and they were looking for tutors to teach small groups of medical students. I began somewhat nervously teaching a small class of 10 students for the whole year. I was hooked. Now I teach four classes and I help to teach the other tutors too. I love that I can share what I have learned with my students. And I love that my students teach me more about the work I do.

It took me a while but now I can proudly call myself a doctor, and a teacher.

One of my medical students wrote something in an essay this year which resonates with me. The student was writing about a man she had met when she was working on placement as a caregiver in a rest home. This is an extract from that essay:

“As the conversation transitioned into what was on the menu for dinner, completely out of the blue, he very slowly but confidently said to me, ‘One piece of advice I don’t give many people: you’d have to be an absolute fool not to love what you’re doing and show it.’”

I absolutely agree. Love what you are doing. If you don’t love it then find something about it you can love. And if you can’t do that then maybe you need to be doing something else. Always be open to new opportunities so that you can love what you do.

As Chairperson on the Logan Park High School Board of Trustees I am continually seeing evidence of the importance of loving what you do. I see our dedicated teachers who inspire great learning. I see our dedicated parents and caregivers who support that learning. And I see you our amazing students who constantly astound me with your achievements. Well done!


I wish you all well for 2015 and the years to come.