Amesbury School

Staffing changes for 2020

As the year draws rapidly to a close, it is timely to let you know of some staffing changes for next year.

Firstly, the Board of Trustees has approved refreshment leave without pay for me (Lesley) for all of 2020. I have worked long and hard in education for many years and I feel I will benefit from a change of pace and time to focus on making sense of my many years in education. I plan to spend the year writing a book, doing some research and following some other educational interests. I will not be completely absent from school as I may continue to support the new school leadership team for up to a day a week – as a contractor, not as principal. I am very grateful to the Board for giving me this opportunity to consolidate the learnings of the last eight years and to refresh.

Urs Cunningham will be acting principal for 2020 with Lisa Bengtsson and Demelza Topp taking on the roles of acting associate principals. This is a good opportunity for three very capable staff to “act up” and use the skills they have been developing in new roles.

We have loved having Georgia at our school, but the big OE now beckons in 2020 and so she will be travelling with her partner around different parts of the world and seeing where they end up. We have told Georgia that we would love to have her back if they land back in Wellington at some stage. But who knows what the future holds for them.

Finally, Gemma will be taking maternity leave next year, though she will continue to work until midway through term 1. We are very excited to announce that she is pregnant with twins. Woohoo! Congratulations, Gemma! We wish her all the very best as she continues to teach this year – I know from personal experience that she will be feeling tired ad drained. Gemma and Georgia will be greatly missed next year by staff and students.

We have already made two teacher appointments for next year. We will be welcoming Matthew Hutchinson, who is currently teaching at Pukerua Bay School, and who has a particular strength in teaching mathematics. We are also pleased to let you know that we have employed Gar Kee Wu who will be a first year teacher. Gar Kee has strong interests in, and experience with, women’s football, event management and she is a Cantonese speaker. We are very excited that both of them will be joining our teaching team next year.

Health alerts

You have received a couple of health alerts over the last week or two. I just want to let you know that these have not been “big” alerts (in terms of numbers affected), but we let you know as a courtesy so that you are informed. Always, when an even small pattern of sickness becomes apparent, Gail and Brian institute additional disinfection as part of the daily cleaning regime, particularly around door handles, handrails and, of course, the toilets which are already cleaned twice a day. I really appreciate Gail and Brian’s responsiveness to these circumstances.

There are always small outbreaks of sickness in every school and we take quick action to minimise the spread which is why we let you know. Parents also have a responsibility to minimise the spread by keeping children at home in the early stages of displaying symptoms and until students are no longer contagious. Thank you for your support in this.

China trip part 3

This will come out in the next editorial.

Ngā mihi nui


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