Amesbury School

Kia ora koutou

Well, here I am – writing the final editorial for the year.

Comings and goings: This is the time when we fondly farewell people who are leaving and welcome those who are joining us. Of course, we also celebrate those who are staying.

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Andrea Smith who has been with us for nearly 6 years. She has been off on maternity leave twice and largely worked part-time hours in between, but she has always been regarded as a stalwart of the school. Her leaving will be a real loss to us. Andrea is planning to spend more time with her family and she will help her husband with his business. We wish her all the very best and I can truly say that she will be missed. Arohanui, Andrea.

We are also very sad to farewell Katie Horan who is leaving for similar reasons – to spend more time with her family. Katie has only been with us for a year, but in that time she has become embedded into the life of the school and into Koru Hub. We will miss you, Katie, and we wish you all the very best. Ka kite ano.

We are losing two of our Rach’s at the end of this year. Rachael van Rij and Rachel Lord will be ending their time at Amesbury School. Both of them are moving onto other opportunities. We have really appreciated having Rachael vR as an administrator. I cannot speak highly enough of her incredible efficiency and her systems thinking. Rachel Lord has been our ESOL teacher aide and, as most of you will know, our librarian. In that role she has provided wonderful library-based activities for our children. She has brought a lot of flair to our library and I know that many of you have enjoyed her company in the library. They will both be hugely missed.

We will be farewelling these amazing staff members at our final assembly on Thursday morning at 9.10am. You are most welcome to join us if you are able to.

It is a pleasure to welcome several teachers to Amesbury School next year. It’s an excited “welcome back” to Jemima Colquhoun who has been a student teacher with us this year and who is starting as a beginning teacher next year. She will be a teacher in Koru Hub. We are very pleased to welcome Natalie Douglas to our school. She is currently the head teacher of an early childhood centre. She will be working in Te Rito and we are really looking forward to learning from the approaches she brings. The team in Harakeke Hub will be joined by Kristen Liddell and Andy Little. They have been employed from other schools to help with the roll growth that will take place in Harakeke Hub next year. They are both experienced teachers with a wonderful array of capabilities that will expand the skillset our school has. We are very pleased with the appointments we have been able to make for next year. I think it has been a case of the “early bird catching the worm”. We got in early and got the best!

I guess for me the saddest news to pass on is that Angela Johnston has resigned her position as associate principal. While off on sabbatical at the beginning of the year, she had a realisation that she wanted to challenge herself in some different contexts other than just the school sector. We have been talking about it since she returned and an opportunity has come up recently that she is keen to try – acting in an education consultancy role.

The three of us have been together as the senior leadership team of Amesbury School since July 2011 – so it is very sad that after seven plus years, the team of three will become a team of two. However, the good news is that Angela is not actually leaving us just yet. She will continue next year for a six month contract working two days a week carrying out particular projects. This will help us and it will help her as she makes the transition to the world of consultancy. In the short term we are not looking to replace Angela, but want to wait and consider over time what we might be looking for in our next appointment. We have so many wonderful teachers who are keen to take on leadership opportunities, so we are looking to focus on strengthening our middle leadership over next year.

We will do a special farewell for Angela (as a senior leader) early next year - perhaps at our Meet, Greet and Eat evening.

So that is the state of play as it stands.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and very happy new year. See you again, safe and sound, next year. We have another wonderful year planned for you and your tamariki.

Kia kite ano.

Lesley and all the staff at Amesbury School.

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