Kia ora koutou
It was so exciting to be able to open the bike track this week and see it being used. What a great resource for our community! A HUGE thanks to Rachel Watson for her faithful, careful and committed work on this project. It has been a challenging project - right outside our expertise and comfort zone. However, we are nearly there. Just the pump track to go and hopefully that will be finished in the next few months. Then we will have our grand opening! A fleet of bikes will be arriving soon and we have some students very excited about learning how to maintain bikes and become our bicycle mechanics.
Thanks also to all those who contributed funds to make these tracks possible. Further thanks to Gail, who organised catering for the Google Summit held at school over the holidays and raised significant funds for school camps and towards the fleet of bikes. This was a big job very well done. Thanks also to her helpers who were all wonderful. We have such an amazing and committed staff!
We have received some really useful observations and feedback from parents about what they are noticing with regard to the bike track and its use. Please do keep on doing this. We are developing guidelines for use and signage to communicate them, maintenance schedules etc., and your observations can really help us as we carry out this procedural work.
For me it was a privilege to spend the last week of last term at Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island. A group of leaders from Catholic Schools in Sydney and a smaller group of educationalists from schools and universities around New Zealand met at the Marae for a retreat to explore boundary breaking leadership. The retreat was designed and facilitated by my long-term mentor and coach, Dr Jan Robertson. Our professional association has now exceeded 20 years and it has been one of continual learning for me. I have indeed been blessed to have had two wonderful long-term mentors and coaches during my educational leadership career.
It was both a privilege and frightening to be asked in advance of this retreat to do the Karanga on behalf of our group as we were welcomed onto Piritahi Marae. It would be a first for me, and I felt completely unprepared, and I was a little unsure, as a pakeha, about stepping into such a sacred space. However, big thanks to Amaria and Sara Picard who encouraged me and practiced with me in the Amesbury Hall one Monday morning. However, no matter how prepared I was, it didn’t help the nerves, and I was nearly sick with fear as I approached the Marae that day.
The moment arrived, and as we walked on, I became aware of my colleagues walking closely behind me, protecting my back and ardently lending their strength to me. In that moment, my nerves disappeared and my voice rang out clear and strong, “Karanga mai ra e te iwi e. Karanga mai ra, karanga mai ra, karanga mai ra.”
I am grateful for the mentors in my life who have challenged me to step into uncomfortable spaces where I have to decide who I am and where I stand. But I am also very grateful for a growing knowledge of those who stand with me; and though, as a leader, I sometimes have to do things on my own, I am never alone.
Here is the link to the full Leadership Retreat article