Nau mai haere mai.
A community is a group of people who live in a particular area who share common interests.
We here at EOHS are a community. We live in the East Otago community, we share common interests and experiences.
As someone who has lived in a number of communities both in New Zealand and overseas I believe I am uniquely placed to comment on the type of community we have here at East Otago and why I am proud to be Eastern.
Last week I was lucky enough to attend the 3 Peaks Cross-Country event held at the Waikouaiti Rugby grounds. Our students performed well gaining a number of placings which was great to see. This however was not the highlight of my day. The highlight was in fact the way that our students represented our school while supporting the younger students from our contributing schools. To watch our students displaying our school values in an authentic setting, the way that they cared for the young students and helped them complete, what for some was a very difficult event, was my highlight and made me very proud to be the Tumuaki of this Kura.
On Friday night the Year 13 students organised, and ran, a junior dance for the Year 7-10 students. Yet again I couldn't help but feel a sense of pride in seeing how our older students work positively with our younger students - in Maori Culture this is called Tuakana Teina.
On a personal note as a father, I brought my three daughters along on Friday. Being 7,8 and 10, I was a bit anxious about how they would be received and even treated by our students. I shouldn't have been worried. Many students asked my daughters up to dance and looked after them really well and they had a great time. This was a great advert for my oldest daughter who will be coming to our school next year.
This to me highlights the advantages of living in a small community. You get a whanau feeling that can't be replicated in a larger school. You essentially have close to 170 brothers and sisters. While at times this means that we can have disagreements and arguments over trivial things it also means that deep down you have a bunch of people that have your back.
Next Monday is our Open Day where we will have close to 40 Year 6 students from our contributing schools. This is an important day for the marketing of the schools. At the start of last year we had 150 students, this year we have 170 students. Every time we have a growth in the roll it means that we have more funding for the school which means more opportunities for our students, more teachers and the types of classes and subjects that we can offer.
Last night the Government announced that we would be going into Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Alert Level 2 across the country until Friday 14th of August. For us that means sanitising in and out of classes and maintaining appropriate social distancing. Please keep your young ones at home if the are feeling unwell. We are all members of the community of 5 million and if we follow the guidelines we will keep Covid 19 out.
Naga mihi nui!