From the Principal

From the Principal

Tena koutou

At this time of year, our focus is on our preparation for 2020 around property, staffing, student leader appointments and student selections of courses. Over recent weeks we have put out course selections for our seniors to be able to make the right choices for themselves based on informed decision making. It is vital as parents you discuss these options fully with your son or daughter and seek further information from appropriate staff as needed. Alongside students making subject selections for next year we are also looking at our future student leaders for 2020. In many conversations I have both around New Zealand and overseas with other educational institutions, it is apparent that we do a very comprehensive process in ensuring we appoint the right leaders to be in these vital roles. These roles are very important for us as our student leaders set the culture and the sense of family that we pride ourselves on. Currently we are going through this process which involves student applications, students speaking to the whole school, staff and student votes and a formal interview with members of staff including myself.

Tournament Week

Last week I was able to attend the U15 boys Rugby in Lincoln and the High School’s boys Hockey in Ashburton for a day to see them in action in their competitions. I was most impressed with the culture of support in these teams along with their sportsmanship with teams they were playing showing a great deal of pride in our school. It was obvious in watching both teams that we have some very talented students in our school in these codes. In speaking with the staff and parents involved in the other teams of netball (Nelson), football ( Dunedin) and girls hockey (Cromwell), they were all impressed with the attitude and commitment from our students and they all represented Geraldine High School well.

A huge thanks to all the people involved who allow these teams to be able to play in these tournaments.

Work Day

Last Friday, our students were involved in Work Day to help people in our community whether it was stacking firewood, weeding gardens, or ….. The money from this day will go towards refurbishing the quad by building seating and eventually we will be developing a platform for performances and will look at purchasing a shade sail. This will be completed in three stages and the first stage is under way. This will make it a more inviting student hub for our break times.


If you have any children who are intending to come to our school in Year 7 next year and have not enrolled please do so as the applications close on 13 September. We need to know this as our staffing required for 2020 in the year 7 area is reliant on this along with the process for out of zone enrollment..


As a follow on from my last newsletter regarding our new Board and the Committees that they sit on, below is the list of committees and the Board members that sit on these.

Finance Committee - Glen Smith, David Neeson [Carew Peel Forest]

Property Committee - Joe Voigt, Sally Prattley

Health and Safety Committee - Glen Smith, Sally Prattley

Te Whare Ako mo te Katoa (Learning Support) - Chelley Leov, Michelle Cramond

Student Council - all members attend throughout the year

International Committee - Chelley Leov, Sally Prattley

Transport Committee - Glen Smith

PTA - Sharon Wallace

Policies - Sharon Wallace and Principals

Discipline and HR committees are formed as needed.

Staff Changes

It is with regret that I received Mr Steven McNulty’s, TIC of Music, resignation from the end of this year as he takes up a new appointment as Head of Music at John McGlashan College in Dunedin. Mr McNulty has done a wonderful job as a new teacher in establishing his presence in the music department where he has made a number of changes in response to student needs. He has also been the driver behind the Choice evening which has developed over the last two years with great success. We wish him all the best for 2020.

Mrs Kim Andrews, our Sports Co-ordinator, goes on maternity leave at the end of this week. My thanks for the huge contribution she has made to our sport and recreation in our school over a number of years where she has provided opportunities for a whole range of sporting codes.

Over the last six weeks we have been advertising a range of vacancies in our school and I am pleased to welcome the following who will be joining us at the start of 2020 in the roles below:

Sports Co-ordinator - we have appointed Ms Tessa Opie as the new Sports Co-ordinator and she has been working with Mrs Andrews over this term to ensure a smooth transition with the various aspects of this role.

Head of Music - Mr Cameron Love, currently the Head of Music at Onewhero Area School in the North Island.

Mathematics - Mr Graham Bock will be joining the Mathematics department next year. He is currently the Assistant Head of Mathematics at Ashburton College.

Science/Chemistry - Mrs Mel O’Connor will take up our Chemistry/Science role for 2020. Mrs O’Connor has been our Science Technician for a number of years and we welcome her into the teaching profession.

Business/Science - We have appointed Mr Andrew Parkin to the role of Science and Business teacher for 2020. Mr Parkin is currently in the Masters teaching programme at Otago University and has been involved in businesses for a number of years prior to entering teaching.

Guidance Counsellor - We have appointed Mrs Aileen Watson, currently Guidance Counsellor and Head of Technology at Opunake High School to our Guidance Counsellor position starting in Week 3 Term 4.

We have greatly appreciated both Ms Alexia Bensemann, a Counsellor in private practice, who has been able to be in our school for two and a half days a week in the capacity of Guidance Counsellor for Terms 2 & 3; and Mr Mark Hayward for being available as needed over the last two terms. Ms Bensemann has fitted in very well to our staff and a number of students have appreciated her support.

Currently we are in the process of appointing an Assistant Principal and Deputy Principal for the start of 2020 due to Ms Maria Heitkonig taking up the HoD English position and Ms Cate Knowles moving to a Deputy Principal role at Epsom Girls Grammar School. We hope to have made these appointments before the end of this term.

Nga mihi nui

Simon Coleman