Staff News 2021

The HBHS Staff —

This year we have said hello and goodbye to so many of our special teaching and support staff. We wish all of our leavers the very best in their new ventures.

At the beginning of this year we congratulated Ms Caitlyn Brown on her marriage to Josh, and Miss Amber Evemy on getting married to Cam. Mr Fraser Kilgour and his wife Kendra welcomed son Arthur to their family and to Argyle House, and over Easter, Mr Maurice Matthews and Mrs Alice Matthews celebrated the birth of a granddaughter.

In Term 2, our Head of Boarding, Mr Murray McKenzie, became a first-time grandfather. He and Lynda were lucky enough to get to Melbourne just before the Trans-Tasman bubble closed to meet their new grandson in person. Mr Nigel Harris became a grandfather, Mrs Karen Way welcomed a grandson, Mason, and Mrs Jennie Toulson welcomed a granddaughter, Brooks, in the USA.

Term 3 saw Mr Logan Asplin and his wife Anna welcome baby daughter Reevie Rae.  Finally, in Term 4, just as we were going to print, Mr Andrew Simmonds and his wife Sammie welcomed a baby girl, Alison-Rose. Congratulations to you all.

We welcomed the staff Class of 2021, beginning with Mr Joel Baker, our new Assistant Principal in charge of Curriculum and Achievement. Mr Baker came to us from Cambridge High School, and prior to that taught at Tauranga Boys’ College. As a member of the HPW Faculty, he has already involved himself in basketball, running the D League and managing a Year 9 basketball team. 

Ms Michelle Coursey joined HBHS from our sister school and teaches in the English Faculty with two additional Social Studies classes. She has enjoyed being a part of our strong debating programme and working with our talented speakers and wants to help students improve their writing and accuracy skills.

Mr Stephan Germishuys joined the Mathematics Faculty fresh from Gore High School in the deep south. He trained in South Africa, so will fit right into his faculty of choice and has taught Year 9 and 10 classes. We thank him for his contribution to our school and wish him well.

Mrs Veronica Germishuys trained in South Africa and joined the Mathematics Faculty. She taught Year 9 classes up to Scholarship level. 

Mr Andrew Gibbs is our new Assistant Principal in charge of Communications and Organisation and hails from St Paul’s. He joined our contingent of Old Boys on the staff and teaches Outdoor Education and Physical Education. 

Ms Amy Grinter joined us from the University of Waikato, and has taught Junior Science and Chemistry in her first year of teaching. She has appreciated the friendly and welcoming culture here at HBHS, enjoyed her involvement in MMA and kickboxing, and is looking forward to many more memorable years.  

Ms Margaret Malan joined the English Faculty as the TCR of NCEA Internal Assessments after teaching at Sacred Heart Girls’ College, Hamilton for 13 years. After completing her Masters Degree in South Africa she lectured at tertiary level and then in a range of schools. She is enjoying working with our  students, developing their confidence in English and nurturing a love for language and reading.

Mr Kyle Martin made the move south of the Bombays and joined the Technology Faculty as TCR of Graphics from Saint Peter’s College in Epsom. He has enjoyed managing the Year 9 White Cricket team, and is looking forward to getting to know all of the boys and boosting creativity within his subject area. 

Ms Karlie Simmons joined the Social Sciences Faculty from the University of Waikato and teaches Social Studies and History. She is really excited to be a part of our team. 

We also welcomed Ms Emma Chambers, Ms Mandy Fletcher, and Ms Katrina Hartley. Mrs Diana Astwood was appointed as the Senior School Nurse which ensures the coordination and managing of the Health Centre. Joining the Health Centre staff this year is Mrs Sheree Williamson who is working two days a week. Mr Chris Wells has joined the Science Faculty as a Technician. Mrs Tracey Scott was appointed as school Receptionist in June, 2021, after Mrs Jill Skerman left. 

Before we farewelled our staff who left at the end of Term 1, we must acknowledge two very special staff members who left us at the end of 2020. Matua Toti West and Mr Campbell Wood headed to HGHS to take up Assistant Principal roles and we thank them for all that they contributed over their years at HBHS. Matua West was an instrumental figure in the multiple successes of our kapa haka group, Te Maurea Whiritoi, and we are hugely grateful for the countless hours he devoted to this group. We also thank him for raising the profile of Te Reo Māori and our Māori students at our school through his time as the Dean of Māori students and his contributions to the Ngā Mangai Homework Centre amongst many others. Mr Campbell Wood contributed in multiple ways and in multiple roles, first as a Year level Dean, and then as the Director of Advanced Learning Programmes, where he was a driving force behind our successes in the Scholarship examinations in recent years. He was also an active participant in our sporting programme, helping to develop futsal and seeing our teams make their way to success on the National stage. We wish them every success in their new roles and thank them for everything they have done for us. 

Our staff leavers at the end of Term 1 were Miss Josie Momm, who headed to the Correspondence School after three years at HBHS teaching Mathematics, and being an integral part of our school debating success. Miss Amber Evemy headed south to Christchurch where she took up a role as an itinerant Music teacher after teaching at HBHS for three years and performing in countless groups and shows in countless different ways. We thanked Mrs Karen Cakebread who stepped in at short notice for the English Faculty in Term 1, prior to the arrival of Ms Coursey, Mrs Gemma Hickman for teaching a term in the Maths Faculty and Mr Inga Tamou for teaching Psychology while Miss Van der Toorn was on maternity leave with her daughter Ivah. Finally, we had to, sadly, say goodbye to an absolute stalwart of our school, Mrs Sandy Scott. Mrs Scott had been at HBHS for 23 years and two terms and worked tirelessly as an advocate for hundreds of our learning support students. When she started at HBHS, Mrs Scott was going to fill in at Reception for Mrs Clark for 6 weeks, and our Year 9 Dean Mr Scott was still at primary school! We thank her for everything she has done to support students and staff in her time here and wish her every success in her new ventures. She is an absolute treasure and we will miss her!

The mid-winter term saw us say farewell to a number of staff members who have been in our world for a very long time.  First up, we said goodbye to Mrs Jill Skerman, who had been our School Receptionist since 2018.  Mrs Skerman's association with our school goes back much further than that, as the wife of our former Head of the Social Sciences Faculty and History teacher, Mr Peter Skerman, she has been a part of the HBHS whānau for decades.  We will miss her elegant and smiling presence at the front of our school, and we hope she pops in to see us regularly.

Whaea Miriama Barton was farewelled on Friday the 11th of June, and we've included below once again the magnificent tribute she was paid to recognise her incalculable contributions to Te Reo Māori, Te Maurea Whiritoi and the well-being of our Māori boys at HBHS over her near 20 years of dedicated service at HBHS.  We wish her every success in her new role in Wellington with the PPTA.

Farewell for Whaea Miriama Barton Wendy Moffitt

Next we said goodbye to Mr James Hepburn, who was with us in the I.T. Department for 7 years. Mr Hepburn has been integral in developing a range of courses and systems for students and for the Department, taught I.T. and Electronics, and led the lunchtime STEM Club. He worked in developing competitive sailing at HBHS and saw considerable success in a range of competitions, winning the Burgess Cup on several occasions. He leaves us for Rototuna School, and we wish him every success in this new venture.

Image by: Wendy Moffitt

Our Director of Learning Support, Mrs Raewyn Steffert, was the next staff member to depart, after 15 years at HBHS.  Mrs Steffert taught Science, Mathematics and Biology in her time here, and made a massive contribution to the lives of so many boys as an advocate for our Learning Support students.  Mrs Steffert is especially grateful to her Faculty, Mr Stuart Hakeney, and Mrs Sandy Scott, who retired in Term 1, for their support of her.  She heads only a little further up the road to Southwell School, so we know she will keep in touch.  

Finally, and sadly, on the final Friday of the term, we had to do triple duty and say goodbye to three staff members.  First up was our Guidance Counsellor, Mr Philip Coyle, who is also heading to Rototuna School to lead their Guidance Department.  Mr Coyle has been with us since 2015, and has helped so many of our staff and students during the most difficult periods in their lives.  He is a talented photographer, and has helped staff and students develop their skills in this field.  He would like to say the following: I would like to thank students, parents and staff I have worked with at HBHS over the last 6 years. It has been a pleasure being a counsellor at the school.  

Image by: Wendy Moffitt

Mr Tim Aughton had been at HBHS since 2004, and in that time has been involved in countless sporting and service activities, not to mention as a Director of Boarding and Dean of Boarding at Argyle House.  He has served as the Teacher in Charge of Cricket, supporting Mr Kuggeleijn as the Manager of the 1st XI as the team racked up Super 8, regional and National title wins.  He has coached numerous rugby teams, including the Under 16 team with Mr Steel that toured the Gold Coast, winning the tournament there every time.  He lists beating Mr Hay's 2nd XV as the Coach of the Colts with Mr Killian in the Waikato 1st XV Competition final as being a highlight (Editor's note, it's one of mine as well!). Mr Aughton's skills as a Sports Administrator were recognised at the Waikato Regional Sports Awards as well. In recent years he has been the rock on which our school Service Scheme has been built.  He is off down south to the Shotover Lodge in Queenstown to manage accommodation facilities with his wife Cara and we suspect they might not be short of visitors!  We thank him for bringing happiness and humour into our lives and for his love of our school.

Image by: Wendy Moffitt

Finally, we say farewell to Mr Richard Fletcher, who has been a teacher at HBHS for an extraordinary 40 and a half years.  He joined our school in 1981, and has been a career teacher in the best sense of the word.  Having taught in the Mathematics Faculty for this time, Mr Fletcher has touched the lives of nearly 6000 students, and when we asked some of these students about him, he was described as a really good teacher, capable of helping you to genuinely understand Mathematics, even when you're not necessarily good at it.  Mathematics can be described as "the poetry of logical ideas", and Mr Fletcher has helped so many students to appreciate this.  As well as being such a skilled classroom teacher, Mr Fletcher has been a time-tabler, Teacher with Curriculum Responsibilities in Mathematics, has worked with the Swimming team, been a member of the rarely-defeated Staff Swimming team, an Argyle House Master and in recent times has worked with our Badminton players.  If that wasn't enough, he has also been a New Zealand Open Bridge champion, and has been described as pretty much unbeatable.  Mr Fletcher has been an unsung hero at HBHS for so many years, and has witnessed many changes in education.  As an avid traveller, we know he will be off on new adventures as soon as he possibly can, and we wish him all good things as he embarks on new journeys in life. 

Term 4 saw us say farewell to Ms Emma Chambers who departs on maternity leave, and Mr David Moore, who will join ACG Strathallan after three years at HBHS. He will reduce his daily commute from 1 hour plus to 15 minutes, although with Auckland traffic, that is never guaranteed. We wish him every success in his new school.

Mr Fraser Kilgour arrived at HBHS in 2016 and threw himself into a wide variety of roles, including being in charge of Social Studies and Classics, a Hostel Master, Dean of Boarding, a cricket and hockey coach and teacher in charge of golf to name but a few! He has called Argyle House home for five years, and many of his highlights stem from being a part of the Hostel. He has appreciated seeing students develop markedly in confidence and ability in their time here, and will never forget Jake Russ performing the Haka back to the Hostel when they performed one for him at prize giving. He has enjoyed watching some of our talented cricketers progress through the ranks at school and beyond, but has found the work-life balance as a teacher a tough one to manage. He is off to Lugtons as a real estate agent in 2022, so if you need any help with property, don’t hesitate to give Fraser Kilgour Real Estate a call!

Mr Aaron Kearney arrived in 2015 from Whangārei Boys’ High School and went straight into the Hostel for a brief stint as Assistant Master. He has also worked with our senior and junior debaters, been in charge of the HBHS Facebook page, and has worked as the Front of House Manager of our school productions. When asked about a highlight, he rated the staff as some of the best colleagues he has ever had, and the support staff as the unsung heroes of HBHS. Mr Kearney also loved the chance to teach texts he is passionate about, and appreciated the love that the Hostel boys had for Argyle House, their second home, during the 50th Anniversary Reunion in 2015. There have been some hard lessons along the way, but they have resulted in immense growth, and he is off for a new adventure outside of education in 2022. We wish him every success in this.

Mr Steve Horne arrived at HBHS in 2013 and began his time as Head of Learning Support for two years. He found the shift from a primary school background to being an instant high school teacher a challenge, but appreciated the support of the HBHS staff. Mr Horne has taught Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Gateway, and outside of the classroom has been a co-leader of the LION Mentor Programme since 2015, has worked on community service projects with the Leo Club students, and has worked alongside Ms Shah with the Multicultural Manaaki Centre boys. It is in working with the refugee students that he has found real satisfaction, along with helping the lower-ability students at our school find success. A highlight for him was his involvement in the Refugee Football match and seeing the pride and passion of the students. Next year Mr Horne will be living the semi-retired life in Raglan and writing his second book, as well as enjoying many beach-side leisure activities and cafes! There may be some relief teaching involved, and hopefully more travel around the country.

Mr Mike Erceg joined HBHS in 2009, also from a primary school background. After teaching English, Mathematics, Social Sciences and Information Technology he gradually honed his subjects down to mostly Information Technology, where he has worked with some of our best and brightest student computer programmers. Tennis has always been a passion, and since 2010 Mr Erceg has been the teacher in charge of the code at HBHS, as well as the Manager of the Premier Tennis team. Under his guidance HBHS has become one of the top tennis schools in New Zealand and the Tennis Academy that he established has helped our school achieve some fantastic results. Mr Erceg also coached football, and led the always-popular Kiwi Camping trip for our Year 10 students. In 2022 Mr Erceg will head to Waihi Beach to enjoy semi-retirement, which will most certainly include time for tennis, golf and the beach. He will also be setting up a small business teaching adults computer and technology skills, and we wish him every success in this. 

Mrs Karen Zeeders joined our team of Teacher Aides in 2006, and in her time here has enjoyed working with a wide variety of people. Seeing the boys make progress and begin to enjoy their time at school has been a real highlight for her. She has very much appreciated the well-being activities brought in for the staff, including boot camp, yoga and aqua jogging, as well as the social club events. She is off to the Bay of Plenty in 2022, specifically Omokoroa, where she will renovate her house, as well as pick up some part-time teacher aide work. We hope she enjoys her new venture.  She had the following message for us: I have loved Teacher Aiding at HBHS and have worked with some wonderful, inspiring and very hardworking people. I have also learnt a lot along the way as well.

Ms Indra Basi also joined us in 2006, first as the Science Technician, and then joined the teaching staff in 2008, teaching Science and Chemistry. Her passion has always been for the sciences and she has communicated this over the years, not only to her students, producing wonderful results in science fairs, but to the staff as well. Many of us still have our (literal) periodic tables on our desks, courtesy of Ms Basi and her efforts to teach it to us, and we always appreciated her knowledgeable and entertaining contributions to staff briefings, often at the expense of her classroom-mate, Mr Cooley! Ms Basi will be living in her personal hermit kingdom next year, away from the hustle and bustle of school, and had this message for us: Leaving HBHS and those within it has been one of the most difficult decisions I have made, but it is time. The years spent at the school will always hold a special place in my heart. I have had the pleasure to meet and work alongside many wonderful people - staff, students and their families. I will always be eternally grateful to Mr Billing, Mr Tucker and Mrs Hassall for enabling me to create memories that I will treasure. Thank you!

Mr John Steel is [sort of] leaving us at the end of this year, having arrived in 1991 as the Teacher in Charge of Wood Technology. He became the Dean of Year 11 in 1995, then after six years became the Middle School Coordinator, and has been the Senior Dean for the last six years. Mr Steel’s list of extracurricular activities and achievements is an impressive one. It includes winning the Springbok Shield as the Teacher in Charge of Rowing, and the collection of rugby titles he has accumulated as both coach and Teacher in Charge of code includes National titles, Super 8 titles, the World Tens Championship title in Sydney in 1996, Under 15 Sevens titles, and five years of never being beaten at the Under 16 Tournament in the Gold Coast. He didn’t get them all, though. The National Under 15 title eluded his grasp for five years, and his Condor Sevens side finished as runners-up. When asked about what he would consider as his highlights, the titles and trophies didn’t feature. Rather it was the first Scholarship pass in Wood Tech in 2020, and the laughs had with fellow staff members over missing rugby shirts hiding in Nissan Skyline boots and then not making it at all on the Tauranga exchange (Editor’s note - that second one wasn’t my fault!). Fortunately for us, Mr Steel is only semi-retiring, and will be returning in 2022 for two days a week of classes, and hopefully a lot more laughs.

Mr Andrew Tucker is very much looking forward to retirement and a break after 41 years of teaching! He arrived at HBHS in 1989 as the Head of Biology, and his first day was notable because the Sports Pavilion caught fire. We’re sure there’s no connection! In 1996 he was appointed as the Head of the Science Faculty, becoming a founding member of the Senior Management Team, and during the early 2000s he stepped in as an acting Assistant Principal while Terry Consedine was on leave. He has been extensively involved in football, coaching and managing teams for 33 years, including the 1st XI and has been a coordinator of the code as well. A highlight was taking a senior football team to Brisbane and Surfers Paradise in 1997, as it was the first time overseas for many of the players. In his time as an educator, Mr Tucker has experienced a lot, and some of the changes have been both positive and frustrating, especially the early implementation of NCEA. He very much appreciated the introduction of the Cambridge International Examination system as an extension for the able students, and has achieved considerable success here and in Scholarship examinations. But for now, it’s going to be all about exercise, grandchildren, reading, gardening, cooking, research, writing, travel and philately for Mr Tucker, and we hope he has an absolute ball!