Hero photograph
Photo by Kate Boyes

Careers and Transition

Mrs Wendy Toohey —

It is with sadness that I find myself writing my very last report for my department as I am now looking forward to my retirement and having the time to follow interests I have been unable to do up to now.

Where have 29 ½ years gone to? June 1988 saw me start my role as Careers Advisor at Hornby High School in what is now the Referral Room. At that time the school operated on a 7-day a week timetable and the only class I had was Supported Learning for one whole day every 7 days. The rest of the time was mine to “invent”. Consequently over the years, with the approval of Senior Leadership, I have introduced various programmes to what it is now a very busy, innovative and, dare I say it, welcoming department to students, parents and external personnel.

I certainly didn’t expect to stay at Hornby High School for as long as I have, but the combination of both students and staff are what make Hornby High School stand out from other schools I have had involvement with.

This year has again been busy with students participating in programmes such as SPEC Supported Learning, Senior Transition, Gateway and Trade Academies, as well as all the one-one work with individual students (including ex-students on occasion) and their parents. This is the aspect of the job which has given me the most enjoyment over the years – seeing students transition into either employment or tertiary studies. Facebook has been an amazing tool for me to “be a friend” and follow past students in their young adult lives, often sharing with the special events e.g., promotions, engagements, babies and overseas travel. Hornby High School can be proud of their ex-students. Some have even offered to support school in many ways. This year we have been lucky to have Chris Sinclair Builders have two Gateway students. Chris is an ex-student of the school.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the following people/businesses for their ongoing support during my time at Hornby High School:

My staff – Linda Barnett (current) and past staff Rachel Reiha (Gateway), Judith Miller, Sandra Martin, (these two were “nabbed” from me by Senior Leadership !) and Thelma Cooper (Transition Assistants).

School staff, especially Senior Leadership, Learning Centre Staff and senior Deans.

We have received continuous support from the following: Avon City Ford, Hornby Mall Management, Avonmore Tertiary Insitute, ARA Youth Transition Team, Motivationz and Academy Youth Coach Teams.

A very special thank you for the continuous support and assistance from CareersNZ who have been the unofficial “auditor” of my department – helping me ensure that Hornby High School meets the Ministry benchmarks for Careers and Guidance.

I am very happy to have Mrs Climo appointed as my replacement and I am positive she will lead this department on to new and exciting ventures.

I wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday and the very best for your futures.

Wendy Toohey