As I reflect on the events and activities that have shaped 2021, it is difficult to not make a comment about Covid-19 and the influence that it has had on our year. The changing alert levels, time away from school and the uncertainty about events that might or might not go ahead have had a significant impact on our year. However, through all these changes our students and our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that our school has been as “normal” as possible. I am incredibly proud of how, as a community, we have coped with the changing nature of education this year.
I would also like to take this opportunity, in the final newsletter for this year, to recognise so many areas of our school that we should be proud of.
Our students continue to excel academically, with our NCEA results from last year being significantly better than most of the other Tauranga and Western Bay schools. I expect this to be the same this year.
In the sporting arena, we have had numerous students selected to represent their region across a wide range of sports and Katie Templeton was selected to represent New Zealand in squash. These are significant achievements for these students and reflect a determination and dedication to reach their goals.
It also makes me incredibly proud to see the number of past students and members of our community who take the time to support our students. This is across a whole range of different areas of our school. I would like to thank those people who coach or manage our sports teams or cultural groups. Thank you to those of you who help our students in their exams and assessments as reader writers and to those that supervise our exams. Thanks to those who drive our students all over the place for sport and other activities, especially our van drivers. Finally thank you to the people who give up their time to organise our Breakfast Club. We rely heavily on all of our volunteers and your support reinforces for me what an amazing community we live in and the strong connections that we have.
This support from our community is also evident in the donations we have received for the Innovative Horticulture Trust and for replacing the hockey turf. The development of the Innovative Horticulture building, and the new hockey turf will be significant assets for our College. Our community connections have also been seen in the sponsorship we received for our Year 7 & 8 quiz night fundraising for camp. Unfortunately the camp did not go ahead because of COVID restrictions. Instead we used the funds raised to take all of our Year 7 and 8 students to Waimarino Water & Adventure Park for an amazing day of fun.
I would also like to recognise and thank the following companies for coming on board to sponsor aspects of our Senior Prize Giving: Hume Pack-N-Cool is sponsoring all of our Year 11 - 13 first place subject winners and L J Hooker Waihi Beach is sponsoring our Dux and Proxima Accessit awards. This is a significant contribution to our school and we are very grateful.
Most importantly, I am proud of the leadership skills that our students continue to develop and show. From our student-led Matariki Pou Tuku Taonga evening, to our performance at Pasifika by Nature in Hamilton, to the Year 7 & 8 PrEP Market Day – our students continually show that they are creative problem solvers who can work as part of a team.
Every year when we visit the local primary schools, we take some of our current students to talk to the new enrolments. I am always so proud of our young people and how they speak about our school. For me, this reflects the outstanding young people that are nurtured and developed through their time at Katikati College.
I would like to take this opportunity to share the news that changes to the NCEA structure have been delayed for another year as a result of the disruption caused by Covid-19.
As for our Year 13 student leaders, I would like to personally thank Sofia House for her hard work and dedication on the Board of Trustees. To Jess Harray, Dandré Du Plessis, Charlotte Schnackenberg, Rhymis Ormsby and Connor Wilmshurst – thank you for your ideas, your energy and your work in leading the students of our school. To the Year 13 Sports, Arts, Cultural, Academic and House Leaders – it has not been the easiest of years for you to navigate. You have made the most of the opportunities and hopefully had a few laughs and learnt a few skills along the way.
To all of our Year 13 students and our Year 12 students who are not returning, all the best for your future. Remember the life skills that you have learnt over the past years. Continue to model our values of MARK - be caring to others, continue to learn, demonstrate your leadership (no matter what the situation) and work alongside others to achieve your goals.
Finally, as the newly appointed principal of Katikati College, I look forward to the future of our school, with a strong focus on teaching and learning and continuing to develop pride in who we are and what we are about.
Ngā mihi nui