We have had a number of changes in staff during 2017.
Our inspiring and much loved Principal, Jane Johnson announced her retirement for the end of Term 2 and spent most of Term 2 on sabbatical writing up research from a number of school based initiatives from recent years. Jane has been principal at Logan Park for almost 18 years and she has had an impressive 43 year career in education.
Jane described being principal at Logan Park as the pinnacle of her extensive teaching career, and an immensely rewarding role. She has taught at a number of schools, including being the Head of English at Logan Park and she trained teachers as a Senior Lecturer at the Dunedin College of Education for 8 years. Jane has also published textbooks on English and has been at the forefront of a number of national research initiatives aimed at Maori achieving success as Maori. We had several celebrations later this year, to farewell Jane and to honour her incredible contribution and legacy. Jane agreed to be our Guest Speaker at Senior Prizegiving in November and our students gave her a standing ovation in her final assembly in April. Peter Hills and Kristan Mouat took over as Co-Principals from Term 3.
Our wonderful librarian, Jenny Millar retired at the end of Term 1. Jenny has been our Librarian for over 20 years and was instrumental in the design of our new library space. She will be remembered for her enthusiasm for encouraging reading amongst students, parents and staff, as well as organising the Year 9 Library programme, including the UBS Book Challenge.
Jenny's NZ Post Book Quiz teams dominated in Otago for many years. All of our students and staff have appreciated her resourcefulness with research and her excellent taste in books! Jenny accompanied our History and Technology trip to New York over the school holidays and we appreciated her presence on the Turkey/Greece/Rome trip in 2015. Jenny has now moved to Nelson and is looking forward to spending more time with her children and grandchildren. Michelle Summerfield, a qualified Librarian and energetic teacher took over in Term 2.
Diane Dupres has been appointed our new Head of Drama and started in Term 2. Diane has had extensive experience in Drama. She was a member of the NZ Curriculum alignment project for Level 3 Drama, has significant experience in curriculum design, was the Sheilah Wynn Shakespeare Festival organiser in Christchurch and she has taught IB (International Baccalaureate) Drama as well as presenting at international conferences. She has been a Head of Drama in Christchurch and most recently has been setting up a Performing Arts Department at Beacon Academy in Jakarta. Diane is an experienced writer, director and actor and inspiring teacher. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Marion Brinsley, Christine Colbert and Lesley Taylor for handling all the Drama classes, Shakespeare competition and the transition for Term 1.
Lara Liesbeth has resigned to follow some of her other creative pursuits. She has been at Logan Park teaching English for 5 years and her students have greatly appreciated her passion, enthusiasm and creativity. Lara has also supported our school's Diversity Club and encouraged students in many Spelling and Writing competitions leading to significant successes. The passionate Esther Kristel was been appointed as a fulltime English teacher. Esther has held the role of Specialist Classroom Teacher at other schools and has considerable experience leading school-wide Professional Development and change. She is a talented teacher and enjoys nurturing aspiring writers in particular.
Warwick Kain started the year as our new Head of Physical Education and Health and brings boundless energy and enthusiasm to the role, as well as finding time to coach numerous sports teams. The wonderful Helen Reid was appointed our new Food Technology teacher as Heather Brown accepted a position in Christchurch. Judy Buckingham is our awesome Head of Counselling replacing Han Verberne who retired at the end of 2016. The highly resourceful David Pirie fortunately stepped in to teach Careers/Gateway this year after years of inspirational service from Marion Brinsley.