2016 has been a year of change at board level. For the first time in some years, there was enough interest to hold an election for the coming three-year term. This is an indication of the good reputation of the college these days. It is also healthy to have a contested process and give the community a chance to provide their input into the governance of the school.
We were sad to farewell three members of the previous board, who stood down after a combined 21 years of service. Jennifer Feek was deputy chairperson and was more in touch than most parent-elected representatives with the day to day running of the school. Jenn formed strong, supportive relationships with a large number of staff, students and whanau. She has been a tireless contributor and really lived the te whanau tahi culture.
Liz Wolstenholme was another hard working member of the board for 9 years. Preferring to stay more in the background, she nevertheless drove much of the governance work that has contributed to the success of Naenae College in recent years. Liz is a wise and thoughtful person, who put countless hours of work into ensuring the board stayed focussed on the needs of our community.
We also miss Gareth Marshall, who was on our board and at the same time chaired the board of Naenae Intermediate. Gareth was an important part of our developing strategy to work with all our contributing schools, to better prepare students for college, and enhance their educational prospects.
David Murden has been replaced by Kamaia Renata as staff rep. Zadie McDowell also replaces Mark Savelio as the student rep. The continuing board members are John Manuel, Loudeen Parsons and me.
New members are Tia Turahui, Karen Shepherd, Sarah-Jane McCosh and Robyn Cormack. Robyn has kindly agreed to take the chair, and I am confident that we have another high calibre board to continue driving improvements to the school.
After three years, ERO again reviewed the College to assess the contributions of board and staff to student achievement. Their draft report is extremely positive. By the time you read this the final report should be available to read on the college's website.
The principals and board members of our local schools have also re-connected after the board elections to continue developing our “Community of Learning”. This is a good opportunity to work out common goals and share resources and strategies to better meet the educational needs of local students. We also hope to create a more seamless transition through the stages of school life and foster an environment where whanau find it easier to stay engaged in the process right through.
I want to thank our principal, Mr John Russell, his senior leadership team and staff for another year of outstanding effort. I wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.
Board Deputy Chair