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Photo by Amie Blackwell

Board News

Alan Aitken —

I don’t really do winter that well. It’s cold and its dark and it makes me want to stay in bed rather than face life. 

One person I know who is finding winter even harder than me is the Kenyan intern we have at my work. She is visiting New Zealand for 6-12 months and is used to warmer African temperatures. She actually found autumn very cold even though it was unseasonably warm for us. 

Naturally as an ‘encouraging’ and ‘helpful’ person I have made a special effort to let her know that the worst is yet to come and the cold she has experienced so far is as nothing compared to the frosts and blizzards that are coming in July! 

The one thing I do appreciate about winter is our wood burner which generates massive flaming radiant warmth and almost makes my suffering worthwhile. 

The fact is; seasons come and go and we have simply have to adjust when they do.

Our school has its own seasonal rhythms. One of these is the appointment of a new board for the next three years. I’m pleased to say that Paul Bridgeman, Janine Ogier, Lynn Shearing, Rosemary Walton and I have been elected to the board in our recent elections. Special congratulations go to Janine who is a new whereas the rest of us have previously served on the board. 

 This group of five elected parent representatives will be joined by David McKenzie as staff representative, Andrew Eddy as student representative, and of course our Principal, Neil Haywood. In addition, the board frequently co-opts one to two additional members to round out the skill mix of the team.

The first tasks of the of new board will be ‘housekeeping’ ones; a chairperson will be chosen and membership of the various sub-committees confirmed. Very quickly, the new board will be making a series of significant decisions because this is the time of the year when the plans for the next year (2017) are worked out.

Moving beyond immediate matters there are longer range issues that will be a feature throughout the next three years. These include but are not limited to:

1. Supporting and extending our school’s implementation of innovative learning practices including BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices).

2. Financial management which means making sure our finite financial resources go to the things they need to.

3. Continuing to develop the school’s presentation and branding in what is a competitive education environment.

4. Forward planning towards our schools MOE scheduled building developments and renovation in 2020/2021.

5. Supporting and championing the Riccarton Way as the underlying ethos of our school.

In addition, there will be routine issues both large and small which are another story. But that’s enough for now. Right this minute I feel a need to visit my wood burner!