Hero photograph
Photo by Peter Blank

Message from the Principal

Judith Taylor —

Yesterday, a record number of parents and caregivers joined us at the fabulous Year 9 and 10 Prizegivings.

It was great to see so many students recognised for their achievements – the large number of students in Year 10 who crossed the stage reflects the very high calibre of this year level. It’s certainly been an interesting year, and we are all very pleased to get to the last day of the school year. Much has been said about the impact of COVID-19, the lockdown and learning@home, but our school – staff and students – have shown great resilience in simply getting on with things as best as they can. Our core business of teaching and learning continued and we are on track to continue our track record of excellent results.

We’ve been busy this term – this final newsletter of the year highlights many of the great activities that students have been involved in, from the Year 13 Leaver’s Dinner to the Junior Activity Day held earlier this week. One of the highlights of the year are the Manaakitanga projects – it’s a great way for our students to give back to others in our wider community. Pictured above, a group from 9VH visiting a local rest home.

We have farewelled several staff recently and I’d like to acknowledge a couple of teachers who have given many years of service to the school. Barbara Hanson is retiring after 25 years as an ESOL teacher, working with International students and many domestic students who have needed specialist language support. Her work has made a significant difference in the lives of many students and we wish her a happy retirement and safe travels around the country. Wendy Forde is also retiring after 25 years working in Awhina, our unit for students with special educational needs. It takes a very special set of skills to work with these young people and Wendy has also made a huge difference in the lives of many of these students and their families. We wish Wendy a happy retirement with lots of time for new hobbies and her garden. Other staff we farewelled include Hugh Laurenson, Lorraine Andrews, Phillip Chevis, Saptak Saha, Lily Rolfe and Laz Lemanutau.

In a year when so much has happened, I’d like to thank parents, caregivers and whanau for their ongoing support over the year. Whether it was supporting on the sideline at a sports event, in the audience at a cultural event or prizegiving, or even the simple conversations with your young person about how their day has gone at school, what you do matters and reinforces the message that school is important. I’m looking forward to a great 2021, continuing to support and develop great UHC students!

On behalf of the UHC Board, and all the staff of UHC, I’d like to wish everyone happy holidays, safe travels and great weather.

Ngā mihi nui

Judith Taylor