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Latest Message from our International Director:
9 July 2021
As I stand here on the last day of term I am in a reflective mood.
It is a big day, an emotional day as we farewell a Giant of our school. Many of you will have met James Thomas personally either with me on one of our many marketing trips, or when you have come and visited us. What you will have gleaned from him is that he is hugely passionate in regards to education and places a large importance on respecting ourselves, others and the environment and ensuring great relationships are maintained. He leaves after nine amazing years as the leader of our kura (school) and we wish him well in his work with the NZ teachers council and other adventures he and his whanau will have.
I will also be having a sabbatical next term, which will give me the opportunity to do some study and look at one of my passions, learner wellbeing. With the idea that I can come back to not only my school but also other schools in the world with ideas and suggestions to help support learner wellbeing and growth. Although I was supposed to take the family via Japan to Europe and experience the culture of many different places. I will at least be able to support my kura and others with my work. While I am away, you may hear from Rhys Hodson although most marketing stuff will stay with Silvie Watts and as always, I will still be at the end of a zoom, skype or some other meeting platform.
This term has continued to see much celebration and success. Whether it be on the sports field or in the classroom, some of the highlights have been Fabian Diaz Luque (Columbia) who made his first starting appearance for the Hibiscus coast, premier football team. Kano Sugawara (Japan) who has received excellence grades for every assessment she has attempted so far this year. These two and many other students at Whangaparaoa College continue the legacy of success and achievement that has become the expected way we operate.
We also started an initiative that we had been thinking about since this pandemic hit and that was connecting digitally. It has been great for everyone to be able to work with a few schools. Mainly in Japan and China where we have long standing relationships between schools and allow our students and students from these schools to connect, share experiences and celebrate being together. It has been a great positive experience this year, which has been difficult.
An international students introduction cannot finish without acknowledging the challenging environment we all find ourselves in and I hope that you are looking after yourselves and your whanau. We have lost some very strong people out of our agent family over the last year as the financial toll begins to hinder people’s ability to maintain a sustainable income. The New Zealand government has not yet given us a clear message on what the journey to opening up will look like. However, you can expect that we will let our community know as soon as possible and will work with you all to continue our very strong relationships.
Nga mihi nui
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