It has been an interesting few weeks for College, and indeed for all organisations and institutions, as we have skipped along the path of managing the Covid-19 Omicron outbreak.
In the space of 15 working days, our obligations to collect long lists of close and casual contacts evaporated to simply informing the Ministry of Education of unidentifiable daily positive case numbers of students and staff. There is no doubt that in the next few weeks the landscape will significantly change, as even over the past weekend we have had more boys having to isolate. We intend to try to keep as many of our programmes fully operational, which, in turn, will possibly mean some unusual and unique decisions, given where we are at the time.
I am extremely grateful for the support of our community and the flexibility of our staff, who have maintained a sense of ‘normality’ for the boys. Let us hope that our second term will be slightly less frenetic. We have been able to use our robust technology to enable boys to follow their academic programme from home, and also enable teachers, who too may be isolating, to be able to provide a ‘Learning Log’. This hybrid approach is more fully explained by our Assistant Principal – Curriculum, Nicole Billante, and I acknowledge her work – and that of all our teachers – in moving to this approach since the start of the term. It is certainly not online learning in the lockdown sense but allows for boys to either be in class or at home and maintain their class progress.
Changes for Centre for Wellbeing
After five years in a part-time capacity leading our Centre for Wellbeing & Positive Education, John Quinn will leave at the end of this term. John’s contribution in bringing wellbeing to the centre of our thinking within College has been significant and we are fortunate to have been influenced by his expertise. He has been especially valued by many within our sporting fraternity as he has helped develop their mental skills. It is this particular passion that leads John to join, more fully, High Performance Sport New Zealand. John’s final public contribution in his College role will be a live-streamed Parent Education Evening. We wish John well. His departure has enabled the amalgamation of several part-time positions into a new role – Director of Wellbeing Education. Given that wellbeing is now taught in each year group – as well as caught across a range of other programmes – this is a logical step within the Centre for Wellbeing. I am pleased that staff member Caroline Black has taken on this role. Caroline’s enthusiasm and energy, balanced by her professional growth in studies associated with wellbeing, will build on the foundations of the past five years.
Welcome to new staff
Our new Workshop Technician Brent Anderson has extensive experience as a transport engineer and fitter and welder. He has worked in the transport and engineering industries, including structural, maintenance and quality control roles.
MSc Hons(Canterbury), PG Cert Tertiary Teaching
Gill Blackler is our new Advancement and Events Coordinator, having been at St Margaret’s College since 2012, most recently as Arts Facilitator. She has held events roles at Christ Church Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland.
Dipl.-Ing. (Osnabrück), BE(Hons) (Sheffield), GradDipTchLn (Canterbury), MEd (Canterbury)
Emma Bradley-Hudson has joined College as a Technology and Engineering teacher following a technical position with the University of Canterbury. Emma, who previously taught at Linwood College, Riccarton High School and St Andrew’s College, was also a design engineer in New Zealand and Europe.
BEd (Physical Education) (Canterbury), GradDipTchLn, PGDipEd (Hōaka Pounamu)
Keri Campbell is our new Te Reo Māori teacher and Bicultural Co-ordinator, having most recently been an Across School Lead Teacher for the Ministry of Education. Keri was previously Head of Department – Languages at St Thomas of Canterbury College.
BA(Canterbury), GradDipTchg (NZGSE)
Travis Dixon is our new Teacher in Charge of Psychology. Travis joins us from the Saint Maur International School in Japan. He has also taught at the Abu Dhabi International School as an IB teacher and at Burnside High School. Travis was a tutor in Richards House in 2006–2007.
BA (Hons) (Canterbury), BFA (Canterbury), DipTchg (NZ Graduate School)
Kate Kempthorne-Smith has returned to College as an Art and Design & Visual Communication teacher following extended maternity leave. We are thrilled to have Kate back on board and supporting our Art and Design students.
Rev. Cameron Pickering
B.Theol, GradDipTchLn, DipGrad, PGDipChap
Our new Chaplain and Head of Department of Religious Education, Rev. Cameron Pickering, has joined College from his role as Assistant Priest at the Transitional Cathedral. He has held several appointments, including Assistant Curate of All Souls, Merivale, and teacher of Religious Education at St Andrew’s College.
MBA (Boise, Idaho), BCom (Auckland)
Our new Library Assistant Libby Stevens comes to College with a wealth of experience in libraries, and project and operations management. She has held a variety of senior roles in New Zealand and the United States. Previously, Libby was a Documents Librarian at the University of Idaho.
BA (Victoria), MIS (Victoria)
Emma Stilwell has joined College as our new Librarian, having moved from Christchurch City Libraries. She has extensive experience in community libraries, including developing partnerships with schools and educational programmes, along with various software skills.
Our new Graphic Designer and Marketing Assistant Jessica Tabke joins College as parental leave cover. She previously spent five years with the Canterbury District Health Board as a graphic designer. Prior to that, she worked as a freelance designer after graduating from the Ilam School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury. Jess is also a creative artist in the fields of photography and letterpress printing.
BSc Chemistry (Tubarão), PGChem (Rio de Janeiro)
Sidinei Teixeira joins College as our new Chemistry teacher, moving from her role as Head of Science at Mount Hutt College. She is also a NCEA marker for NZQA. Previously, Sidinei was the junior curriculum leader at Massey High School.
BSc(Hons) Computing Science (Staffordshire), PGCert (Loughborough)
Craig Walker is our new Teacher in Charge of Digital Technologies, having been TiC Digital Technology and Head of Department – Business at Otumoetai College in Tauranga. He has held several senior ICT roles in both New Zealand and Britain.Read on