Principal's Blog: Term 2 Week 7
Friday, 2 June 2023
Kia ora whānau
Marsden students continue to flourish and thrive with some recent phenomenal successes to celebrate. Congratulations to Year 11 student, Telesia Tanoi, who is the Wellington Region winner of the Chinese Proficiency Competition, and in doing so, earning the honour of representing New Zealand at the international competition in China later in the year. Year 12 student, Anika Humphries, has been selected for the U19 Samoan National Football squad, and will compete in the OFC U19 World Cup qualifiers in Fiji in July, and Year 13 student, Chloe Sim, is a newly crowned national secondary school debating titleholder, following her success with fellow Wellington regional teammates. Huge congratulations to Telesia, Anika, and Chloe, and to every student who brings their absolute best to their chosen endeavours.  

It's a big week ahead for our choristers, with the excitement that is the Big Sing regional competition ever so tantalisingly close. Both our auditioned choir, Altissime, and our allcomers choir, Ad Summa, have been hard at work in preparation and I can report Te Manawa o Te Kura is filled with the beauty of the sound they make together whenever I am privileged to be in the building whilst rehearsals are taking place. It really does feel as though I am surrounded by choirs of angels! I look forward to the gala concert with anticipation and know that all of the hard work put in, coupled with the obvious love our singers bring to their craft, will create something truly wonderful.

As you will be aware, Head of Upper School, Caroline Robertson, is departing at the end of Term 2 to take up the Principal's position at Chilton Saint James. It is timely to let you know that we are mobilising existing talent to fulfil Caroline's responsibilities for the remainder of the year, and that aspects of school leadership have been redistributed to highly capable members of our team. Head of Middle School, Dianne Smith, will take interim pastoral care oversight of the Senior School alongside her Middle School responsibilities. Under Dianne's direction, 'Team Year 13' will comprise of Tracey Allen, who will take up a newly created Year 13 Dean's position, Sarah Wilson will step into an organisational role as it pertains to Year 13 events and celebrations, whilst Louise Kleingeld will bring her skills to the completion of university references and student testimonials. Additionally, Head of Primary, Joanna Burns, will add responsibility for our international programme to her existing portfolio, and languages expert, Loren Juran, becomes our sole teacher of German with Frau's imminent departure. I am incredibly grateful to our capable and experienced team who have said yes to the prospect of further opportunity.

As mentioned previously, we have huge interest in our forthcoming Experience Marsden days, and we are currently in the process of 2024 scholarship discernment across a wide number of disciplines for students in Years 6-9. The academic capabilities and incredible talents across an incredibly high number of applicants has been humbling. We look forward to inviting shortlisted scholarship applicants to interview across the coming week.

Have a wonderful King's Birthday Weekend, which for our learners extends into Tuesday 6 June for the purposes of a Teacher Only Day. Please be reminded that Marsden remains unaffected by the current industrial rolling strike action amongst our state school compatriots, and that we remain open for the important business of teaching and learning, as per usual. I am excited at the prospect of attendance at the Asia Pacific Summit on Girls' Education in Hobart this long weekend, with our Head of Primary and Deputy Principal. We look forward to being learners, to networking with girls' school colleagues and being at the leading edge of innovation in tracking developments across our distinct sector. Have a lovely long weekend and take good care out there.