Principal's Blog: Term 4 Week 5
Friday, 3 November 2023
Kia ora whānau
A huge bouquet to the Class of 2023 who stepped out of school on Monday in a mana-enhancing way. At Leadership Camp at the beginning of the year, the Year 13s committed to walking the talk of leadership every day in big and small ways. They have responded with maturity and good grace when asked to consider whether perceived ‘traditions’ have been honourable or dishonourable when planning for their last day as school girls, which proved to be both a fun and poignant celebration for our graduating class.

The day was one of bittersweet moments, beginning with a Communion Service and breakfast with caregivers. A special morning tea was hosted by the Old Girls’ Association, at which teacher and Old Girl, Sarah Wilson, welcomed them to the Old Girls’ family and presented them with the newly fashioned Old Girls’ hydrangea pin. At their final assembly, there were acknowledgements made and a fun send-off from this year’s Year 12 students, who will soon be stepping into the mantle of Marsden student leadership responsibilities.

Tears were shed, ‘thank you’s and farewells were made, however it is with a smile and a sense of pride that I note that our leaving students have not left us at all. It is at Marsden that they gather in preparation for the examinations, it is here where they continue to support one another and seek the support and expertise of their generous teachers, and it is here where there remains a beautiful culture of being together, wāhine toa lifting one another up and willing one another to do well.

Meanwhile, Year 11 student Telesia Tanoa’i has done exceptionally well at the International Chinese Bridge Competition in China. After a gruelling series of examinations and performances, Telesia came out as the Champion Chinese language student in Oceania, placing her in the Top 5 of all 110 talented contestants from all around the globe. Telesia, who has been accompanied by our own Mrs Jing Ying Herrington, who also had the privilege of attending through her support of the Confucious Institute, is homeward bound, no doubt with her feet firmly on the ground as she pivots immediately into her NCEA Level 1 examinations. We can’t wait to welcome you home Telesia and to celebrate your incredible success with you.

It is with pleasure that I announce that two of our own have been promoted into Head of Department vacancies at Marsden. Following the news of Chris French’s pending retirement, Julia Finny has been successfully appointed to the HoD Humanities role, and former HoD Mathematics, Kirin Fahey, has once again been successful in being appointed to that position with Paul Khouri returning to Australia at the end of the year. Recruitment for our next HoD Science is underway with Gabrielle Gunn also retiring at the end of the year. However, we have successfully appointed a new Digital Technology Teacher, Alysha Dougherty, who is currently Assistant Head of Technology at St Patrick’s College. We are thrilled at the high calibre of staff appointed to these roles and we congratulate our successful applicants. Teacher Aide, Lauren Turrell, has decided that this will be her final year at Marsden, which will be deeply disappointing to a number of her students with whom she has forged enduring relationships. Lauren has also contributed hugely to Volleyball at Marsden, growing the game exponentially. We will be sad to farewell Lauren at the end of the year and wish her every happiness as she courageously steps towards new challenges.

It was wonderful to welcome caregivers to our inaugural parents and friends gathering this week, and such a delight that so many parents of newly enrolled students joined us at an informal social gathering. We are looking forward to shaping the future of a new parents’ group and appreciate all of your ideas of how we might progress together. There will be another opportunity to convene early in the new school year, and we welcome allcomers to join in this new initiative.