Principal's Blog: Term 4 Week 8
Friday, 24 November 2023
Kia ora whānau
It’s that time of year when we are poised between celebrating this year and planning for next, with arrangements for 2024 currently being solidified.  This brings some staffing changes, with a philosophy of fully utilising existing talent in ways that allow strengths and talents to shine for the benefit of all.  We will also be spending time acknowledging and thanking departing staff for their contributions, all significant in their own way, be it long-standing HoDs, much-loved teachers or stunning support staff, all of whom are etched into our shared history and are part and parcel of the Marsden family.  We wish our departing staff every happiness in their new adventures and wish them well.

I am happy to confirm more permanent arrangements for members of our Senior Management Team, who have been generous and incredibly hardworking in acting capacities for much of this year due to personnel change.  From 2024, Deputy Principal Jenny Caldwell will hold strategic whole-school oversight of Curriculum and Head of Senior School responsibility, Dianne Smith will hold strategic whole-school oversight of Hauora and Head of Middle School responsibility and Joanna Burns retains the Head of Primary position, alongside fulfilling the Director of International role.  Jenny, Di and Jo join me and Chief Operating Officer, Hilary Fiennes, in forming the Senior Management Team.

We have confirmed our Deans for next year and are delighted to share that Rose Stevens will be Dean of Year 7, Rebecca George Dean of Year 8, Andrea Stockwell Dean of Year 9, Louise Kleingeld Dean of Year 10, Sarah Molisa Dean of Year 11 and Māori/Pasifika Mentor, Aylana Wright Dean of Year 12 and Charlotte McCarthy Dean of Year 13.  Our Hauora team extends to our Chaplain, Sarah King, Counsellor Sarah Richards, Counsellor and Educational Psychologist Amelia Volkerling and Nurse, Amanda Woodbury.  Alongside our dedicated bunch of Form Teachers and Tutors, this team is wonderfully well placed to support our learners’ holistic health and wellbeing. We encourage caregivers and students to be in touch with the appropriate person early and proactively, as and when need arises.

In other exciting staff news, we have recently learnt that Chinese teacher, Jing Ying Herrington, was presented with a prestigious Teachers’ Award at the recent Chinese Bridge Language Competition in China, at which she supported our own Telesia Tanoa’i in her recent Top 5 placing as Oceania’s winning Chinese language student.  Congratulations to the incredibly talented, and humble, Jing Ying. Science teacher, Jane Jackson, has demonstrated that she is a lifelong learner, undertaking tertiary study in Biosecurity at Massey University, and subsequently initiated a Biosecurity Science Badge opportunity with the Science Award Trust. Outstanding. In other wonderful news, we congratulate hardworking Sports Coordinator, Caitlin O’Sullivan, in again being selected as an apprentice with the Mainland Tactix netball franchise, such an outstanding achievement. We are thrilled to continue to support Caitlin as she pursues a professional sporting pathway, which will involve working in a remote administrative capacity from the beginning of next year.

It has been another fabulous, fun-filled week punctuated with plenty of learning and self-discovery with our Preschool students celebrating other cultures, including the UAE National Day and Thanksgiving, our Primary School students enjoying their Market Day in support of #Teamseas, Year 5 and 6 having a blast at their Barbie-themed disco (with a cameo from their Kens), and itinerant music soiree.  Our Upper School students have enjoyed House Sports, House Drama and Duke of Edinburgh tramps. Phew! All the very best to our senior students who are currently closing out their examination season.  We look forward to seeing you and celebrating the year at Carol Service and prizegivings, very soon.