T1 Week 7 – 17 March 2023 Principal Comment

Mar 20, 2023

Tēnā koutou katoua ngā whānau,

It was with great excitement that we were able to proceed with our Annual Colours Awards Assembly last week. After the restrictions of previous years, our whole College gathered along with many parents and caregivers to celebrate the success of our learners in Level 1,2,3 NCEA and Scholarship 2022. Learners gaining Maroon and Gold Colours have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. 

Congratulations to all learners gaining Colours, 2022; this was again a very challenging year due to the impact of Covid-19.You set yourselves goals and worked so hard to fulfil them. 

You have achieved at these levels for yourselves with the support of many. 

Your achievement provides leadership and role modelling to those coming through the years behind you.

Thank you Ms Mhairi Gray, Economics, Social Studies Teacher and Year 11 Dean, for sharing your personal account of your “life long journey of learning” at our Colours ceremony. It was wonderful to observe students, staff and parents engage and connect with Mhairi’s enthusiastic, humorous and authentic presentation. It was the closing words Mhairi spoke that captured the essence of her message to learners, “You see, my successes have actually taught me very little, but rather, when failure happens, don’t overthink it, instead consider what it is trying to tell you”. It is wonderful for our students to hear of the experiences of our staff as they participate in our learners’ lives at Garin. 

We keep Cardinal John Dew in our prayers this week as he goes into hospital for spinal surgery on Tuesday. In John’s letter to our community last week, he shared that, for many years he has walked early every morning as a time of prayer and reflection and exercise. In recent months he has not been able to walk very far due to severe nerve pain in his legs. His recovery is expected to take 6 – 8 weeks. We also pray for Archbishop Paul Martin who will be undertaking much of Cardinal John’s duties throughout this time.

A highlight for me last week was the opportunity to join with St Paul’s learners, staff and community to celebrate the start of year school Mass. Many of our students who have joined Garin this year and in previous years were present with younger siblings and family. The beautiful autumn evening provided an awesome atmosphere to hear the St Paul’s choir lead by John Phillips lead the singing and celebration. Congratulations to Principal Maureen and her team for the launch of the design drawings for the new St Paul’s play based learning playground. This is an exciting development.

Year 10 learners will engage in their Te Haerenga Waka Guardianship Journey at Marahau this week. While being immersed in the great outdoors, learners will connect in faith and community as they reflect and contemplate their path as learners at Garin. This programme provides opportunities for learners to develop increased confidence in cultural connectedness through Tikanga Māori and Mātarunga Māori in the context of the Abel Tasman location and environment. We wish our learners every success this week. I thank our staff, Mrs Annie Millard, Mr Tony Etchells, Mrs Sue Kersten, Ms Michelle Hay, Mrs Mary Flintoff, Mrs Katrina Eggers, Mrs Markelle Ward and Mr Reuben Fletcher for their leadership and support of our learners in the outdoors.

Mā te Atua koe e tiaki,

John Maguire


Take a Moment – Unity Week 15-21 March

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.”

Pope Francis


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