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T2 Week 3 May 2023 Principal Comment

May 15, 2023

Kia ora tatou ngā whānau, 

Term two certainly has got off to a flying start, I trust my first newsletter for the term in some way paints a picture of the life and vibrancy we celebrate with our rangatahi here at Garin.

During the second week of this term, the Catholic Special Character Evaluation for Development team from the Archdiocese of Wellington (ADW) visited our college. Mary Cook led the team, which conducted a comprehensive tour of the college, visited classrooms, and engaged with many stakeholders, including students, parents, board members, teachers, staff, parish priests, and community members. The primary goal of the evaluation for development was to ensure and enhance the Catholic special character of Garin College. I am deeply grateful to all those who dedicated their time to meet with the evaluation team during their visit. Your insights and reflections provide valuable perspectives on the Catholic special character experience at Garin. The Garin Board is eagerly awaiting the draft report, which will contain recommendations for further growth and development.

Our students are actively participating in classroom learning, along with an exciting lineup of sports and performing arts events scheduled throughout the term.

We continue to bask in the excitement of the recent O’Shea Shield event held at St Mary’s College in Wellington last weekend. This joyous celebration showcased the talents of Catholic youth from 17 secondary Catholic Colleges in the Wellington and Palmerston North Diocese. Our team, Nate Wilbourne, James Ivamy, Ayla Turner, Ciara Davis, Emma Wallace, Petra Cogger, Sophie Richardson, Bella Goomes, Bridget Ogden-Bell, William Haywood, Holly Kersten and Kate Rankin participated in various categories, such as Debating, Scripture Reading, Junior Prepared Speech, Oratory, Religious Drama, and Religious Questions. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ms Justine Butler and Mrs Markelle Ward for accompanying and mentoring our team during the competition, as well as the many teachers who coached and supported our students in the lead-up to the event. The O’Shea Shield contest, now in its 70th year, is a tribute to the legacy of Wellington Archbishop Thomas O’Shea, a gifted educator and role model for young Catholics.

Great news! Our talented dancers, choreographers, technicians, and stage crew have emerged victorious winning the regional Show Quest 2023 last Friday evening. Congratulations to each and every one of you for your creativity, hard work and outstanding performance of your performance “The five stages of Grief”! I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to our dedicated staff and parents who have worked tirelessly to support our students. You have all done an amazing job, and we are so proud of your achievements.

Over the weekend, the Regional Smokefree Rock Quest showcased some amazing talent with four Garin College entries in the Solo/Duo section – Lilijana Arnott & Neve Alborne (Leve), Mia Grace Coldicott, Oscar Walsh, Sophia and Boston Harvey. The competition was filled with creativity and passion in both songwriting and performance. We are eagerly awaiting the results which will be announced this week and I am filled with hope and optimism that all our songwriters and performers will achieve great success.

Term two winter sport is also now well underway with many students active in teams competing in Netball, Basketball, Rugby, Hockey. At assemblies this term, we have also celebrated the success of the following  students who are achieving outstanding success within their  chosen sport;

Hector McNeilly, competed in Archery at the Trans-Tasman Grand Prix and Oceania Championships achieving 6 Golds and a Silver as well as a Grand Prix Trophy. Hector also shot two NZ Records. Hector looks forward to competing at the Youth Worlds in July, Australian Open in September and the Pacific Games in November. We wish Hector every success.

Congratulations to Harry Pugh, competed in the Victoria Australia Clay Court Tennis Junior ITF championship and was placed 2nd in the boys doubles and singles.

Congratulations to Finn Russ on his qualification to compete in the quadrennial Virtus Global Games in France, Finn will travel with the NZ swim team to these games in June. We wish Finn every success.

We also congratulate Isla McTague and Lillian Kersten on their selection to the Nelson Netball U18 Rep Team.

In week two, Wellington was the destination for Garin Students to attend Field Trips in Biology and Geography. The opportunity for our students to learn outside the classroom, through hands-on experiences and observation, is invaluable. They can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations, which helps to reinforce their understanding of the subject matter. We greatly appreciate the participation and collaboration of our dedicated staff and parents who make these valuable learning experiences possible.

We were pleased to have a visit from Leanne Luo recently. Leanne, an International student for 5 years at Garin College, graduated in 2020. Leanne went to Auckland University to study Early Childhood Education. Leanne is a great example of a successful international student experience. This year we are re-establishing our international learner programme following the impact of international borders being closed due to Covid in recent years. Our International Team led by International Director, Diana Murdoch have developed a new and exciting international programme focussing on inclusive high quality learning and pastoral experiences with the support and mentoring from regular Garin learners.   

Geek Week is here this week! It’s a fun-filled week of academic quizzes, games, and competitions, including our annual whānau Reading Challenge. Our Academic Leaders, James Ivamy and Maddie Hall, along with Library Assistants Tatum Collins, Annabelle Forgan and Jack Hateley, will be promoting student participation and house points. Don’t miss the staff vs. student challenge and “Dress as a Book Character” day this Friday. On the same day, we’ll also celebrate Pink Shirt Day to stand in solidarity against bullying, promoting a respectful and inclusive learning environment. Students and staff are encouraged to donate a gold coin to support a school in the North Island impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.

Parent Teacher interviews for year 11,12 & 13 learners are being held this week Monday, 15 and Tuesday, 16 May 2.50pm – 5.30pm. I thank the many parents and learners who have booked to attend interviews and our teachers for their professionalism in providing quality feedback to parents on student learning, engagement and achievement. The partnership of learner, school and parents has to be one of the greatest contributors to learner success and ongoing support. School will finish at 2.20pm on Monday and Tuesday; buses will run at their usual times.

I wish to remind all parents and caregivers that due to Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) members taking industrial strike action, Year 9 students will be rostered to work from home on Tuesday 16 May and Year 10 students will be rostered to work from home on Wednesday 17 May. I trust that the Secondary Teachers and Government Collective Agreement bargaining will be resolved soon for our teachers and our learners.  

I wish you a happy and productive week,

God Bless

John Maguire

Take a Moment  

Month of Mary, Mother of Jesus  

If you ever feel distressed during your day, call upon Our Lady. Just say this simple prayer, “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.” 

I must admit, this prayer has never failed me.  

Saint Mother Teresa


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