Term 1 – Week 11, 2024 Principal Comment

Apr 12, 2024

Tēnā koutou katoua ngā whānau,

As our term closes for the holidays, I can say without a doubt that I am inspired by the commitment and energy of our Garin learners. I recognise in many ways each learner has pushed their boundaries in their learning, leadership and participation in the Arts, Sport, Culture and contribution to the Wairua of the college. Our learners have truly advanced in developing all dimensions aspired to for all within the Garin Graduate Profile. When we consider the diversity of events and opportunities undertaken this term it’s fair to say we are all deservedly exhausted, yet proud of our accomplishments. On behalf of the Garin Community I say thank you to our students, parents, whānau, teachers and staff. We must rest, allow ourselves to slow down, recharge, maintain balance in our lives and nourish ourselves, after all it is now holiday time. 

It is almost exactly 8 years to the day that I started my role as Principal of Garin College. Throughout these wonderful years, I have thoroughly enjoyed the incredible privilege of leading our college through this period of exciting change and growth. With the support of the Garin Board and our wonderful staff, I am relishing the opportunity to take a break and head away on sabbatical for the full 10 weeks of Term 2. I look forward to enjoying overseas travel and much rest and recreation along with Lou Maguire who is also taking leave for the term. We  particularly look forward to exploring new places in the Pacific and Australia, where we will also spend time with family and friends along the way on our journey of adventure. I am pleased to step away from the college for this time, knowing our experienced and dedicated staff will be looking after and nurturing our learners in all dimensions of learning and college life throughout the term. I particularly thank our Senior Leadership Team for also supporting me in my leave, Jeremy Marshall will be Acting Principal, Justine Butler will be Acting Deputy Principal, Sarah Rankin Assistant Principal, and we welcome Trudie Walters back to the college and into the role of Acting Assistant Principal. I introduce and welcome Teacher Gareth Bolstad who will be stepping in to lead our Student Services team as SENCO alongside Bethany Ashton in Lou Maguire’s absence. Gareth brings extensive experience and expertise in student learning support while on secondment from the Nelson Bays RTLB Service.  I wish our students, staff and whānau every success for the term ahead. I look forward to meeting you all again for the start of term 3.

2024 Property Development 

Four new classrooms to be built and commissioned for the start of the 2025 school year to meet the demands of our growing College roll.

It is with great excitement that I announce, the Catholic Archdiocese of Wellington (ADW) have confirmed resourcing, enabling the advancement of the design and build of two large classroom blocks as depicted in the drawing above. Each of the blocks will contain two full size classrooms and an area for resource space. ADW appointed Architect Gerard MacDonnell leads the design, consultation and project management for this project following the successful completion of Te Wharemaru o Garin in 2023. Working alongside Gerard is our Garin College Board and Property committee ensuring the needs of our learners and staff are addressed in the design and that a high quality and functional teaching and learning environment is developed. We are very pleased with the progress to date. We are presently awaiting building consent and site preparation; building will get underway in the next few weeks. The classrooms are to be built on the west perimeter of the college in the area between the Delargy (Science) block and O’Shea (Performing Arts Block), The “L Shape” positioning of the classroom blocks creates a new and exciting outdoors courtyard where the Garin College ‘Cairn’ (constructed with the stone representing each first day student, family and members of staff at the opening of the college) relocated providing central focus on the opening of the college in 2002 and the journey as a growing community into the future. Unfortunately, the circular Photinia Red Robin hedge will be removed to allow construction of the classrooms, however we look forward to the new external classroom verandas, decking and courtyard providing an all weather purposeful space for learning, rest and recreation. I look forward to keeping you informed as this project advances and the further planned developments for Garin get underway.

At this time of year, as a nation we commemorate ANZAC day on 25th of May. With ANZAC day falling during the holidays,  we took the opportunity to remember at our first school assembly in week one. Next term we will remember and pray for our fallen soldiers and reflect on the suffering of those affected by war. Our service will provide an opportunity for all to reflect on the peaceful country in which we live and the commitment and service the NZ Armed Services provide throughout the world toward maintaining peace.

Hector McNeilly representing New Zealand at the World Archery Championships 

We congratulate Year 12 Student Hector McNeilly on his selection to join the NZ Archery team travelling and representing NZ at the World Archery Championships in Shanghai, China these school holidays. Hector is a wonderful ambassador for our college. Recently Hector competed in the NZ Outdoor Archery Nationals and achieved outstanding success. 1st Qualifying Open Category, including National Youth records , 1st: 3-Man teams, 1st: Mixed teams, 4th: Individual Matchplay gaining overall NZ Open Champion in field. We farewell and wish Hector every success in his competition.

As part of the Streets for People government funded project, Downer NZ Ltd will be constructing a new raised pedestrian crossing on Champion Road, outside the college during the school holidays.

Winter Uniform

From the start of term two, winter uniforms are to be worn by all students. Students are required to maintain a high standard in the wearing of their uniform. Please take time to gather and prepare winter uniform items during the term break. If, for any reason, your student is unable to wear the correct uniform, we ask that you provide a note or email message to their whānau teacher. A uniform pass will be issued to a student by the whānau teacher enabling reasonable time to support students and family to achieve uniform requirement.

I wish you all a restful and refreshing holiday break. I trust all students and staff will return from holiday refreshed and energised for term two on Monday 29 April.

Mā te Atua koe e tiaki – May God be with you

Ngā mihi nui,

John Maguire

Take a moment –  ANZAC Day 25 April – The Ode 

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyo


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