Last Tuesday night we held our senior prize giving. Due to the generous sponsorship of Business Distributors Limited (BDL)/HP/Toshiba, we were able to celebrate our students’ achievement in a venue fitting the occasion; a welcome return to the Christchurch Town Hall. For this we are very grateful. I would like to acknowledge the substantial financial support we receive from BDL/HP/Toshiba, the JB Johns Trust, the PTA, and the many other sponsors and supporters, who contribute to our celebrations.
It was such a pleasure to be able to have an audience present to share and celebrate the success of our students. I’d like to thank family, whānau, and friends who came along to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. What was clearly evident from the evening was the huge range of subject choices that our students can study, and how incredibly talented they are.
In my speech I acknowledged that once again it has not been an easy year, and in particular, the last four years have been very challenging. Two key variables have had a significant impact for us at school. One being uncertainty, and the other a lack of continuity. I want to thank and acknowledge our entire school community, and let you know how much we as a school greatly appreciated your support and understanding as we continue to respond to this ’ever changing landscape’.
I also reflected that there have been lessons learned - including finding new ways to do things, and understanding how vitally important face to face connectivity for students and staff is. In recent times, the relevance of this has never been more obvious. We have quickly come to understand that for most of us we do not want to live in a world of isolation. Yes, we can develop skills to be self-reliant and independent, but this does not mean we need to be alone. We are social beings and this requires an environment that fosters the development of friendships and relationships, an understanding of how and when to support each other, to value difference and inclusion, so we can thrive and continue to grow as individuals who understand compassion, kindness, and empathy.
I paid tribute to our students. I thanked them for what they had contributed to the year, and talked to them about not underestimating their ability to adapt, the resilience they have developed, how well they have done, and the self confidence they can take from this. As a school we appreciate students’ strong sense of social responsibility, and I am very proud of them.
Equally important, I acknowledged and thanked our entire staff, who once again responded without hesitation, developing creative and responsive approaches, to ensure students remain at the forefront of our thinking. They are a very committed, professional, and hardworking team and I am very grateful to them all.
We also took the opportunity to present the Forty Years Plus long service award to Mr Graeme Hall in recognition and celebration of his dedication, valued service, and contribution to our school.
Following on from this, I had the pleasure to attend the Zonta Awards (Thursday night) please see the article that follows. Our Arts Awards and Pappies were held on Friday evening, and next Tuesday we will be holding the Māori and Pasifika Awards. Continuing the busy week is the Year 8 Transition evening for our incoming 2023 Year 9 students, and also next Wednesday is the last day for seniors.
Ngā mihi nui