From the Principal
2015 has certainly been a full year with many achievements that have been celebrated as our young people continue to excel in all facets of school life. I want to congratulate all our students for the efforts that they have made throughout the year to strive to be the best that they can be.
We had an outstanding Senior Prizegiving which again highlighted the high levels of academic, cultural and sporting achievements of the students at the College. It was exciting to see more students gaining opportunities to have further study or careers supported through new scholarships. These scholarships have been made available through the work of the XŌtaki Alumni Trust. Sincere thanks to those individuals and businesses that have come on board with this financial support which is hugely appreciated.
Junior Prizegiving showcased the wealth of talent demonstrated by our younger students. This year we have been extremely fortunate as KidzOwn Group Limited have extended their generosity by donating scholarships to recognise and reward students who have shown leadership potential and consistently demonstrated the values of ROAR at a Year 7–10 level. The calibre of these students is an indication of the outstanding qualities our young people display.
This year’s Ōtaki Jubilee Scholarship and Cup was awarded to Rosana Kata and Telesia Nelson-Latu, while top academic honours went to Ande Hakaraia, Top Scholar in Year 9, and to Susannah Kyle, Top Scholar in Year 10.
We are very proud of you all.
I would like to welcome our newly enrolled 2016 students and their whanau. Our programmes of learning for 2016 are engaging and, in many cases, innovative and I am sure that students new to the College will thoroughly enjoy their time here.
This year has seen a number of changes in staff for various reasons.
Sadly we have lost a long serving and extremely well liked and respected staff member with the passing of Bruce Anderson. It was a real honour to be able to celebrate Bruce’s life and career here at the college. I would like to thank everyone that came along to Bruce’s funeral for honouring him in that way. He will be missed!
Hine Wilson is retiring from our full time staff after 24 years at the College. During this time Whaea Hine has been an outstanding teacher of Te Reo, English and Social Studies. When Whaea Hine first began teaching at the College she was teaching the Form 1 and 2 immersion class, Form 1 and 2 bilingual, Form 3 social studies and Form 4 bi-lingual English and Māori class. In her role as Te Atakura Teacher she has, throughout her time with us, performed the key tasks of building resources in Māori language, advising in tikanga Māori, counselling Māori students, liaising with the community, visiting parents, enhancing Raukawawatanga and enhancing the values of aroha, manaaki, whanau and wairua within the College. In this role she has supported students in all aspects their lives – far beyond the confines of the classroom. I am very pleased to be able to say that we will not be losing her completely, as she will return as a reliever in 2016.
Phil Bell is leaving us to move up to the far North. Phil has been a well-liked teacher by his students and he has been able to maintain high levels of achievement in the building and construction courses he has run over the years. We would like to wish him all the very best for the future. Guy Hopley has resigned from his position after three terms away and will be exploring new career opportunities. Guy has also been a popular teacher with his students and will be missed in the technology and computing departments.
I would like to thank David Miller, Rob Isaacs, Caz Bartholomew, and Liz Manins who are also leaving us at the end of the year. They have all completed fixed term positions and worked hard to deliver quality teaching and learning opportunities to our students while they have been employed here.
In 2016 we welcome Michael Leota, who will be taking over from Anna Groves while she is away in Terms One and Two. Danny Dyer joins us as a permanent Physical Education and Outdoor Education teacher and Rachel Martin takes over as SENCO – Special Education Needs Co-ordinator. It is exciting to bring new staff into the college and I am certain that our students will benefit from the skill sets that these new staff members possess.
In closing I would like to acknowledge and thank parents/whanau, local businesses and agencies for their ongoing support that has been offered to the college throughout the year. It makes the work at the college so much easier when we have the backing of parents. I would also like to thank Ōtaki College staff for their continued hard work and dedication which makes such an impact on the positive environment that students work in.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and enjoyable holiday break. Be safe and I know that we are looking forward to recommencing 2016 with lots of exciting opportunities already being planned.
Andy Fraser, Principal
White Ribbon Event
Ōtaki College recognised International White Ribbon Day on Wednesday 25 November by having an afternoon of drama, film and musical performances presented by both junior and senior students. Our Current Head boy, Tevita Kata, and 2016 Head boy, Krunal Modi, were the MC’s for the event. They promoted the theme that respectful relationships are based on equality and that communicating respectfully is the key to a good relationship.
Student messages spoke of the importance of challenging each other to make good decisions about healthy relationships and to seek support if necessary.
Principal, Andy Fraser, said ”White Ribbon Day has become a very important part of the Ōtaki College Calendar. It is an opportunity to give out a clear message that violence against women or violence in general is not acceptable in any form and we need to find ways to disclose, seek help and importantly find other ways of dealing with confrontation.
As a “Restorative, Positive Behaviour for Learning School” we focus on developing positive, mana enhancing relationships that operate within a culture of care. We endeavour to always model a solution focused approach to issues and how these can be resolved in a respectful manner so people’s dignity can be maintained as we move forward.
Through an open approach to difficult issues we hope to build our students’ capacity to stay safe within relationships and have the skills to manage themselves in the different life situations they find themselves in. White Ribbon Day acts as a forum to help us tackle a problem that clearly needs to be addressed.”