Principal’s Address 5th December 20195th Dec 2019
Kia Ora Tatou
This is the final newsletter of the year and it is daunting how fast the year has gone. Whilst seniors finished the last of their assessments last week and we hosted the graduation dinner, the junior students have been out on activities this week. Back at school a number of key staff have started the planning for 2020!
Sadly the weather did not play fair this year and unfortunately some of our activities did get curtailed. Despite this the trips all seemed to go well and students enjoyed their experiences. I am very grateful to the staff for the time that they put into the trips away and all the planning to make sure that everything ran smoothly. I know a lot of the students will have had a memorable time away or enjoyed the activities arranged in school.
Farewell to students and departing staff
Since the senior prize giving I have to report that Hannah Sim will now not be returning to South Otago High School as initially expected. She has been appointed to the Head of Department at Dannevirke High School. We wish Hannah well and appreciate her 5 years of service to South Otago High School and her commitment to co-curricular activities that she has given to the school.
Also Shelley Lock will be finishing her contract at the end of the year. During her three terms of work Shelley has been committed to the school and seeking the best for students. We wish Hannah and Shelley well for the future.
New York trip Scholarship
I am pleased to announce that there will be a 50% scholarship towards the cost of the New York trip scheduled for 2020 for one student. Students who are already committed to the trip as well as potential new participants will be eligible to apply for the scholarship. Details of the application process will be provided to all students at the start of next year with a view to confirming the recipient before the end of February 2020.
This last week myself and the senior leadership team have been working on the planning and preparation for 2020. This has involved a review of the progress this year and the setting of new challenges for the coming year. There is good evidence to support the fact that South Otago High School has changed in the last four years. We continue to have students succeeding at a high level and at rates that are comparable to the rest of New Zealand. We are more successful at retaining students in school and providing learning opportunities that suit career and employment goals of individuals. We also have a school where students are more engaged and in control of their learning and we are seeing a lift in achievement at all levels of the school. We also have a school where students are feeling settled and comfortable to attend. It is a great and satisfying way to finish the school year.
I wish you all a happy and safe holiday and I look forward to welcoming those students who are returning in 2020 alongside new students who will be joining us.
Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Ka kite ano
Mr Mike Wright