Principal's Pānui - 5 August

Kia Orana,

This week we have celebrated Cook Islands Language week with a series of activities planned and run by our student leaders. The week celebrated the culture and identity of the Cook Islands and culminated in performances for our students on Thursday.

On Wednesday we were fortunate to have Professor Chris Gallavin (Professor at Massey University specialising in law, criminal justice, culpable homicide, and social policy) and Libby Giles (Co-Director of Global Citizenship New Zealand) speak to our staff and a selection of our students. Their underlying message was how young people can look to make their communities and society a positive, engaging, and healthy place whilst finding their own place in a rapidly changing world. What was pertinent was the mention that whilst rights are important, too little time is spent on responsibilities.

Their message also mirrored aspects of my vision for graduates of Massey High School – our graduates should be young adults who leave us as articulate communicators, who think critically, who are open minded and accept diversity, who understand respectful relationships, who value continued learning in fields that they are passionate about, and who have had a rounded experience and enjoyed success whilst celebrating who they are as individuals.

The remainder of that day consisted of a variety of workshops for our student leaders across all year levels which allowed for our established leaders (our Prefects) to really connect with junior student leaders as they explored their responsibilities as leaders within our school.

My thanks to Carol Bashford for organising our guest speakers, and for organising the leadership day that followed.

This week I saw two of our junior teams play against strong opposition – Our Under 15 Rugby against St Kentigerns College, and our Under 15 Boys Basketball against Hobsonville Point Secondary School. Both teams lost on the scoreboard – but both teams were the victors when it came to character, respect, and lessons learned. Part of my message to our student leaders on Wednesday was emphasising that the way that you respond to a setback determines how you succeed in the future. Both teams personified this. Were they disappointed with the scoreline? Naturally. Did they let that get to them afterward? No. Indeed, the talk amongst each team very quickly turned to areas that they did well, and areas that they need to develop and learn from. They celebrated the positive aspects of their game and identified how they could make improvements for their next game. Both teams were a credit to Massey High School and they demonstrated our values to the visiting parents from those other schools. Thank you to their coaches, Tarewa Williams (Basketball), Jono Taura, and Meafou Vaigalu (both Rugby)

This weekend is a busy one for me in terms of our students (both past and present). Our First XI are playing at home this afternoon against One Tree Hill College, the last time I watched them they lost, so hopefully that doesn’t become a pattern.

On Saturday I will be popping in to see Aref Osman, William Kang, Anika Powell, Henry Ly, Caleb Stevens, Shazeel Ali, and Liz Kuschel-Young as they compete in the New Zealand Engineering Science Competition – a problem solving event for teams of senior secondary school students organised by The University of Auckland. They will be supported by Roopa Ashok, teacher of mathematics and Gabrielle Bercich, teacher of science.

As previously advised, our First XV play their last match of the round robin stages against Westlake Boys High School at The Massey Rugby Club, a semi-final spot is guaranteed. This is immediately followed by the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Championship winning team and the launch of their initiative to support young rugby players.

At night we are holding our 2nd Alumni Dinner, my thanks to Mark Jones for his organisation of this event, and of course to our alumni who have made the commitment to reconnect with the school and with each other. It is humbling to have the support of our local business community including The Markovina Vineyard Estate, Craig Walker Building Removals Ltd, Kumeu River Wines, and Soljans Estate Winery. SAS Sports Ltd are also providing their support for the evening.

Our guest speaker for the evening is Lance Burdett, an old boy of Massey High School who has extensive experience with NZ Police. He added to his qualifications while training with the FBI and has been described as the most qualified and highly skilled negotiator within NZ Police. We will also be recognising a distinguished alumni on the evening, details of which will be shared next week.

On Sunday, our Massey High School Jazz Combo will be competing at the Auckland Secondary Schools Jazz and Blues Competition at the Point Chevalier RSA. They are set to take the stage at 11.30am. Our combo consisting of Iggy Palmero Epstein, Jamal Hussein, Kenneth Li, David Mihok, Monty Vea, and Toby Cosio are outstanding musicians, if you can find the time to support them it would be great to see some support at the venue.

As mentioned last week, our students are beginning the process of selecting their option choices for next year. Special assemblies have been held this week for select year levels to provide further information on both the importance and structure of that process.

Next week we will be re-emphasising our stance on cell-phone use in class. We realise that cell-phones are an important component of our students lives, as such it is not a case of banning their use within the school. However, when in class their use is limited only to educational purposes and only at times when their teachers have confirmed that their use is allowed in the lesson. This will be applied consistently across all classes, at all levels.

Ngā Mihi

Alastair Fairley


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