Senior Leadership Team
Principal: Richard Barnett email@example.com
Acting Associate Principal: Sharon Grass firstname.lastname@example.org
Acting Associate Principal: Suzanne Williams email@example.com
Deputy Principal: Carolyn Cornu firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Principal: Renée Neville email@example.com
Deputy Principal: Gerard Tindling firstname.lastname@example.org
I joined Pukekohe High School as Principal in July 2018 after 15 years in a variety of roles at Burnside and Cashmere High Schools in Christchurch. Originally trained as a history teacher, I taught at three different schools in the United Kingdom before emigrating with my wife and two daughters in 2003. I believe strongly in the potential of Pukekohe High School to meet the current and future needs of our diverse community. As the only high school serving the town of Pukekohe we have a unique responsibility for all our young people, which is both humbling and exhilarating.
Whaaia te iti kahurangi ki te tuuohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain
My Pukekohe High School journey began as a recent graduate from Te Whare Wananga o Waikato – The University of Waikato, as a first year English teacher. From classroom teacher to Head of English Faculty, I’ve held various roles leading me to this position, where I enjoy the connection with students and whaanau. Outside of the classroom, I have been the editor of The Hill – our school magazine, for several years, and enjoyed stage-managing school productions such as ‘Harbouring Ghosts’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. In the classroom, I continue to enjoy the evolution of how we learn and the demand this places on me to adapt and lead as a life-long learner, particularly in a digital and culturally sustainable environment. As a school leader, I am passionate about how we open up life opportunities for our students both within and beyond Pukekohe High School and see the design of curriculum as key to meaningful learning and qualification for the future.
My family attend local schools and Kohanga Reo, and their various activities keep me busy when not at school, with involvement in tennis, swimming and football. Learning languages is an important part of our bilingual family, which has also led to a keen interest in indigenous studies.
I recall putting this quote up on my wall as a first year teacher. It carries even greater relevance now, this many years down the track:
The limits of my language mean the limits of my world – Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Ko Tararua ngaa pae maunga
Ko Ruamahanga te awa
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Ngaati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa te iwi
Ko Papawai tooku marae
Ko Renée Neville tooku ingoa
Teenaa koutou, teenaa koutou, teenaa koutou katoa
I began my career in education as an Art teacher in 2004. Since then I have had the opportunity to explore many branches of education, teaching in schools in London, England, and South Auckland, New Zealand. Through my journey I have discovered a keen interest in Maaori education and critical pedagogy. I have over 10 years experience leading educational initiatives to improve the experience of Maaori learners in mainstream secondary schools; and over 5 years as Specialist Classroom Teacher (SCT) developing and implementing programmes of professional learning and responsibility for appraisal. In 2017 I completed my Master of Education through the University of Auckland, which aimed to develop a better understanding of the affect of racial-ethnic identity on teaching practices for Maaori learners in South Auckland secondary schools.
I am excited by education and the power that it has to release the inherent potential in all of our young people. I believe in our Pukekohe High School values of manaakitanga, kotahitanga, and ako; growing relationships of care, working together, and having high expectations for learning.
Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.
Kia Ora, Malo e Lelei, Talofa Lava, Ko na Mauri, Faakalofa Atu, Bula Vinaka and Kia Orana. I arrived at Pukekohe in February of 2018, after a number of years at Tamaki College in Auckland and, before that, Tawa College in Wellington. A Wairarapa boy born and bred I attended Kuranui College, a small school that largely served the farming communities of the South Wairarapa.
Eventually I followed in my father’s footsteps into the teaching profession. It was on section at my father’s former school Rongotai College, under the guidance of two great Pasifika educators Gabby Makisi and Ana Eagle that my choice of education as a career was confirmed.
In my time in teaching I have developed a genuine belief that all students can attain Excellence in whatever field or pathway they chose, it is just our job to help them find their passion.
My areas of responsibility at Pukekohe High School include, Attendance, Achievement for Years 11-13 and Pasifika Achievement. I am proud to work at Pukekohe High School and serve the increasingly diverse communities that feed us, and I am excited about the changes that are occurring both here at school and in our community.
Ua fetaui lelei fola o le ‘alia
Great accomplishments are only possible when members of a team, or society “fit” together like the watertight planks of the canoe