Principal's comment - 30 August

Next week is winter tournament week, with 130 of our students out at some point competing in national or regional play-offs.  It’s a major exercise and is totally reliant each year on staff and parent/caregiver volunteers who coach and manage teams. The parents and caregivers are often in situations where they are taking part of their annual leave in order to help out, as well as accepting costs that come with time away from regular routines.  As with sport overall, the school could not offer what it does without these volunteers.  Thank you to all who are involved.

There has been some conversation around the fact that the Auckland measles outbreak continues to affect growing numbers of schools in that city.  So far we have been fortunate, but there is clearly an increased risk and I appeal once more to parents and caregivers to ensure their children are protected against what can be a highly damaging disease.  If you need more information about measles and steps that can avert it, feel free to contact our school first aid officer Jo Canton, joanne.canton@hvhs.school.nz.

On a more celebratory note, we had more great results reported this week.  People will recall that Rhiannon Mackie 10TACI was selected earlier this year as one of  the six person New Zealand Young Scientist Team for an international tournament in Belarus.  The New Zealand team won the gold medal in the event, overtaking Switzerland in the final round to achieve their winning status.  That’s a brilliant effort for the team, and a spectacular singular entry for Rhiannon when she prepares her CV. 

One of our touring shows in the last two years has been “We’ll Meet Again”, a musical show that has been presented at a number of retirement villages and elsewhere.  The students have entered the show in the New Zealand Theatrefest Competition and last weekend were confirmed as national finalists, as well as winning the regional Best Technical award and an Acting Excellence commendation for Leroy Paton-Goldsbury 12RI. That’s an exciting recognition of the great acting talent we have within the school.  It’s also an affirmation of the drama teachers’ very deliberate choice to work within a positive social ethos in the selection of material they use.  That’s an evolving event, and is clearly being responded to by students, judging by the increased numbers of students opting for drama as a curriculum choice. 

That community focus is well and truly abroad in the school.  Last week’s Mufti Day gathered 1600 cans of food for the Lower Hutt Foodbank, sufficient to tide them over just over a month’s activity.  That’s a really good thing for us to be engaged in.  So, too are the student-generated environmental efforts, including last week’s EnviroFestival, which had a day of climate change-linked activities, organised by the Climate Change Club and led by Alyssa Koo 12BQ and Imali de Silva 12NB.

Tonight there is another student-led initiative coming out of work done in the senior Te Awakairangi class.  With Emily Fau 12SP at the fore in the organisation and drive, we will see our inaugural Hutt Valley High School Pasifika Awards Evening.  This is Emily’s vision of a celebration of Pasifika pride in an evening that begins at 6.00 pm in the school hall.  It should be brilliant.  

Ross Sinclair

Principal