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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

A warm welcome to the new school year, it has been absolutely wonderful greeting our students as they arrived back at school this week. A special welcome to our students starting at St Thomas’ for the first time and to all of their whanau who joined our community, we are privileged to have you join our family.

I have been very impressed by the way our students have engaged with our safety guidelines in response to this latest Covid variant. In a large community of people we will have many different opinions, emotions and responses when we are asked to live and behave in a different way than what we are used to. As a community we have clear guidelines from the Ministry of Health that all decisions are based on. All of the decisions are in the best interests of keeping our students safe.

As well as welcoming many new students this year, we have also welcomed new staff. It is my pleasure to share with you our new staff members.

We welcome, David Hooper into the science faculty. David is a recent graduate who is a talented young man – he comes with an experience of all that is needed in a boys school as an oldboy of Wellington College. David is multi talented with ability to teach across Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics.

Matt Kippenburger is an experienced science teacher with specialism in Chemistry and Biology. Matt comes to us from Riccarton High School and is a highly regarded educator. He has wonderful life experience that will add to and grow our strong culture at St Thomas’.

Ruihi Kawenga joins us after four years at Mairehau High School as a Te Reo and Kinesiology teacher. Ruihi will also take up the position as House co-ordinator of McClintock house. Ruihi is also an old boy of St Thomas’ who is very excited to give back to his school.

Katie Stanton joins us from Linwood College as the Deputy Principal in charge of Pastoral care for the last three years. Katie takes up the role of Director of Pastoral Care at St Thomas’. We are very fortunate to have Katie join us as an experienced leader and educator.

Patrick McEntyre joins us as a counsello. Patrick is a very experienced counsellor who has worked at the Ministry of Education in the trauma response team. We look forward to working with Patrick.

Jamie Thompson is a beginning teacher who spent a teaching practice with us last year and he duly impressed! We look forward to sharing Jamie’s enthusiasm and energy in our classrooms this year.

Shannon Hurley joins us after spending the year at Catholic Cathedral College last year. Shannon knows us well as she co-produced a school production with Miss Smith and has also worked here at St Thomas’ as a reliver in the past. We are delighted to have Shannon as part of our team this year.

I am always so grateful to work and lead as part of our wonderful community – it is a true honour. Greeting our students, new and old, this week reminds me constantly of how fortunate we are to have the confidence and responsibility to partner with our parents in growing and developing our young men.

I know there is a lot of information in this newsletter and you have received a lot of information about our safety guidelines, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

I trust you will have a wonderful Waitangi weekend.