'High calibre' WBHS board elected

June 18, 2019 - 279 views

With a new chairman or chairwoman expected to be elected tonight, outgoing Waitaki Boys' High School commissioner Craig Smith says he is "delighted'' with the calibre of the Oamaru high school's first elected board of trustees since 2014.

The school had been under statutory management since October of that year after issues with pastoral care, communication and public relations, governance, good practice and employment were identified.

Now, as part of the national 2019 triennial board of trustees elections, a community-elected board of parent representatives was announced by returning officer Lyn Bond on Thursday.

She declared Mat O'Sullivan (102 votes), Andrea Ludemann (101), Cornel van Basten (76), Greg Wilson (66), and Silou Te Moana (64) elected.

"I'm delighted with the board we've got,'' Mr Smith said.

"All of the applicants who stood for the board were all of a high calibre - so we've really got a really good team.''

The school held a governance training meeting in December and later two governance meetings where potential board members sat in to observe a meeting conducted by Mr Smith.

All of the successful applicants had attended at least one of the three meetings.

The level of interest he had seen from parents was "a vote of confidence from the community for the school'' and he had written to those who were not elected to thank them for putting their names forward and to reiterate there were other ways to become involved.

Mr Smith, who replaced Nicola Hornsey as commissioner at the start of 2017, said although he was a Southland Boys' High School old boy he felt he had now become a part of the school.

"And I'm really going to miss it; I really enjoyed my time in the community.

"I think it's a really bright future for the school - the school has got facilities second-to-none. We're producing really well-rounded boys,'' he said.

"Schools are dynamic places and stuff happens from time to time ... any children at school will make mistakes and the role of the school is to be understanding and put love and care around kids and a system [in place] for their learning, and that's all part of what we do.''

Mr Wilson, a Waitaki Boys' old boy with a son at the school, said as a member of the new board he had a vested interest in "seeing the school provide the best opportunities for learning and development of its students and staff in a safe and supportive environment''.

"I have a passion to see the school grow and build on the foundations of the work started by the commissioner and the rector.

"I'm in a position to have time to give something back and to me [Waitaki Boys'], which is a big part of Oamaru and the district, is a challenge I'm looking forward to.''


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