Annual Report

BOT Annual Report / Chairman's Address to Senior Prizegiving 2018

It is my absolute pleasure to be able to address you tonight on what I would say is the most important evening of the school year.

Tonight, we celebrate all the hard work that our students have put in throughout the 2018 year.

You get out of life what you put in and you should all be proud of your achievements.

This is a time of mixed emotions for our senior students. There are the pressures of exams and the study accompanied with this. For some this will be the last time they leave the school gates as a student as they step out into big wide world.

Our role as the board of trustees along with our senior leadership team, teachers and support staff has been to prepare them for this moment and we know that you will all navigate the world successfully beyond the gates of CHS.

It has been another busy year for the school and board. One area that the board has been working on for the last three years along with the Cambridge Middle School and the Ministry of Education (MoE) is the issue of role growth.  The services of a consultant were utilsed to guide the two boards with their options. There were numerous separate board meetings and special joint board meetings and finally the options were narrowed down to just three.  The first option was separate schools with the Cambridge Middle School (CMS) picking up year all of year 9s and Cambridge High becoming a 10-13 school.

The second option was having one school, one board and one principal but operating from the two existing sites.

Both these options were eliminated due to the tight financial situation that the MoE find themselves in. The chosen option is for the status quo which means the CMS still takes year 7-10s and that CHS continues to cater for year 9-13 students. This will now allow us to manage our future growth with certainty.

Our flash new art block build is continuing along with plans to accommodate nine extra relocatable classrooms at the school to house the students while the block is demolished. Water tightening of several larger buildings will also take place, along with an upgrade to infrastructure. There will be disruptions next year, but we will have far better facilities at the end of the projects.

Our Year 9 navigator class commences next year which is very exciting for the students and teachers involved with this. We had a large amount of interest in this new initiative which is great.

2019 will see the tri annual board of trustee elections in May/June. Trustees are vitally important to the school as they provide the strategy and direction for the school in relation to performance and outcomes.  Several current trustees will be standing down this year, so I encourage those who have relevant experience to apply. If you can add value in the form of Strategic Planning, Leadership, Management, Finance, IT or HR please consider standing for the CHS board.

2018 has been a year of change in leadership at CHS with our long time Principal, Mr Phil McCreery deciding that it was time to retire from the hectic job as a High School Principal.  While we are having a formal function soon to mark this special occasion I cannot let tonight go by without some mention of his work at CHS.  When he joined the school as Principal 13 years ago there was a fair amount of turmoil at CHS with negative media attention and public perception of the school. Huge numbers of students left Cambridge for their schooling.  It was going to be a huge challenge to get the school back on track, but he very quickly developed a strong leadership team around him with a clear vison.  In a relatively short space of time student behaviour at CHS improved. Academic, sporting and cultural performances also increased along with the school role.  CHS is now seen as a preferred school by both students and teachers alike.  This does not happen by accident and his leadership and guidance have been pivotal in making CHS what it is today. A place we can all be proud of.   A special thanks to Susie his wife, who has lent Phil to our school community 24/7 over the last 13 years.  We thank you for all your hard work and dedication to CHS.

I am pleased to be able to announce the appointment of our new Principal to you all tonight.  After a lengthy and robust appointment process which included consultation with our community, staff and students the board has appointed Greg Thornton to the position of Principal at CHS. And no, Greg is no relation to me.  Greg is currently the Vice Principal at Sha Tin International College in Hong Kong where he has worked for the last five years. He brings with him to Cambridge his wife Teresa and two children. Greg has been a Deputy Principal at Mount Aspiring College and has also been a Head of Faculty and teacher at Takapuna Grammar, Manurewa High School and Rangitoto College.  We look forward to Greg and his family joining us in the new year.

CHS is the best school in the Waikato and this is thanks to lots of people.

Special thanks to Mr John McDonnell who has seamlessly led the school as our Principal over the last two terms. He along with our senior leadership team have done a fantastic job and all worked together to ensure that the school has carried on achieving at the top level. We had several people acting up to higher positions in the school. All of whom performed admirably, so thanks to everyone who assisted.

Thanks to the hard-working CHS board. Raewyn Jones, Richard Younger, Phil McCreery, John McDonnell, Rachel Wallis, Mike Henson, Anthea Knowles, our departing Student Rep Charlotte Mitchell and our new Student Rep Tommy O’Brien. An extra special thanks to Deborah Godwin who has done an outstanding job as our Board Secretary.

The school is in a good financial position and this is due to our hard-working support team which is led by Amanda Wright who joined us this year. Amanda has fitted in very well and we are extremely lucky to have someone of her calibre working at the school.

CHS holds it head way above other schools in relation to our academic, sporting and achievements in the arts. None of this would be possible without our dedicated teachers and support staff that we have guiding and supporting our students as they learn and grow. As a board we really appreciate all your efforts and are grateful for the calibre of staff we have at Cambridge High.

I hope exams go well for everyone, keep up the study as you are on the home straight now. Before you know it, you will be on holiday and then Christmas is only 54 days away. This is the time to catch up with friends and family, taking time out to relax.

For our school leavers, I wish you well with your futures. I am confident that your time at CHS has prepared you well for the outside world.

For our Year 12 students, you are our leaders at CHS next year. I encourage you all to step up as seniors in the school and work with our teaching staff to uphold the positive culture of Cambridge High and enjoy your final year of schooling.

Nga manaakitanga

KARL THORNTON

Chairman
Board of Trustees
Cambridge High School