Update from the Board of Trustees

Ike Tapine – Acting Presiding Member

Wā Ora is a unique school and our family loves that our tamariki go to a Montessori school in the back of Naenae.  It still amazes me that I have total faith in a system of education developed in the early 1900s in Rome.  Maria Montessori’s simple recognition that children respond to an ordered environment, they are capable of deep focus, and respond to multiple repetitions (of activities) has resulted in a style of education that has spread worldwide due to its effectiveness.

I still think fondly of my observation day where two memories remain with me to this day:

  • It was the first time I had seen a large group of pre-schoolers quiet, focussed, and engaged in their mahi. I grew up in a large family with lots of very young tamariki at the marae and I had never seen this type of focus before.
  • I saw two young tamariki in the 9-12 cohort, fearlessly attacking maths problems after a teacher’s short lesson involving a small whiteboard and one of the basic Montessori teaching materials. They were taught how to solve 42 = 16. I then observed these two tamariki solve 162, 2562 and were working on 65,5362 when I had to leave.

Our children benefit strongly from the Montessori teaching philosophies and we trust they are developing healthily within this environment.

Board of Trustees, Council Members, and Parent Representatives

Ava Szabo, Anna McLean, Juliette George, Toby Champion, Suzi Parle, Ike Tapine, Byron Lynds, Lillian Pak, Drew Mayhem, Anahera Brown, Stacey Newlands and Jenny Jellicoe.

As a member of the Wā Ora Board, I have been privileged to work alongside many diligent and hardworking staff, students, and parents.  We recently farewelled several very effective Board members – Chelsea Malcom, Kaitlyn Humphries and Hilary Asquith.  In their place, we welcome our newest Board members –  Jennifer Jellicoe, Toby Champion and Juliette George.

This year, the Board and school have completed several large pieces of work:

  • The building of the new kitchen block in the High School
  • A new recruitment program to help ensure availability of Montessori-trained teachers for our school
  • Working through the teacher strikes and pay negotiations
  • Transition of school policy documents to a new portal

We have just completed the recent elections and I look forward to the results, which are due to be announced very shortly.  I commend anyone who puts up their hand to be nominated.

A special thank you to Ava, who once again has led our school admirably in 2023 through many challenges, most of which go unseen by our community.  On behalf of the Board, I add my thanks for all that you do – we are a better school for having your leadership.