Board Chair’s Speech 2022

by | Dec 20, 2022

Jeremy Nicholls
Board Chair
Hello everyone, I’m here representing the School Board as Board chairperson. Welcome parents and thank you for coming to our Supreme Prize Giving. On our school Board, we have representatives from nearly every cultural group in our community. That is important, as each person on the board brings their own unique perspective and skills when considering how the school is run. We have recently had our board elections, and we have been able to welcome some new members of the community to join our board. We are here to listen to you, the local community, as well as the staff, the school leaders and students, and to make suggestions about how to make the school fit the needs of our community best.

I’m a computer programmer, working with computers and writing software on the internet. Recently we had our school careers day, and it was good for me to meet some of our students face to face. Every year, I bring in a collection of vintage computers, hoping to catch student’s eyes and inspire some of them to be programmers. Of course, the first question they ask me is ‘how can I become a hacker?’ – and the answer is there is good money to be made in ethical hacking, but you have to get started now. We also had a number of other professionals at the careers day, such as the Police, Army, a Banker and some engineers. Its great to give open students eyes to what they could do as a job at this early age.

Before Covid struck, we had four great community meetings – one for each of the major ethnic groups in our community: Maori, Samoan, Tongan and Fijian. I’d like to work with Pauline and her team to reinstate these community group meetings next year. We will have speeches and meals from different cultures, as well as performances from the students. But, most of all the Board will again have the opportunity sit together with families around tables to hear what’s important for you, and how we can made the school better for your needs. I look forward to meeting you at our next round of community meetings.

Ms Cornwell and her admin staff are doing a great job, so thank you all for your work this year, and some long hours put in. I’d also like to thank the teachers for all their hard work they have put in during the year. From what I can see, teaching is a job like no other, with a lot of difficulty as well as the rewards. We’d like to think that our school is a good place to work, and the Board are constantly thinking about the wellbeing of our staff. I’d also like to thank all the RTLB teachers who have their offices in the school. They help 29 other schools in the area, and its a pleasure to have them working with us as well.

This year we have made good progress in creating new spaces in the school and investing in classroom upgrades and other building renovations  to make our school both more welcoming and more secure. Early next year we will move into our new student services and admin area at the front of the school. We have had a lot of sponsorship in order to make new facilities, such as the bike track, and to go on camp, and to install the new screens here in the gym – so thank you to parents and businesses that have donated a lot of money to the school.

Our school is doing well, we have a good reputation in the area, and we have pretty good attendance at school, but we could do better. I go to lectures about how students achieve throughout their entire time at primary and high school – and the one thing that really makes a difference as time goes on, is they actually attend school regularly every day, and stay the whole day. It really makes a huge difference to how well students achieve later in life. So thank you parents and whanau for consistently sending your children to school, and for supporting our school throughout this year. I hope to see half of you next year, and best wishes for all the year eights going on to high school and new challenges.

Three of my children have attended the school and they have moved on to high school and university. I’ve always encouraged them to be creative, and encouraged them to make the most of every opportunity, as well as being helpful members of the community. I urge all of you, especially year eights leaving the school, to also to make the most of every opportunity you get in high school.

Here at the supreme prize giving, we will acknowledge excellent student work, and the high levels of effort put in by many students this year. You can all be proud of your achievements this year, especially if you get an award today.

It is a privilege for me to be able to serve the school this year, to be told about how our students are making the most of themselves, and growing into energetic and respectful people, who are proud to say that Papatoetoe Intermediate is their school.

Thank you all, and have a safe holiday.