Kuranui Principal Geoff Shepherd will be leaving the South Wairarapa college at the end of January 2018, but before he departs he has the small matter of completing a much deserved sabbatical.
Shepherd joined Kuranui in 1999 as Deputy Principal and took over the helm after Grey Tuck retired nearly 10 years ago. Shepherd says he is pleased to be leaving the college in ‘good heart’.
“I will be very sad to go, but I’m pleased to be leaving the college in good heart,” he said. “There are a number of achievements I am particularly proud of. It has been a privilege to see our NCEA results lift year-on-year and to receive an acknowledgement from the Minister of Education for our achievements, particularly those gained by our Māori students.
“We have worked hard to develop culturally responsive pedagogy that allows our Māori students to succeed as Māori. Tikanga is now compulsory for all students in Years 9 and 10, and the whole school is now truly enjoying and embracing Māoriculture, language and history.
“I am also proud of the professionalism of our staff. They are hard-working and loyal and I love the way our staff know our students really well, how they adapt their programmes to suit individual needs, and go the extra mile to help our students succeed.
“We have focused on developing a senior curriculum that is responsive to each individual student, and we are just about to launch a really exciting revised junior curriculum that gives students more personal choice while providing them with a solid foundation.”
Shepherd is also proud of the improvements to the college infrastructure which he’s overseen. “I have enjoyed being involved in the development of our new buildings which has resulted in a modern, practical campus. The college is in good shape financially through strong stewardship and we have been able to establish a responsible and comprehensive asset management plan.
It’s been important for Shepherd to help students follow meaningful pathways and so he’s keen to spend his sabbatical looking into the adaptation of Level 3 programmes for non-university students.
“I’ve been looking forward to this new challenge for some time, and I’m delighted that I am now able to complete a project involving an area of education that really fascinates me,” he explained.
“Now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and take up a new challenge.”
“The Board would like to acknowledge the contribution Geoff has made for these last ten years that has positioned the college well to embark on the next phase and into a bright future,” added Belinda Cordwell the Chair of the Kuranui College Board of Trustees.