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Nov 292017

Kuranui College has appointed Simon Fuller as its new Principal for 2018. The appointment followed the departure of Geoff Shepherd, who completes his sabbatical at the end of this year.

The 34-year old is currently Principal of Opunake High School in South Taranaki. He was Assistant Principal of Naenae College, and before that Assistant Principal and Head of Science at Taita College. He studied chemistry at the University of Canterbury and began his teaching career at Roncalli College in Timaru.

Simon Fuller Kuranui College

A keen outdoorsman, Fuller has also played a variety of sports including rugby, cricket and basketball, and has managed and coached a number of sports teams.

Fuller’s wife Laura was a Kuranui student, as was his mother-in-law Clare Crawford. Crawford was principal of Kahutara School for 10 years and is the current principal of South End School in Carterton.

“I’m thrilled about the prospect of leading Kuranui College,” explained Fuller. “My family have strong links with Greytown and the college and the opportunity for them to return home will be amazing.

“I’m passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people, and I’m looking forward to working together with the board, staff and students to promote a positive and exciting environment for the Kuranui community.”

Kuranui Board Chair, Belinda Cordwell, is extremely pleased with the new appointment. “The board and the staff are really excited about appointing Simon. We feel he is a good fit for the college and the community.

“Along with the board, the staff were very much involved in the appointment decision. Simon brings a lot of energy, passion and understanding of where we come from, in terms of our school and what we are trying to achieve moving forward.

“We have a diverse mix of students, and we believe Simon will help to provide them with the best opportunities to be the very best they can be, in everything that they do during their time at the college.”

Fuller will take up the new role in Term 2.

Nov 242017

Kuranui College acting principal Maree Patten has ditched her car in favour of an e-bike and has already clocked up a whopping 6,600kms since making the switch in September 2016.

The South Wairarapa teacher spent time in Denmark last year and was attracted to the bike scheme run throughout its capital Copenhagen. “My husband and I hired e-bikes. They’re a lot of fun, you just pay for them and drop them off at the next stand,” she explained. “Inspired, I returned home and bought my own e-bike. The weather’s generally nice here and this country is just perfect for cycling.”

Patten admits she’s no ‘greenie’, but immediately embraced the health benefits of cycling and has cycled to work from her home in Martinborough to the college in Greytown ever since.

She has only missed eight days out of about 180 since adopting this new form of transport. Four were because it was dangerously wet, one was because the Waihenga Bridge was closed, and the rest because Patten was away at a teacher’s conference.

“The wind has been a challenge and logging trucks are just dreadful. I also hate the bridge going into Martinborough. It’s such a nightmare because it’s so narrow: I just end up riding in the middle of it.

“The steep hill out of Martinborough can also be a challenge because there’s no shoulder at the top of the cutting, so when you get passed by a logging truck, which are pretty common, and the big cattle trucks – some of them get so close you feel sucked in.”

The e-bike chosen by Patten is a power-assisted entry-level bike. It doesn’t have a throttle, so must be pedalled. The power-assist means that the bike goes much further with one revolution than an ordinary bike, which can come in handy when you’re cycling up hills or into the wind.

“I do adore my electric bike. On really windy days, like some of the terrible southerlies you can get, it can be horrible. The wind almost pushes me backwards, so you just put the bike on high power and it takes away the effect.

“I don’t mind hail, and the rain is only an issue when the road is very slippery. On the way back down to Martinborough, my bike gets up to in excess of 50kph and it can get quite scary. If I came off I’d lose a lot of skin,” she said.

Patten has ridden her bike throughout the winter and takes safety very seriously ensuring she wears reflective clothing and uses lights. “Although my bike’s got great lights, I try to get home before it gets dark. Safety is hugely important. You have to remember you’re a cyclist and you’re no match for a big truck or a car. You do have to have your wits about you and be vigilant on the road.

Patten says she wouldn’t be so committed if she didn’t enjoy it, and it’s the enjoyment that has kept her going, with each journey taking up to 40 minutes each way.

“You’ve really got to use your eyes and look around and take in the beauty we have here in Wairarapa. When I ride my bike in the morning into Greytown, I look to the left and it’s just stunning. On a really cold frosty morning when it’s so clear and so crisp, you just look at the snow-covered ranges and you think – oh my goodness – I live in the most beautiful place.”

Maree Patten Ebike Web

Nov 132017

Kuranui College’s 2017 Senior Prizegiving marked the end of an era, with the departure of Principal Geoff Shepherd after 18 years, but he used his final speech to highlight the healthy future ahead for the South Wairarapa school.

Kuranui 2017 Graduation 329 2 Web

Before being farewelled with a rousing and highly-emotional haka led by the outgoing year 13 students, he took the opportunity to reflect on the tremendous progress the school has made in all areas over the last decade.

“Our NCEA results have been on an upward trajectory for the last 10 years and our new mentoring programme has been an outstanding success,” he explained.

“In sport, we punch well above weight for a relatively small school and 2017 has been a momentous year for arts at the college, receiving many local, regional and national accolades.

“I’m now stepping out of my comfort zone and looking for a new challenge outside of the school system, but still in education. My 18 years as deputy principal and principal at Kuranui have been the most challenging and most enjoyable part of my career to date.

“When I look back and take stock of what has been achieved, I take a great deal of professional satisfaction. We’ve come a long, long way.

“Outsiders who come into this school, regularly remark on the welcoming, friendly and upbeat feeling which makes this a very special place. I believe this has developed from a strong belief that all students can succeed, despite their family’s culture, background, income or their expectations.

“We have become increasingly student-centred, we have adjusted our procedures and our systems to ensure that every student can become the best they can be.”

Shepherd paid tribute to the departing year 13 students, with Charlotte Penman named Dux for 2017, with Esme Skelton as Proxime Accessit. The student leaders for 2018 were also named as Heidi Redfern (Head Girl), Samson Dell (Head Boy), Amberleigh Rose (Deputy Head Girl) and Jonty Ariell (Deputy Head Boy). The rest of the student leadership team will be made up of Deanna Addis, Manaia Apiata, Piper Marshall, Harvey Morison, Jacob Morris, Bas Muller, Tanya Narayan, Lachlan O’connell, Joseph Te Naihi and Danielle Turton.

Kuranui Snr Prizegiving 2017 27 Web

Kuranui Senior Prize Winners 2017

Dux 2017: Charlotte Penman
Proxime Accessit: Esme Skelton
Martinborough Fair Trust Bursaries and Trophy: Esme Skelton And Charlotte Penman
Whitireia New Zealand School Leaver Fees Scholarship: Jessica Buckham
Canterbury University Go Canterbury Accommodation Scholarship: Thomas Watson
Rotary Club of South Wairarapa Shackleton Cup in Recognition of Overcoming Adversity to Achieve What Many Thought Unlikely: Jennifer Gault
Greytown Lion and Lioness Clubs Endeavour Trophy in Recognition of Achievements and Efforts Which Went Well Beyond the Level Expected: Nicki-Marie Campbell
Lisa Rose Cup: First Overall In Level 2: Harvey Morison
Featherston Lions Club Cup: First Overall in Level 1: Caelum Greaves
For Their Contribution to the Life of the College as Student Leaders in 2017: Joseph Ahipene-Larsen, Jeni Davidson, Gavin Hosnell, Alisha Hovell, Thomas Laybourn, Luke Linton, Fabian Sinclair, Amber Spicer and Keziah Stonnell.

Service Awards: For Those Students Who Go the Extra Mile to Enhance the Daily Life of our College Community

Minolta NZ Cup – For Outstanding Leadership: Gavin Hosnell
Tocker Cup – For the Greatest Contribution to the Life of the College: Thomas Laybourn
Service Blue Awards: Alexander Southey and William Taber
Service Awards: Jessica Buckham, Jeni Davidson, Jessica Fryer, Gavin Hosnell, Alisha Hovell, Thomas Laybourn, Bas Muller, Jodi-Leigh Newman, Charlotte Penman and Keziah Stonnell.

Student Leaders For 2018

Head Girl: Heidi Redfern
Head Boy: Samson Dell
Deputy Head Girl: Amberleigh Rose
Deputy Head Boy: Jonty Ariell
Student Leaders: Deanna Addis, Manaia Apiata, Piper Marshall, Harvey Morison, Jacob Morris, Bas Muller, Tanya Narayan, Lachlan O’connell, Joseph Te Naihi and Danielle Turton

Kuranui Snr Prizegiving 2017 41 Web