Kaipara Korero

Principal Steve McCracken

Record NCEA results, a 30% increase in roll size, and numerous national titles are just some of the major highlights of the last (almost) four years at Kaipara College. Why is this important? Well, this time four years ago, I was preparing to be welcomed to Kaipara College as the new Principal. Now, many highlights, some challenges, and a whole lot of fun later, I prepare to move on to different adventures and challenges. One thing that has remained constant over this period is how the Kaipara College community cares for each other and truly puts people first.
Reflecting back, I didn’t know what I was in for. There are massive challenges facing education, not only in the secondary sector, but across the board. Under funding, heightened student needs, and the ever changing ‘systems’ are going to make the next few years an interesting ocean to navigate. I was, and still am, very ambitious, placing students at the centre of decisions, and trying to do the right thing at all times. What I was not prepared for is not being able to please everyone and the buck really stopping with me as Principal. Hopefully, it can now be seen that we all learn, and through this learning, we become better people.
The South Kaipara community will always have a significant role to play in the life of Kaipara College. We are so lucky to be able to have such an abundance of local resource, history and amazing people to draw upon. Kaipara College is on the cusp of undertaking something special with you all. We have strategic aims of ‘Belonging’ and ‘Success’, the future of Kaipara College will be calling upon the local resource, knowledge and people to bring learning to life for our young people. I am sure we can all recall sitting in boring classrooms, hearing teachers deliver ‘important’ information; well, now is the time when we have the opportunity to make learning real for our young people. To do this, Kaipara College will need our community’s involvement.
I wasn’t, and I don’t think I am, prepared for the significant challenges that happened over the last four years. We have had students pass away; we have been a part of a global pandemic; we have witnessed students going through severe hardship; we have seen whanau come and go. The one common thing though, is that the true values of Kaipara College have been consistent and will remain so. That is what makes me the proudest of my time at Kaipara College.
The last (almost) four years have been amazing. Kaipara College has a significant part of my heart, and I will be forever grateful for being part of this community. I hope I have made a difference to the futures of the young people in our care. Thank you, to the whole community, for your support of our school, for the challenges, and for standing up for what is right. We must continue to set high aspirations for our young people. We must continue to do the right thing. We must continue to learn and grow ourselves. We must continue to put people first. If we continue to do these things, the next (almost) four years, and many more, will be even more positive than the last four.
He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

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