9 November 2013 I wrote my first blog titled “TKAS Journey as seen through the eyes of administration - part one”. Today I continue the writing from an administrator’s point of view.
2014 was a huge administration challenge. The year started in December 2013 when I, with some strong helpers worked through the Christmas period into January- sorting and moving furniture from the old primary site to the new site including receiving new furniture bought for the hubs. The next job was finding someone to mow lawns as our caretaker up and quit on us. Then it was placing ads and welcoming our new caretaker, someone that was motivated, someone who will relate well to staff and students of the school including skills in repairs and service of buildings. Then it was back to moving furniture, ordering in dumpsters, removing everything that we thought was movable and sellable and placed in a secure environment. Our multipurpose space was full to the brim with old furniture and equipment ready to be auctioned off. On top of all this ensuring that the swimming pool was safe and healthy for swimming. By the time students arrived for the first day, at the new site in 2014 I was pretty much ready for a holiday - everything was, it seemed, running smoothly. The BOTs intention was to open officially at a later date so that everyone can see how the hubs worked and demonstrate how the learning will be run on a daily basis.
Opening of the school - invitations to kaumatua, kuia, MPs, schools and distinguished guests, hoping that no one was missed out. Recording RSVPs. Sending out notices and advertising. Then having to create three teams - main kitchen; tea and coffee room; and the main hall. Ordering food, organising the cleaning, getting a shout out to the community for volunteers and donations and in all this watching the budget. Our community pulled together and together we provided/demonstrated exactly how we work. Although it rained, no poured, it was still an opening that would not be forgotten for a long time. Everyone came together and together we made it a success.
Once the hype of the opening was over - it was down to business - organising an auction to sell off as much of our old and surplus equipment and furniture to make way for us to get our multipurpose space ready for learning. Our building, although new, had a few minor mishaps which needed to be repaired or replaced and some that are still being debated/worked on by MOE. Invoices to be addressed to MOE for consideration of reimbursement of repairs and replacements. The water system was our biggest issue - one week into the first term and our water system come to a great big stop. A one day closure of the school was eminent. Now repaired. Our next major was the heating system which to this day has not been properly repaired or replaced - still in MOE hands. The next was the expense in electricity, the verandahs and many other small mishaps which needed to be rectified. In the meantime - payroll and finances were still meeting deadlines and creditors were being paid.
Karyn was spending more time with students and I inherited much of her managerial role from building maintenance; financial audits and support staff management and while undertaking my duties as the Principals PA decided to undertake professional development through Otago Polytechnic, who offered a program - National Diploma in Business Administration level 5 - which was delivered by assessment through prior learning. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. John F. Kennedy
2015 - role name change from Principal’s PA to Associate Director of Support Services- purpose for the change was the amount of work I undertook so that Karyn was able to concentrate on learning, the learning environment and students. It has been a challenge and within this challenge was able to successfully complete the National Diploma in Business Administration - level 5 and while undertaking this program I was required to provide a mission statement and this is what I thought best summed me up: “My mission is to give, for giving is what I do best and I can learn to do better. I will seek to learn, for learning is the basis for growth, and growing is the key to living. I will seek first to understand, for understanding is the key to finding value, and value is the basis for respect, decisions, and action. This should be my first act with my family, and my work. I want to help influence the future development of people and organizations. I want to teach my children and others to love and laugh, to learn and grow beyond their current bounds."
2015 - Gala fundraiser, Saturday sports organisation and the one that sticks out for me was the Nga Manu Korero - although not part of the planning team - I was however asked to organise the food. Food for two venues and enough food to be supplied to judges, kaumatua and helpers. This was a huge task. First organise the teams. We ended up with four teams to be exact - Food preparation, waitresses, security and cleaners. Although not a team we needed a runner into town - me - to get petty cash and lots of it. What an experience - so very proud of our teams - they worked hard and there was an awesome flow. We put it down to everyone knowing what their individual jobs were - granted we had a few people who tried to take over - but when you know who your leaders are and what you are expected to do - then there is no issue. Preparation to clean up - done and dusted. Exhausted - well deserved rest needed.
2015 has been for me a year of challenges - I completed my diploma; accepted a position on our local community group as chairperson; working with whanau as secretary of our land in Whakatane, working on a compensation for land taken by local council many years ago; and last but not least accepting the role I have today as the Associate Director of Support Services and having complete autonomy and trust by Karyn to make decisions that affect our school. What a year and it hasn’t finished.
2015 was also the time our leader in her own right Karyn has announced she will be moving on to further pasture at the end of the year. I have had the pleasure of working under a visionary, passionate and committed woman whose focus has not waned and that is the students. The students’ her number 1 priority. I have been honored and privileged to have met, been mentored, guided and supported by since she started in 2010. She will be greatly missed. There is no prerequisite of when our time in one place is up, but I wish Karyn all the best. I will miss her and she has had a strong influence in my life and one day - one day who knows, our paths will cross. Karyn leaves behind a legacy.