A man keen to con­trib­ute to ed­u­ca­tion

‘There re­ally isn’t a down side’ to vol­un­teer­ing, says An­drew Howard

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

An­drew ‘Howie’ Howard has been on the Board of Trustees at Montes­sori Chil­dren’s House Wanaka preschool (MCHW) for four years and for the last two years has im­mersed him­self in the role of Chair.

‘‘I’ve a keen in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion and my wife and I chose to send our three girls to Montes­sori due to its ed­u­ca­tional phi­los­o­phy and ex­cel­lent fa­cil­i­ties,’’ Howie says.

‘‘I’m keen to con­trib­ute, to share my skills and help in any way I can.’’

Howie brings con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence to the role. He also ac­knowl­edges the skills he’s de­vel­oped as a vol­un­teer. ‘‘I’ve gained as many skills as I have shared.

‘‘I’ve de­vel­oped my un­der­stand­ing of how change can be im­ple­mented in ac­cor­dance with strate­gic plan­ning. I’ve also trans­ferred new skills to my work­place, in par­tic­u­lar work­ing con­struc­tively and ef­fec­tively in a team en­vi­ron­ment.’’

Through his role as chair, Howie is also in­volved with the in­au­gu­ral Wanaka Trail Ride, a joint fundrais­ing event forMCHWand Wanaka Pri­mary School.

Howie im­me­di­ately recog­nised how ben­e­fi­cial the fundraiser could be to both schools and helped de­velop the in­ter­schools agree­ment as well as the safety plans and poli­cies. ‘‘The whole process has been very pro­fes­sional.’’ says Howie, ‘‘All the boxes are ticked and we’re gear­ing up to host a first class ex­pe­ri­ence that should be­come an an­nual event. It’s great to be in­volved.’’

So what does Howie gain from giv­ing up his time?

His an­swer is sim­ple and ut­terly com­pelling. ‘‘I’ve got to know some fan­tas­tic peo­ple; both the staff and board mem­bers, they’re great . . . Noth­ing can take away from the sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties tak­ing place and how con­nected the school’s com­mu­nity is.’’

And so what would he say to oth­ers con­sid­er­ing vol­un­teer­ing? ‘‘Get into it! Many peo­ple in Wanaka want it to be a vi­brant town, a great place to live with op­por­tu­ni­ties for our kids. That doesn’t hap­pen with­out vol­un­teers. . . . You meet great peo­ple and dis­cover new things. There re­ally isn’t a down side.’’

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion on the Wanaka Trail Ride or other vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion con­tact Vol­un­teer­ing Cen­tral.

An­drew ‘Howie’ Howard with his daugh­ters Si­enna and Casey, who both at­tend Montes­sori Chil­dren’s house in Wanaka.

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