A man keen to contribute to education
‘There really isn’t a down side’ to volunteering, says Andrew Howard
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.