Bent­ley’s last year at Ma­cleans

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - TARANNUM SHAIKH

Af­ter 18 years of ser­vice to the Ma­cleans Col­lege com­mu­nity, its leader, prin­ci­pal By­ron Bent­ley, is re­tir­ing at the end of this year.

Bent­ley has been the third prin­ci­pal of the East Auck­land sec­ondary school, tak­ing over from Al­lan McDon­ald in 2000.

‘‘I came to a school that had a very, very good rep­u­ta­tion, not only lo­cally, but na­tion­ally,’’ he’s told the East­ern Courier.

Bent­ley’s fo­cus as prin­ci­pal has been to en­hance the rep­u­ta­tion it al­ready had of high aca­demic achieve­ment.

His suc­cess in do­ing that is ev­i­dent in the Buck­lands Beach school’s re­cep­tion area where stu­dent ac­co­lades adorn the walls.

One sec­tion holds a col­lec­tion of tro­phies pupils have won. An­other has pho­tos of those who were top of their re­spec­tive classes or have been awarded schol­ar­ships over the years, in­clud­ing na­tion­ally.

Bent­ley says the suc­cess comes from em­ploy­ing skilled staff mem­bers.

‘‘Re­cruit­ing qual­ity staff is the key, then a lot of things take care of them­selves.’’

One of the ini­tia­tives that Bent­ley started in the year he joined Ma­cleans was an in­ter­na­tional stu­dent ex­change pro­gramme.

With only two terms to go, he hopes to hand over a well-rounded school to the next prin­ci­pal, and weighs-in on the teacher shortage prob­lem.

‘‘I cer­tainly want to leave my suc­ces­sor with a fi­nan­cially sound school and hope­fully fully staffed.

‘‘That is the huge prob­lem at the mo­ment, na­tion­wide, the lack of qual­ity teach­ers and a ma­jor prob­lem with young New Zealand grad­u­ates not want­ing to go into teach­ing and suf­fi­cient num­bers to fill the gaps.’’

He says it’s the worst sit­u­a­tion he’s seen and that some­thing has to be done about it.

‘‘I don’t think young [teach­ing] grad­u­ates are at­tracted here be­cause it’s not paid enough. I think that would be a huge help.’’

Pre­vi­ously a his­tory teacher, Bent­ley says it’s been a ‘‘great priv­i­lege be­ing prin­ci­pal to this school’’.

‘‘The suc­cess has been based on mu­tual re­spect be­tween the par­ents and staff of this school and of the stu­dents. It’s been very pleas­ant.

‘‘It’s been great be­ing part of such a dy­namic team. I’m sure it will con­tinue, the foun­da­tion is so strong here that it will con­tinue.’’

TARANNUM SHAIKH

Ma­cleans Col­lege prin­ci­pal By­ron Bent­ley is re­tir­ing af­ter nearly two decades of lead­ing the high school.

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