Bentley’s last year at Macleans
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.’’
Macleans College principal Byron Bentley is retiring after nearly two decades of leading the high school.