Holy Fam­ily School los­ing prin­ci­pal

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Karl Vasau is mov­ing home, but his heart is likely to re­main in Porirua for some time.

The prin­ci­pal of Holy Fam­ily School fin­ishes on July 4 af­ter eight years in the job.

He will head to Rowan­dale School in south Auck­land, whose roll of 481 – pro­jected to grow to 550 – dwarfs Holy Fam­ily’s 190 pupils.

‘‘I’m sad to be leav­ing here,’’ he said.

‘‘Porirua has be­come my home and I love this com­mu­nity. But I’m ex­cited about the chal­lenge at Rowan­dale, where I can use the skills I’ve de­vel­oped here on a much larger scale.’’

Vasau has yo- yoed be­tween Auck­land and the Welling­ton re­gion dur­ing his teach­ing ca­reer, tak­ing in schools in Grey Lynn, As­cot Park ( Rangikura, for 18 months) and Nae­nae.

Porirua East com­mu­nity lead­ers Caro­line Mareko and Peter Sete­fano en­cour­aged Vasau to go for the va­cant Holy Fam­ily prin­ci­pal’s po­si­tion.

He can’t be­lieve how quickly the time has gone.

‘‘I didn’t think I would last this long. I thought I’d do it for five years and next thing you know it’s 2014.

‘‘I’m truly grate­ful and hum­ble to­wards the people who had faith in me and the staff and the Holy Fam­ily com­mu­nity I’ve worked with.’’

He said there had al­ways been a pas­sion within the school com- mu­nity, and east­ern Porirua in gen­eral, about get­ting ed­u­ca­tion right de­spite fund­ing and other is­sues.

Be­ing close to the Bee­hive and hav­ing hard­work­ing MPs like Kris Faafoi and Win­nie La­ban were an ad­van­tage, he said, open- ing his eyes to the in­ner work­ings of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Rolls were de­clin­ing at schools in Porirua, with mi­gra­tion to Aus­tralia and un­cer­tainty over state hous­ing cre­at­ing headaches for prin­ci­pals, Vasau said.

Porirua East Group, com­pris­ing prin­ci­pals, and the re­cently es­tab­lished Shine ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive showed that ed­u­ca­tors were mak­ing pos­i­tive moves, he said.

‘‘With the Porirua East Group, we are shar­ing more data, meet­ing more and col­lab­o­rat­ing on things like sport and cul­tural events.

‘‘There’s a close­ness here that I will miss. Ev­ery school treats each child as their own.

‘‘ We, as ed­u­ca­tors and aca­demics, al­ways need to re­mem­ber to in­clude the voice of the com­mu­nity when we make de­ci­sions. That’s so im­por­tant.’’

The sad­dest thing in the past fort­night, he said, was when one of his pupils came up to him in a quiet mo­ment.

‘‘He said, ‘Why are you leav­ing?’ I gave an an­swer, but he didn’t un­der­stand. It al­most broke my heart.

‘‘I haven’t got too emo­tional yet, be­cause July 4 is a lit­tle way away, but it’s been beau­ti­ful to hear from people that I have done a good job.

‘‘How­ever, no-one is ir­re­place­able and it’s time for the next stage of my ca­reer.’’

Good­bye: From left, Holy Fam­ily School pupils PJ Ierome, Sab­rina Brown, prin­ci­pal Karl Vasau and Caitlin Lafaele in Vasau’s of­fice, which he leaves for the last time next month.

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