Hav­ing a heart for com­mu­nity

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Ragne Maxwell says the best part of her job as the prin­ci­pal of Porirua Col­lege are her stu­dents.

It’s no won­der then that the col­lege is her favourite place in Porirua City and she lists the views and mod­ern build­ings as a few of the rea­sons why.

As part of a se­ries get­ting to know the peo­ple in our com­mu­nity the Kapi-Mana News is pro­fil­ing some of our best known lo­cals.

This time we went back to school to ask the not-so tough ques­tions.

What’s the best part of your job?

The stu­dents! We have amaz­ing stu­dents here at PC who have so much heart for their school and their com­mu­nity.

I feel re­ally proud stand­ing in assem­bly with them, giv­ing out NCEA Merit and Ex­cel­lence cer­tifi­cates and singing our school song.

So many of our stu­dents as­pire to do some­thing to make a real dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­nity and go on to do so.

What’s the worst?

That would have to be the hours. There is so much to do and so many peo­ple to talk with ev­ery day that I never seem to see enough of my own fam­ily any more.

LOOK WHO’S TALK­ING ‘‘This world has enough wealth, space and kind­ness in it for every­one to have a good life.’’

What would peo­ple be sur­prised to know about you?

I used to work as a host­ess on a char­ter yacht out of Bo­drum in Turkey.

It was pretty amaz­ing to get paid to look af­ter tourists and take them to visit beauty spots in the Mediter­ranean.

I never quite un­der­stood how I got the job though. I was hired to com­mu­ni­cate be­tween the Turk­ish crew and Ger­man tourists, but I only spoke English and French. I had to learn some Turk­ish pretty quick!

How do you re­lax?

I like to spend time with my fam­ily, read books and go for walks in all the lo­cal beauty spots. I also do Tai Chi and was show­ing some of our stu­dents a few moves at lunchtime to­day.

If you could in­vite three peo­ple to din­ner - liv­ing or dead - who would they be and why?

Shake­speare - be­cause I’m an English teacher and I think his plays are just amaz­ing. He cares so much for peo­ple and writes about how we can live good lives in a com­pli­cated world.

Michael McIn­tyre - be­cause he would make the evening so funny. I love the way his hu­mour is based around or­di­nary life rather than mak­ing fun of peo­ple.

Emily Jackson - my grand­mother, just be­cause she’s been dead since I was in my early 20s. She was a NZ artist and an amaz­ing woman. I’d like to ask her so many ques­tions now I’m older and know enough to ask about how she had the drive to be­come an artist with her hands crip­pled with rheuma­toid arthri­tis. Also, just be­cause I miss her.

If you could have one su­per­power what would it be? Why?

To make peo­ple able to see other peo­ple’s points of view. This world has enough wealth, space and kind­ness in it for every­one to have a good life. If we could just see what it was like to walk in other peo­ple’s shoes, I think we would make very dif­fer­ent choices and live in a bet­ter world.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

It would have to be Emma Thomp­son. She’s about the right age, a great ac­tress and a tough woman. I’ve never for­got­ten her per­for­mance in Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity as Eli­nor, the sen­si­ble sis­ter. That is def­i­nitely my sort of role.

What scares you?

Peo­ple choos­ing vi­o­lence as a way to solve our dif­fer­ences.

What three things would you take if you were go­ing to be stranded on a desert is­land?

Can I have a whole li­brary? Ei­ther that or a Kin­dle with an un­lim­ited in­ter­net con­nec­tion. Without books to read, I’d go crazy.

While I’m at it, I’ll have a su­per­mar­ket and my fam­ily. Then I’ll be all good.


Ragne Maxwell says while she loves Porirua Col­lege’s mod­ern build­ings, it’s the stu­dents that are the best part of her job.

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