Having a heart for community
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.