Forty years of school mem­o­ries

Next Thurs­day will mark 40 years to the day that For­est View High School opened its doors for the first time, writes Petrice Tar­rant.

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

It is hard to imag­ine how far a school can come in four decades.

Elec­tric heaters, tar­tan skirts and man­ual type­writ­ers were givens when the doors of For­est View High School opened in 1974.

Things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent almost 40 years on.

In its first year the school had 185 stu­dents with 21 teach­ing staff and while to­day’s roll is by no means peak­ing, it has cer­tainly grown.

Close to 400 stu­dents make their way up to the Baird Rd school ev­ery morn­ing.

Ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and em­ployee of 23 years Karen Watkins said the chang­ing de­mo­graphic of the town played a huge hand in the roll changes.

Not that stu­dent num­bers are the mea­sure of its suc­cess.

The school has many claims to fame in­clud­ing win­ning the 1988 Telethon en­try, its 1982 1st XV win in the Tri­color Trophy and the dozens of stu­dents who have rep­re­sented New Zealand in sports, beauty and fash­ion codes. Amongst other things the school can boast an All Black and a Miss New Zealand ti­tle through for­mer stu­dents.

Watkins said the big­gest change dur­ing her time was in tech­nol­ogy.

She almost cringed at the thought of ar­riv­ing on her first day to find man­ual type­writ­ers.

‘‘Not long after I started they got the elec­tronic type­writ­ers and of course now we’re mov­ing to­wards Bring Your Own de­vices.’’

The school will be cel­e­brat­ing suc­cesses, chal­lenges and changes at its 40th re­union on Oc­to­ber 10 to 12. Reg­is­tra­tions close to­day.

Or­gan­iser and past stu­dent Marty Camnzind said it will be an ac­tion-packed week­end start­ing with a catch-up on Fri­day.

Satur­day will kick off with a powhiri fol­lowed by a mem­o­ra­bilia dis­play and sports and cul­tural per­for­mance. There will be a so­cial evening and din­ner at South Waikato Sport and Events Cen­tre that evening. On Sun­day there is an in­ter­de­nom­i­na­tional church ser­vice, then morn­ing tea.

Con­tact re­union@ forestview

Still go­ing strong: For­est View High School Prin­ci­pal Ian Fer­gu­son is lead­ing a school that has weath­ered 40 years of change.

First day: Sir De­nis Blun­dell at­tended the grand open­ing of For­est View High School in 1974 where a tree plant­ing cer­e­mony took place.

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