Full marks for attendance
Tokoroa High School might just hold the record for the most past students now working as staff.
The school is preparing to celebrate its 60th Jubilee and one piece of history really stands out about 20 of its current staff are past students.
Principal William Ford [the school’s ninth principal] attended the school from 1969 to 1971.
While the Ministry of Education does not keep records to determine if it’s an official New Zealand record Ford, who has been principal since 2010, said it was a special thing having so many past students returning.
‘‘It’s a place where they have enjoyed the experience of being students and now they want to give back,’’ he said.
‘‘They bring two things. One thing is a greater understanding of the students here as they have been students here themselves and the other is having high expectations of the students as they know what it’s like to overcome barriers if there are any.’’
Geography and social studies teacher Dean Tereu, who’s also a past student, said often people are surprised by the high number of past students working there.
‘‘It’s a unique thing and we have had accolades from the Ministry of Education,’’ he said.
‘‘Every year we get a couple more returning, it just keeps growing.’’
New Zealand Principals’ Federation president Whetu Cormick was shocked by the high number.
‘‘Wow what an achievement. There is great community spirit in the Tokoroa area and that is reflected in the teachers who went there and have decided to stay within their own community,’’ he said.
Ford said he was looking forward to welcoming back more past students during the school’s 60th jubilee celebrations which will be held for three days over Labour Weekend.
Tereu, who has taught at the school for 21 years, said they are expecting over 700.
‘‘It’s going to be a big thing for the community,’’ he said.
The celebration begins on the Friday evening with a meet and greet in the school’s hall, a full day of sports events, decade photos, open day, assembly, and a formal function on Saturday, and concludes on Sunday with an inter-denominational church service and farewells.
To register visit the school’s website or phone 07 886 6109.