Full marks for at­ten­dance

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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