From row­ing to Swan Lake

Western Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE -

Nathan Vil­lars, 48, is the prin­ci­pal of Hen­der­son’s ACG Sun­der­land cam­pus.

Any mem­o­rable teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ences?

When I was teach­ing at Taka­puna Gram­mar School, a year 13 girl was car­ing for her sick par­ent with lit­tle sup­port, but was a great stu­dent. Life was in­cred­i­bly tough for her. With ed­u­ca­tion you can change sit­u­a­tions. And teach­ers don’t re­alise how in­flu­en­tial a few words of sup­port, or giv­ing a stu­dent a break can do. We agreed that she didn’t have to do home­work. As a young teacher it made quite an im­pact on me.

What’s some­thing un­ex­pected about you?

I like the bal­let a lot. It’s quite an ex­cuse that my daugh­ter does bal­let to go and watch it. I like the ath­leti­cism, grace and ef­fort that goes into cos­tumes and the phys­i­cal as­pect of it. We re­cently went to Giselle but nor­mally would see sev­eral Royal New Zealand Bal­lets each year. Prob­a­bly my favourite is Swan Lake. It’s a great story and they in­ter­pret it well in bal­let. I’m no con­nois­seur so I can un­der­stand it quite well.

Where did you grow up?

‘‘I like the bal­let a lot. It's quite an ex­cuse that my daugh­ter does bal­let to go and watch it. ’’ Nathan Vil­lars

I’m orig­i­nally from Welling­ton and my fam­ily moved to the North Shore around the mid-70s af­ter univer­sity and I got my first teach­ing job at Taka­puna Gram­mar School. I met my wife 30 years ago. I had grad­u­ated and she was still study­ing fash­ion de­sign in Welling­ton, af­ter that we shot off over­seas.

Where did you travel?

It was the 90s, I was in my late 20s. I worked at Pang­bourne Col­lege near Ox­ford, taught geog­ra­phy and coached row­ing and rugby.

What do you do out­side your job?

I don’t row any­more but I love cy­cling. One my favourite places to cy­cle is in the Waitak­eres out to­wards Bethells, early in the morn­ing. Our fam­ily skis and we play ten­nis, but my wife is much bet­ter than me.

How long did you row for?

I rowed at high school from about age 16 to about 28, at North­cote Col­lege.

What do you like about geog­ra­phy?

It’s here and now, and I think stu­dents ap­pre­ci­ate that. While I was fin­ish­ing off my de­gree I got a job with the re­gional coun­cil. In the Waitak­eres there’s a pipeline that goes through tun­nels which were col­laps­ing. My friend and I had to map the in­side of the tun­nels.

What sort of mu­sic do you like?

My boy de­cided to learn guitar and has dusted off old the Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC al­bums. So I’m re­vis­it­ing bands like Nir­vana and the Red Hot Chilli Pep­pers. My daugh­ter likes Adele and Lorde. We have va­ri­ety to lis­ten to in the car. The last con­cert we went to was Cold Play. The first con­cert I went to was Eury­th­mics when I was about 17 at Western Springs.

What books do you like?

Been read­ing a few books on the Mid­dle East con­flict. I saw a Net­flix show Fauda which en­cour­aged me. We spent some time trav­el­ling through the Gaza Strip and Is­rael, in­clud­ing Jerusalem. It was the late 90s so it was safe-ish. There’s Jewish his­tory on both sides of the fam­ily so there’s an in­ter­est. I find it re­ally chal­leng­ing around re­li­gious con­flict be­tween fam­i­lies, or the Is­raeli-Jewish con­flict. Both these cul­tures have been in­ter­twined for thou­sands of years and yet right now they are des­per­ately un­happy, which I find fas­ci­nat­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.