New name and logo for school

Stratford Press - - News - By ILONA HANNE

The name is chang­ing, but the ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tion re­mains the same, says Fiona Green, prin­ci­pal of the newly named Taranaki Dioce­san School for Girls.

It isn’t the first time the school, formerly known as St Mary’s Dioce­san School has changed names, she says, as it was orig­i­nally known as The Church School for Girls when it opened in 1915.

When the school name changed to St Mary’s the word Dioce­san was in­cluded in the name, but the re­la­tion­ship between the school and the Angli­can church the word rep­re­sented was not ac­tu­ally for­malised says Fiona.

“Of course the school cer­tainly lived to the val­ues of the Angli­can church, and there was cer­tainly a clear con­nec­tion, but it was never fully for­malised be­fore now.”

With more than one St Mary’s around the coun­try, the Strat­ford school was some­times con­fused with the other schools of the same name.

“We have even had mail go to the wrong St Mary’s, which isn’t a huge is­sue gen­er­ally, just a case of redi­rect­ing it, but it can be very stress­ful when the girls are wait­ing for as­sess­ments or exam pa­pers to ar­rive.”

Fiona says the school board also wanted the new name to re­flect that the school was not just for stu­dents who lived in Strat­ford.

“We have girls here from all around the re­gion, as well as much fur­ther afield. We serve all of the dio­cese, not just one town.”

As the clos­est se­condary school to Mount Taranaki, it made sense to re­flect that in the name, she says.

The name change has been dis­cussed for some time be­fore the new signs went up last week, and it would be true to say there was some re­luc­tance to change the name from some of the Old Girls, Fiona says.

“St Mary’s is very much part of their his­tory, and the town’s his­tory, and we didn’t want to throw that out. Names are im­por­tant and we didn’t want any­one in the school com­mu­nity to feel St Mary’s didn’t ex­ist at all any­more.”

It was to en­sure the name St Mary’s stayed as part of the school in the fu­ture that the school chapel was for­mally re­named last week. In the pres­ence of stu­dents, staff, old girls, and mem­bers of the wider school com­mu­nity, Arch­bishop Sir David Moxon blessed the chapel now known as The Chapel of St Mary.

Dur­ing the ser­vice, a plaque bear­ing the names of the girls who built the chapel in the 1950s was moved from its pre­vi­ous home in the vestry to a new lo­ca­tion.

“While the names had al­ways been in the chapel, be­fore now there were in the vestry, which is out of sight for many. We have now placed those names front and cen­tre of the chapel to serve as a daily re­minder to our stu­dents, that we have al­ways had feisty girls at this school!”

As part of the name change, the school logo has been re­designed and now fea­tures the moun­tain as part of it.

“It was im­por­tant to us that the moun­tain it showed was from the Strat­ford side, as that is ex­actly what our girls see each day as they walk between lessons or play sports on the fields.”

Fiona says while the school logo is chang­ing now, a big­ger uni­form change is in the fu­ture too.

“There will be fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion on that first, but we have al­ready asked the girls to con­sider what a fu­ture uni­form might be like. We held two mufti weeks, dur­ing which the girls wore cloth­ing they felt would be suit­able for a new uni­form with one week fo­cus­ing on win­ter wear and one on sum­mer wear. I was re­ally im­pressed with how the girls put thought into it and made some great choices which re­flected what they are — young, mod­ern women in the 21st cen­tury.”

Arch­bishop Sir David Moxon and prin­ci­pal Fiona Green.

The school has new signs up, re­flect­ing the new name.

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