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Page 3
FROM ZERO TO HERO*
HATO PETERA COLLEGE

September 2004
Vol. 1, Issue 3

Inside this issue:

NEVER SAY DIE*
TE AUTE COLLEGE (p1)


HUKARERE GOES HITECH
Hukarere College (p2)


FROM ZERO TO HERO*
HATO PETERA COLLEGE (p3)


YOU CAN DO IT!
TURAKINA MGC (p4)


BOARD ROOMS, CORPORATE OFFICES TO PARLIAMENT
Hato Paora College (p5)


LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP
St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College (p6)

FROM ZERO TO HERO – THAT’S HOW DAVID MCDONALD FROM HATO PETERA DESCRIBES THE GROWTH OF THIS SCHOOL IN THIS ARTICLE PRINTED IN THE AUCKLANDER EARLIER THIS YEAR.

Last year the 15 seniors at Northcote's Hato Petera College claimed four of the country's top scholarships and principal Brother David McDonald says he was "quietly pleased''.

And well he might be. It wasn't long ago that the decile-two school was best known for its high level of suspensions and suspected drug use, which prompted a sweep of the school by sniffer dogs.

Now with 80 per cent of graduates heading to university, Hato Petera has well and truly turned the corner. And these days the boarding school has set its sights on expansion - in every sense of the word.

"It has always been our dream to become a community college – a Māori campus of learning," says Br David. And already Hato Petera is on the way, with courses in Māori and computing where pupils earn college credits which then allow them to take up varsity studies mid-way through.

"We are doing it to help students avoid going into huge debt," explains deputy principal Timoti Maru. "At the moment the Ministry of Education is paying and we use video conferencing, which allows us to get the best possible teacher we can source.''

Technology has opened up all kinds of possibilities at Hato Petera, which for years has operated on a shoestring.

Teachers are receiving laptops, so they can access information on the web and pass it on to pupils, saving them the expense of buying books. And thanks to video conferencing, the school can lay on a new course for just one pupil when in the past a whole class was necessary to justify employing a teacher.

By the year's end, the school hopes to offer third-level courses in carving, video editing and media studies.

Br David says he wants to see Hato Petera grow. Currently there are just 140 students - 100 boarders and 40 day pupils. There are just 12 teachers, who have horrendous workloads, so more will need to be recruited.

Br David feels people may not be aware the school has changed and he says some may not know that day pupils are now welcome. He became principal in 1997 and instituted a tough policy that has seen the once-notorious school clean up its act.

Explaining, he says: ``The school got complacent and lost its focus on the students. But we now have a community that accepts learning is the major priority.'' And getting back on track took a lot of goodwill on the part of students and staff.

Pupils make a donation, usually $125, and the rest is taken care of by a grant from the Ministry of Education. Boarders live 12 to a house in eight whanau. They are looked after by a married couple and everyone pulls their weight with household chores.

And Br David believes the whanau experience is perhaps the most important thing students take away from Hato Petera.

*This article is reprinted with permission from the Aucklander newspaper.

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