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Page 6
LEGENDARY LEADERSHIP
St Joseph’s Māori Girls’ 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)

THERE IS SOMETHING DISTINCT AND SPECIAL ABOUT ST JOSEPH’S Māori GIRLS’ COLLEGE AND ITS PUPILS.

Some would say it’s the girls’ dress standards or behavior when they are out in public – where every single girl has their hair either shoulder length or tied up and is dressed smartly in their number ones (no exceptions).

Others say it’s their singing – referring

to both their nationally renown choir and their illustrious ex-pupils, like Hinewehi Mohi, Moana Maniapoto and Whirimako Black, who have made a huge impact on NZ’s music scene.

Others say its their stunning academic success – where for more than a decade, St Joseph’s has not only produced the best and most consistent academic results in the Paerangi schools, but also competes locally with private rich schools like Iona and Woodford.

But whatever epitomises St Joseph’s and its girls, everyone agrees that a single person has maintained St Joseph’s reputation over the years as a lead school for Māori girls -Principal, Georgina Kingi.

Geoirgina is strictly “old school” or a traditionalist. But as her ex-pupils will vouch, she’s traditionalist in the best sense of the word.

She is not phased by new technology – which might explain why St Joseph’s doesn't have a school

website. She prefers instilling within kids the basics. Nor is she keen on educational fads or reforms – she prefers mostly external exams to the new NCEA system. She believes in the “best of both worlds” rather than the kaupapa Māori theory– her kids must achieve both in the ‘p_keha’ scholastic arena AND need grounding in tikanga Māori. She doesn’t believe only Māori staff can work with Māori. At the end of the day she wants the best staff for her kids – and if they happen to be Māori that’s a bonus!

She does recognise that the world is a global marketplace and NZ only makes up two small islands in that market. But while the world may have changed, her vision for the school and her girls has remained the same.

“I believe in our girls and see it as our job to give them the confidence and skills to foot it in the wider world.”

One ex pupil who does just that is high flying business consultant, Taria Tahana. With a degree in business management from Waikato University, Taria knows something about effective organisations and believes the leadership Georgina provides is critical to the school’s success.

“Georgina is legendary. She believes every student is capable of much more than they themselves think is possible. This can be tough on girls who aren’t used to being pushed. But Georgina is unrelenting in the pursuit of the possible. She doesn’t make exceptions.”

And her approach is admired by her students’ parents. Business consultant Richard Jefferies has a daughter enrolled in the third form. When he complained that his girl wasn’t being challenged enough academically, Georgina immediately implemented curriculum and homework changes for the pupil.

“I really appreciate having a Principal that not only has high expectations of my girl, but will do what is best for her.”

It would be a mistake however to think St Joseph’s is full of middle class Māori families who want their girls to be business consultants and lawyers – not that there is anything wrong with that.

“We are not a school of rich Māori kids,” says Georgina staunchly, “and if we became that, I would resign!”

Georgina is clear that her school is for those in need but have real potential. “The Sisters of Our Lady of the Mission established St Joseph’s as a school to help Māori families. We are still here to do that job.”

Georgina’s work with the Maori community was recognised in the January 2004 Honors List when she was awarded a QSO (Companion of the Queens Order for Public Services).

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