Great legacy remains

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James Hargest College senior campus associate principal Nadia Rose in her office. Photo: Petrina Wright

AFTER 42 years as a mainstay of James Hargest College (JHC) senior campus, associate principal Nadia Rose is retiring.

It was time to bring in someone new, she said.

“The school has had tons of Nadia Rose and it needs fresh eyes.”

Mrs Rose said she had decided to retire at the end of the year because her husband was retiring.

“I decided going to work every day while he was going to play golf was not going to sit well with me.”

She would miss the staff and pupils the most, she said.

“I have just thoroughly enjoyed all of it. It doesn’t feel like 42 years. It has been just a privilege to be part of people’s lives.”

Mrs Rose started her career at the Southland secondary school as a physical education teacher, a position she held for 15 years.

“Sports played a big part in my life and coaching sport has been a big part of my teaching life.”

She then became a guidance counsellor for six years, before taking up a series of leadership roles, including assistant principal, associate principal and acting principal of the senior campus.

The best part of her job had been seeing the delight in pupils’ faces when they succeeded, she said.

“Seeing that glee on their faces makes it all worthwhile.”

Among the changes she had seen during her time in education was how teaching had changed from children sitting quietly and being told what to learn to children being empowered to think for themselves and have a say in their learning, she said.

“School used to be a controlled environment, but at home the children had more freedom. But things had flipped. Children now have more freedom in their learning, but less freedom outside the school environment.”

When asked what she wanted to be remembered for, Mrs Rose said: “I have tried to treat people with respect and fairly. They are our core values and I love them.

“That means doing the hard yards and helping the kids to be accountable for what they do, so they learn those lessons in a supportive environment before they go out into the real world where the consequences are larger.”

Mrs Rose said she and her husband intended to retire to Wanaka, where she would be involved in community projects, and continue to go running, biking and swimming.

JHC board of trustees chairman Chris O’Connor said: “Nadia’s commitment and contribution to James Hargest over the last 42 years is immense and is imbedded in the culture of our school.

“She will have touched and influenced not only thousands of students’ lives, but all of the teaching staff and many of our parents who have been part of the Hargest community over that time.

“As a board we will really miss her experience and wisdom, but we wish her the very best for her retirement,” he said.

JHC principal Andy Wood said: “Nadia’s unique mix of personality, sporting passion, counselling skills and management skills have resulted in a legacy of superb leadership at JHC. Her knowledge of Hargest families is unsurpassed, and her authentic interest in students, their lives, their ups and their downs infuses a very special warmth into her work.

“As a colleague, she has been the lighthouse from which many have taken their bearings. We’ll miss her hugely.”

Jocelyn Auld, deputy principal of Fraser High School, in Hamilton, will take over as JHC associate principal next year.

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