Change of leadership at Bruce House

February 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

The start of 2014 heralded not only new Head Boy and Head Girl leadership within the boarding house, but also a new era of management and guidance with the newly appointed roles of Housemaster and Head of Girls’ Boarding. The ‘change of guard’ was celebrated this week at the first Bruce House Formal Dinner of the year.

Already well known to the Bruce House boarders in his capacity as the ‘Rev’, Reverend David Smith, Chaplain at the College, has taken up the role of Housemaster. Since joining the College 11 years ago, Reverend Smith has attended Bruce House Formal Dinner almost every week and has always enjoyed his interaction with the boarders.

Joining him ‘in loco parentis’ as Head of Girls’ Boarding is Mrs Juliet Dale, a former drama teacher at the College who has recently returned from maternity leave. In their new roles, Reverend Smith and Mrs Dale will be supported by Matron, Mrs Rosemary Capill and an exceptional team of dedicated staff who care for our boarders and manage the boarding houses.

Reverend Smith says he is excited by the responsibility of caring for the boarders on behalf of their families. ‘I am passionate about the House, looking forward to the challenge and am hopeful that I can build on the impressive legacy left by former Housemaster, Mr Martin Piaggi,’ says Reverend Smith, ‘There is no doubt that during Mr Piaggi’s time, Bruce House has flourished and grown through his leadership and passion for boarding.’

Taking on the role of Head of Girls’ Boarding, Mrs Dale says that she is also fortunate to be taking over a ‘well-oiled machine’ from Deputy Head of College, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop, who had been at the helm since the girls’ inception to boarding three years ago. Mrs Winthrop’s dedication and commitment to the role has left the girls’ boarding house in great spirit.

Mrs Dale has previously worked in a girls’ boarding house in East Sussex, England for two years before she returned to New Zealand. She plans to continue the good work that has been established, offering a range of activities and opportunities for the girls to grow and interact, and to continue to enhance the special atmosphere that exists in the Bruce House girls’ villas. ‘Pastoral care is something that I am passionate about, and I am very much looking forward to this new challenge,’ she says.

This year, representing the student boarders in their ‘home away from home’ will be Head Boy, Ridgley Paxton and Head Girl, Gabrielle Faleto’ese. Ridgley will be supported by Jamie Laycock in his role as Bruce House Deputy Head Boy and Gabrielle will be supported by College Head Girl, Hannah Wood, along with other selected Year 13 boarders who will make up the rest of the Bruce House prefect team.

Ridgley has now been afforded the opportunity to wear the Bruce House tartan in his new responsibility. Ridgley has been a boarder since 2011, describing himself as a ‘shy and nervous little Year 10 farm boy’ on arrival. He acknowledges the impact that boarding has had in developing his confidence and sense of independence. Ridgely says he does not see his new leadership position as a chore or a duty but ‘as a chance for me to grow as a person and as a leader, and an opportunity for me to make Bruce House a better place and to help it be the best boarding house it can be.’

Gabrielle Faleto’ese is Head Girl of Bruce House for 2014.  Gabrielle has been given this leadership role after being at the College and in Bruce House for only one year.  In that short time she has proved herself to be a warm, friendly student who goes out of her way to help others, displaying excellent communication and leadership skills.  Gabrielle and Ridgely will make an excellent Head Prefect team and along with the other Bruce House Prefects, will set a great example to the rest of the boarging house.

Bruce House Prefect Team:

Ridgely Paxton (Bruce House Head Boy), Jamie Laycock (Deputy), Lloyd David, Jackson Finnigan, Jake Latham, Trent Smith, Sesimani Tupou.

Gabrielle Faleto’ese (Bruce House Head Girl), Hannah Wood (Deputy), Jessebel Chan, Leba Korovou, Anastasia Tupusoa.

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