New Preschool Principal Commissioned

July 01, 2020 at 1:27 PM

At an evening service at the conclusion of her first term as the newly appointed Principal of the Preschool, Mrs Nikki Joyce was commissioned at a formal ceremony. On this historic occasion, Mrs Joyce’s husband, John and her children, Year 11 College student, Campbell and College Deputy Head Boy, Hayden, joined the Trust Board, staff and invited guests to witness her formal commissioning. Year 11 student, Elijah Wong had the honour of piping the official party into the Drawing Room at the Girls’ School.

Following the opening prayer, Head of Saint Kentigern, Mr David Hodge extended his welcome, saying, ‘The role of Principal of the Preschool is a critical leadership position at Saint Kentigern and, as such, is tasked with an incredible responsibility. For many families, this is the foundation stone of their journey with us, and every parent places their trust in the Principal to provide the very best for their child. We know that you have a wealth of experience, knowledge, commitment and passion in early childhood education that will be greatly valued by our community. We are deeply appreciative of your understanding of how the Saint Kentigern values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence and Love might be realised in everyday practice.’

The Girls’ School has a very close association with the Preschool and the girls enjoy the opportunity to visit. A group of Year 8 girls, led by Ms Candace Cassie, were invited forward to perform, ‘Hareruia,’ a beautiful Maori translation of Leonard Cohen’s classic, ‘Hallelujah.’ The Girls’ School choristers always perform with poise, and this was no exception, drawing enthusiastic applause.

Chaplain to the Schools, Reverend Reuben Hardie called on Mrs Joyce’s boys, asking Campbell to lead the Prayer of Saint Kentigern and Hayden to take the Bible reading. Rev Hardie went on to reflect about Saint Kentigern’s Mission Statement, ‘To strive for excellence in all areas of life to the glory of God and the service of others.’ He said, ‘One of the reasons that working in education is such an awesome privilege and responsibility is because we don’t know what future lies ahead for our children. Our job is to prepare them and stir their imaginations.’ He quipped, ‘Having observed those who work in early childhood, I think that they are the closest things to saints that we have!’ He concluded, ‘Nikki as you take up this role I pray that excellence, creating a world of opportunity, the glory of God and service to others defines and inspires you day in and day out, and that most of all,  you continue to love what you do.’

Chairman of the Board, Dr John Kernohan and Mrs Joyce came forward for the formal commissioning, with Dr Kernohan reading similar words to those used for the commissioning of Saint Kentigern’s first Head, Reverend Adam MacFarlan in 1953. ‘Mrs Joyce, on behalf of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board, I now commit to your charge, the role of Principal - Saint Kentigern Preschool, the care of our teaching and administration staff, students and all whom we serve as a community, assuring you of the Board’s confidence in you, and support of you in implementing the objects of the Trust.  May God richly bless you in this task.’    

Preschoolers, James Simpson, Oscar Armstrong, Harriet Ryan and Abbie Hall came forward to present gifts - a piece of art by the children, a book to represent the Preschool’s ability to inspire children to build on their own knowledge, a Saint Kentigern Mungo bear to represent the love shown to all of the children at Preschool and a fruit basket to represent the nourishment we provide the children, not just in terms of food but in fruits of the spirit – love and joy, peace and patience, goodness and gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.

In response, Mrs Joyce expressed her sincere thanks saying, ‘I am humbled and privileged to have been named as the Saint Kentigern Preschool Principal, and I am very conscious of the honour and responsibility conferred on me as I am commissioned to lead this remarkable School. My first few weeks at the Preschool have revealed an exciting culture, a way of teaching and learning together that offers the boys and girls an extraordinary home in which to flourish. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this magnificent school, a part of the Saint Kentigern Family that I have enjoyed as a parent for 13 years. Since taking up my role, I’ve continued to experience Saint Kentigern’s warmth, vibrance and unswerving commitment to excellence in education for the future of our children.’

The Trust Board is confident that Mrs Joyce will provide robust and effective leadership for the Preschool as it continues to build on the strong foundations and achievements since it first opened on the Girls’ School campus at the beginning of 2011. Mrs Joyce has become an essential part of the planning team as plans are made for a new Preschool to be built on the Shore Road campus. We welcome Mrs Joyce to her role in this, our place of learning and life, our ‘World of Opportunity,’ our special Saint Kentigern family.

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