Director of Boarding talking with a student.

Meet our Director of Boarding

Tūtaki ki te Manahautū Kura Noho

Matt Parr has been the Director of Boarding at St Andrew's College since 2019. His personal philosophy on supporting student well-being and achievement is to make decisions based on ‘what a great parent might do’. Making young people feel a sense of safety and security allows them to flourish. Matt believes that relationships are the key to student achievement, but without feeling safe, trust and co-operation, which underpin relationships, they cannot develop, and potential cannot be reached.

"I am passionate about boarding. The many opportunities which it provides young people to excel are special. I want boarders in my care to feel safe and supported, so that they can strive for excellence and personal growth. I understand that we are looking after your most prized taonga and providing a safe, inclusive community is imperative. It is important that all boarders and the wider community have a strong sense of belonging and collective identity, so I value the link between home, school, and the boarding house, and encourage you to be a part of your child’s journey with us.

I believe great parents set the culture and tone of their family and foster a sense of belonging, protection, and direction. We set the same intentions in our boarding family at St Andrew’s College. I’m fortunate to lead a large team who deliver an incredibly high duty of care. Everything we do revolves around supporting the students’ number one objective for being here – to get an excellent education.”

Matt came to St Andrew’s College in 2019 from Christchurch Boys’ High School where he was Assistant Manager of Adams House for three years, and was also the school’s Director of Communications, a teacher, and a sports coach. He played for the First teams in rugby and cricket for three years while attending Christchurch Boys’ High School himself and served as Deputy Head Boy in his final year.

During a gap year in the United Kingdom, Matt had his first taste of teaching at an agricultural school in Somerset. While in the UK, Matt met his future wife, Nancy, and on their return to New Zealand, he spent four years studying Physical Education at the University of Otago. After a year teaching English in Japan, Matt completed his post-graduate teaching studies, and started his teaching career back at Christchurch Boys’ High School as a Health and Physical Education teacher.

At St Andrew’s College, we believe our boarders gain a unique advantage. Of course, we support academic success and drive achievement, but we are also lucky to be able to add value to our borders through the day-to-day routines of boarding life. Boarding at St Andrew’s provides more than just a roof over the head and three meals a day. We want to help our boarders develop into the very best versions of themselves. Our skilled and dedicated staff and creative boarding programmes support and grow your child holistically. They develop routines, self-management and discipline. They learn to socialise in a truly global and co-educational environment, and they have endless opportunities to immerse themselves in the sporting and cultural programmes which we offer at the College, which they may not otherwise have the chance to do. This is the advantage of being a boarder and this is what we try and maximise in the way we operate.

I look forward to welcoming new students to our boarding family and building on connections made with existing boarders. 

Director of Boarding Matt Parr.