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Rector's Assembly Address

Leavers' Assembly // Friday 1 November 2019

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Nau mai, haere mai
E ngā hau e whā
E ngā iwi, e tau nei
Tēnā tātou katoa

Our St Andrew’s College Leavers’ Assembly for 2019… and once again I stand here wondering where the year has gone.  Every year we travel the path of StAC ceremonies, milestones, special events, competitions, learning and assessments, musical items, productions, sports competitions, assemblies and Chapel services. 

And every year it is the same but different.  It is different because each year brings a new group of people each with their own unique abilities, attributes, skills and personalities… a new group of people who keep our school vibrant, alive, full of energy and purpose.  At today’s assembly, we are honouring our leavers of 2019… eight from Year 12 and 178 from Year 13.

12 of the Year 13 leavers have completed their entire years of schooling at St Andrew’s College, some even started in Pre-school.  But whether you have spent one, five, seven or 13 years at St Andrew’s, you have all left your mark on this special place. 

We also this morning acknowledge teachers who are leaving at the end of this year and honour the contribution they have made to the learning of StAC students – some over many years.   

Welcome to parents and family members who have joined us this morning as we pay tribute to our leavers and share some of their memories of their time here.  I am sure that today you feel an enormous sense of pride as you reflect upon the young adult your child has become.  A special welcome also to Bryan Pearson, Chair of the Board of Governors. Thank you for joining us this morning.  

There are certain milestones in life that are important to celebrate; amongst these your first day of school, your first day of high school, your 18th and 21st birthdays.  Leaving school is another one of these occasions because you are at a crossroad, deciding on a new direction.  Your wall of memories is behind your traditions, values, learnings, relationships and friendships.  The foundation of your life is firmly established, and there is a new horizon ahead. 

As you face forward with excitement about future opportunity and possibilities, I hope you will remember to be grateful for what you have experienced here at StAC.  Gratitude has to be one of the most important attributes for a fulfilling life… without gratitude we have nothing.  As you leave St Andrew’s College, take time to say thank you and to recognize all those who have assisted you in your development to date.  Take time to feel proud of your achievements – stop and enjoy this moment with your classmates and friends before you gather yourself, ready to embrace your new challenges.

This morning as you processed towards your final assembly, you were honoured by our Preparatory School students. The younger students look to you as people who have achieved great things.  They don’t necessarily see your personal struggles or doubts, to them you are grown up and knowledgeable.  In your senior years, this has been your role, as influencers and setters of example.  We thank you for the positive influence you have had and the responsibilities you have shouldered.  Yesterday in Chapel Mrs Morrow spoke to you about a critical ingredient to success being an encourager of others. 

Thank you for the courage you have shown in your journey throughout high school and thank you for the encouragement you have given to others.  May you continue to make time and have the energy to recognise the value of “we” over “I”. 

Your many contributions are recorded in Regulus magazines, the Collegian and through our website, Facebook pages, and thousands of photos and video. Your stories will no doubt be recounted in years to come at future Old Collegian reunions…some of them will become legendary and undoubtedly embellished over time. 

But most importantly you leave yourselves in the minds of others, the kind words said, the thoughtfulness shown, the teachers you have appreciated, the others you have inspired. 

As our 2019 graduates leave your school days behind to realise your dreams, I urge you to take with you the StAC values of Truth, Excellence, Faith, Inclusivity and Creativity.  These values embody our StAC foundations and by living out these values we believe you will best equip yourselves for the uncertain world ahead… a world that has many challenges that you will confront head-on. 

Here at StAC, we have seen you engaging with these future issues as you take part in debates and speech finals, writing and poetry competitions, as members of the Sustainability Council or the community service team.  You have demonstrated that you, our future leaders and decision-makers are going to truly contribute and make the world a better place.  A place where compassion, equality and freedom is at the top of the agenda. 

Keep alongside you, our DPR values and use these to help you make decisions and choices that are wise, inclusive, mindful of others and good for your own personal growth.  As you step into a world of possibility and opportunity, remember that yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  I encourage you all to hold this whakatauki before you. 

Tohaina ō
Painga ki te ao
Share your gifts with the world.     

No reira
Kia kaha
Tena koutou katoa


Christine Leighton

Leavers' Assembly // Friday 1 November 2019

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