Two St Andrew’s College staff, General Manger, David Evans, and Head of Innovation and Information Services, Wilj Dekkers, were recognised in the 2019 ISNZ Honours Awards, presented at the Independent Schools of New Zealand conference.
David was recognised for his long service and contribution to independent education in campus development, HR and leadership of multiple support staff teams. He has guided the College through one of the most challenging periods in its history. Over the last decade, $100 million has been invested into St Andrew’s, which has involved many challenging logistics. Thanks to David’s oversight, every facility and campus development project was delivered on time and to budget. As well as working closely with staff and students, David gets personally involves in staff events, sings with the staff barbershop quartet, and took a lead role in last year’s special Christmas production, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Financial Controller, Richard Boon says, “David is pulled in many directions but always makes time to listen to concerns, provide support and guidance, and appreciate things done. He has a great sense of humour, is very humble, and is a fantastic boss.”
Wilj was recognised for his leadership in reimagining the St Andrew’s College Green Library and Innovation Centre and bringing multiple opportunities for students across the College to develop innovative technologies, problem solving and computational thinking into their everyday learning. He worked closely with students on The Green Centre concept and ensured the Library team shared in the decision-making. The Green Library and Innovation Centre is now a hub for students and parents alike, and a space for collaboration and experimentation with new technologies. Wilj’s work on the Digital Technology curriculum has also been outstanding. He developed the core of the subject and implemented it for the Preparatory School, training teachers to use robotics and understand computational thinking. He continues to develop high-interest programmes of learning, integrating technology into class topics. Rector, Christine Leighton says, “Wilj has made a huge contribution to teaching, learning and innovation. He is an outstanding educator and leader who impacts the success of students and teachers not only at St Andrew’s but nationally.”