New rector takes charge next term

New Palmerston North Boys' High School rector.
New Palmerston North Boys' High School rector.

When David Bovey was at school, pupils could leave and walk into a job, apprenticeship or a tertiary course.

But times have changed and the man who was yesterday appointed rector of Palmerston North Boys’ High School says one of the challenges he faces is trying to ensure the school’s bulging school roll – which sits at 1700 – is prepared for the real world.

And that’s why Mr Bovey said he wouldn’t be compromising the school’s strict standards – socks must stay up and hair cannot drop below the collar.

‘‘I know some people think we sweat the small stuff and I think it’s really important to sweat the small stuff and the small stuff I’m talking about is... making sure the uniform is tidy and making sure the grooming is acceptable,’’ Mr Bovey said.

That would count when boys were applying for jobs, where appearance was important.

Another challenge for schools these days was trying to get around all the distractions, such as social media websites, that get in the way of education.

Mr Bovey, 42, will take charge of Boys’ High at the start of the next term when Tim O’Connor departs to head Auckland Grammar.

Mr Bovey taught at Boys’ High between 1998 and 2002 and returned as deputy rector in 2008.

He put his hand up for the top job because it doesn’t come around very often – he is the ninth man in charge in 110 years.

‘‘It was an opportunity to lead what I think is one of the best schools in the country,’’ Mr Bovey said. ‘‘Boys’ education is something I’m passionate about.’’

He said it was too early to see what, if any changes he would make.

Mr O’Connor expressed confidence in his replacement.  ‘‘[Mr Bovey’s] an experienced educator and has been an effective deputy rector. This is a natural step up for him.’’

Mr Bovey is a former Manawatu cricketer, who coaches the Boys’ High 2nd XV rugby team. He has four young children

Manawatu Standard