Lochiel School has lots to celebrate
For a quiet Southland town, Lochiel School sure has a lot of passion for learning.
It is all go at the moment with student successes but there is one bit of sad news, Principal Tim Page is moving on after more than six years in charge of the small school.
Looking out for 46 students was a far cry from teaching in his hometown of Durban, the third-largest city in South Africa.
But Page said he has loved the experience of working at Lochiel.
"I'm proud of getting the school to be almost like a big family.
"We very rarely have any bullying issues at school because the ethos we have created is one where everybody looks out for each other and everybody feels welcome."
From excellent relationships with the staff to the challenge of balancing principal work with teaching, Page said there was a lot he was going to miss about the school.
"The children are very much hassle-free and awesome, they want to be here and they want to learn, like all country kids.
"I love doing my job and everyday I look forward to coming here and I enjoy the moments with kids here and their celebrations."
Page will be farewelled with at assembly on Wednesday and will be taking up the position of principal at Riverton Primary School in term three.
Three year eight pupils are jetting off to Taupo next week to represent Southland and Otago at the Agrikids NZ finals. Agrikids NZ is a primary school competition that aims to promote the fun side of agriculture.
"We've never had students go to the finals, we've tried for five years with a lot of hard work," Page said.
Nick Harris, Brairne Lindsay and Daniel Robson, all 12, have been a team for Agrikids for the past four years. After coming third at the regionals in Queenstown in February, they secured a spot at the national competition for the first time.
"We worked as a team for four years so we're just looking forward to having a go and having some fun," Robson said.
They are looking forward to their first ever trip to Taupo.
"Hopefully we'll get to hand out the lollies on the plane," Lindsay said.
The team have done a lot of practice, with the guidance of teacher-aid Norah Thompson.
"They had to learn to work as a team and each team member brings something different. They all know what their strengths are."
Also being celebrated at the school was year 8 pupil Kelsey Apaga, who was elected by the teachers to receive the Sir Peter Blake Young Leader Award. Apaga was a role model to the other students who was always willing to help others, Page said.
"I like being a role model so the young kids can have a better future and they might go to higher places," Apaga said.
She hopes to be a lawyer or an international flight attendant when she grows up.
- The Southland Times