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Sunday, 21 April 2019 02:05 pm

Taita Central Primary principal ready to hang up the boots

Taita Central650

After 13 years at Taita Central Primary, principal Mike Fackney, pictured, is ready to say goodbye.

On the October 10 Mike will be replaced by new principal Tania Cohen.

“I am happy, sad and excited on the decision I’ve made,” Mike said

“I will be stepping down as principal, but I’ll still be involved with things going on within the school.” Mike says the thing he is most proud in his time at the school is moving the school forward so it can run effectively and efficiently.

fackneyCATThe one word he has used to sum up his time at the school is “wonderful”. He also says he never wanted to leave.

“I feel loved and privileged to have been able to work with 15 cultures each day. I am surrounded by very supportive colleagues and a very supportive community.”

Our team leader is half Cook Island and half Samoan which is a huge help having her share her knowledge with the kids.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve had many tutors come and go and leave it to the teachers to keep it going.”

The school has a Kapa Haka/Polynesian group that recently performed at the local Hutt Fest.

“With this group, in the last couple of years it has been more of a Poly group than Kapa Haka.

“We have also had a limited amount of expertise that has been able to teach the group as well.”

Besides the performance one of the biggest highlights at the festival for Mike was when the MC of the evening said: “Wow that is a high bar Taita Central has set for tonight’s event!”

Despite retiring in a month’s time, Mike is still working hard to make the school even better.

”We are currently working on putting in a regular bike track, a skills track and a pump track.

“We are also looking to add some smaller things to our playground”.

Over the past couple of years, the school has brought in 100 electronic devices for the kids.

They are planting more trees and fixing the garden to improve their property point of view. They’ve joined up the info tech room with the library and replaced the dental clinic with a whanau room.

At the beginning of 2015 the school moved up to decile 2 which meant that they were given $15,000 less each year.

“Losing $15,000 really affects us as a school but with the donations from parents and the community we are still able to do all the things we’ve been doing for the past 5 years.”

The ARISE breakfast club on Monday and Tuesday helps the school community.

“Usually with these breakfast clubs, it starts off so well. Then within a couple of weeks it is just the staffs that are left to run it.”

“The breakfast club has been running since last year and probably only once they have called upon staff for help and it was for a couple of tea towels,” says Mike.

He was wary about the church pushing kids towards religion.

“There are many religions within this school,” said Mike

“I love that not only are the Arise Church here to provide breakfast, but the leaders that run it act like older brothers and sisters to the kids here, and it’s good to see that the kids trust them”.



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