Welcome – Nga mihi mahana kia koutou katoa

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and sings it back to you when you’ve forgotten how it goes.

This was the message that we gave to you ten years ago and I think it is still appropriate today as we safely and patiently navigate our way through our current Covid climate.

In your role as effective governors of your school we are reminded that there is a song at the heart of each of our schools. We also know that each one is a song about hope and opportunity; about our health and wellbeing, about the joy of learning and growing and becoming better; about nourishing the treasure that our children and young people can and will be. The song can all too often be drowned out by the noise of day-to-day school life and in fact life itself as we are reminded of the challenges that covid has thrown us. As board members, we are the guardians of our school’s heart song. It is our task to know the song in the heart of our school and to remember to sing it back when we ourselves or others have forgotten how it goes.

We do that by knowing why we are there, and keeping focussed not just on how and when we do things, but why we do them, and whether we might do them better. The result is a firm, shared commitment to creating an excellent school, with staff who excel at the work they do, with students who excel at being all they can be, whether academically or ethically; physically, emotionally, or socially. However well we have done so far, we remind each other that there is always more we can do. When school boards do this well, our schools thrive, as do our principals, staff and students.

This year’s conference once again offers you a smorgasbord of seminar sessions that will support you in your role, challenge and inspire you as well as the partnerships you make with other board members. You will again find an opportunity to recharge your batteries, an opportunity to enable you to Lead with Purpose, Partnering with Strength and of course an opportunity to hear others singing your heart song back to you.

We look forward to another wonderful conference. The seminars and keynote speakers have again been chosen to disrupt your thinking, provide inspiration, motivation, support, and information for school boards at all levels of experience and expertise. All we need is YOU. So, make sure your school budget has provision for you to come to Conference in 2022, and start working out which of you is going to cover which sessions so you can report back on all of them. It’s an important investment in you as an individual board member and in your board’s uncompromising commitment to excellence in your school.

“Ma mua ka kite a muri       Those who lead give sight to those who follow

Ma muri kaora a mua”         Those who follow give life to those who lead

Naku noa

Lorraine Kerr MNZM
President - NZSTA