From there to here

Going to a conference and representing your school is a highlight. Being able to talk about the journey of learning for students and teachers with other professionals is not only a skill, it is a ‘Proud Principal’ moment. When I hear our teachers talk about POWER and what it means to us as a school I can see the journey we have been on and the work yet to happen. 

A group of teachers and a teacher aide travelled to Te Puke to present for 10 minutes on the transformation of “POWER to Tokawera”. We spoke about our links to our community and how POWER started. That special link we have to the Wairakei Power Station and our geothermal environment that we live in.

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We - meaning our school - were asked to present our journey in poster format for others to see and talk about at the national conference held in Wellington. Delegates from all over New Zealand were attending the “Whakahihiri. Tohatoha. Tutuki. Inspire. Share. Achieve.” PB4L Conference

Our first presentation had generated a lot of interest and discussion from other schools. What they were looking at is the visual link of the symbols to our messaging. Are they authentic to our environment and are they understandable for students? What would a big audience make of what we do at our place?

So our journey from 2012 was created into four posters. Chronologically the journey tracks backward, with our recent work front and center. There are little gems of information hidden in these posters.  

  • The original logo of the steam fields that most people at a glance think are trees.  

  • The hidden swirls being each word of POWER.

  • The change of language from nouns to verbs and the length of time this took to accomplish.

  • Changes in our mission statement and the adding of a tagline “Rising to Success”.

There are things that are not there, like POWER’s fifth birthday and the cake we all had. A huge cake to feed about 300 hundred parents, teachers and students who came to a ‘meet the teacher night’. 

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The posters then travelled to Wellington to be placed in the foyer at the conference venue along with some of our bands and badges. For three days the posters were the centre of attention. I have already had some feedback from other schools and presenters about the visuals and their link to who we are as a school.

We are going to tell our story at the 2023 national conference. Our heads will be high and our messages clear. You have to work as a team to make this happen.

All this work takes time. It takes a dedicated board, staff and community to make it happen and to become an inherent part of the school fabric. I am very proud of the work we have done together. I am a “Proud Principal”.

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