FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
is one word to describe the life of this school for 2009, it has to be “GRACE”.
Having arrived at the end of the year, it is inevitable to look back at our
footprints. The only conclusion that I could possibly come to, is that, if
it was not for the grace of God, I could not and would not try to imagine,
engaging in the arena of education, nor Christian education for that matter,
with any human energy or wisdom.
Pacific Christian School is uncompromisingly dedicated to Christian Education and by Christian Education I mean that God is perceived as the centre of the curriculum taught at school. God’s Word is the yardstick for the content of the syllabus. By the end of a student’s formal education life, he (or she) learns to love God with all his heart, might and soul and to love his neighbour as himself (Mt. 22:37-39). He is also adequately prepared to have readiness for God’s service and is trained to become a useful citizen in society.
The year 2009 presented not only new challenges but also new changes to the school. One major change was that of the leadership, where the former principal, Dr. Jillian Simpson moved on and was replaced by the current principal, Ms. Lisita Finau Paongo.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff, students and the Parents/Teachers’ Association of Pacific Christian School, I would like to express our sincere appreciation of Jill’s commitment and dedication to this school in particular, and to the Tokaikolo Education System in general. Jill made an indelible impression not only on the members of the Tokaikolo Church, but also on the lives of the young people who have come through Pacific Christian School. I want to express my personal heart-felt gratitude to her for being a great mentor to me in God’s service. More than once I found myself having to put my feet in Jill’s shoes. They were so big that I could not properly fill them. It is my prayer that God will continue to bless Jill abundantly in her future endeavours.
My appreciation also goes out to Michael Simpson, who was also very helpful to Jill in getting this school up and running.
Education Review Office Visitation 2009
Before my arrival in New Zealand, I was informed of the proposed visit from ERO. I did not really understand the enormity of the tasks involved until school started for 2009. In the midst of trying to find my way around a new school, new environment, new country and a new system, I was also to get things together for ERO. The last time ERO visited the school was in 2006. Their expectation was to see an improvement before their next visit. That really put great pressure not only on me as a principal, but also on all other interested parties; Board of Trustees, Parents and Teachers’ Association, teachers and students.
Through all the preparation for ERO, we witnessed God’s faithfulness. He surely was our provider and to cut a long story short, the school was presented with a very good report from ERO. To God be the glory!!
I would like to acknowledge Mr. Michael Drake’s (Founder and Principal of Carey College) insightful assistance during our time of preparation for ERO.
The school opened with a roll of 86 students in the first week of February. We are closing with 103 students for the year 2009. The majority of the students are Tongan but it is a pleasure to also have a few non-Tongan students in this school. We are in fact open to receiving anybody from any ethnicity.
We are greatly privileged to have been introduced to the A Beka syllabus and we have continued to use this syllabus since the establishment of this school. Character training and Biblical values are integral elements of the A Beka syllabus, which makes A Beka very attractive to the Founder and the Board of Directors of this school.
The life of a school would be very dull without its extra-curricular programmes, eg. sports. We started the year with a major inter-house sports competition. The four houses, namely Love, Faith, Truth and Purity joyfully put up a good challenge to each other and the House of Faith proved to be stronger, quicker and better as they claimed first position for the 2009 inter-houses sports competition.
The best athlete award for the junior classes was given to ‘Ofa Ki Suva Samisoni. The best athlete for the senior classes was awarded to Sailusi Tupou. ‘Ofa won the award for the best athlete for the whole school.
This year for the first time, the school started a choir group. I was aware of the pool of musical talents among the students and the choir group was intended to encourage this talent to bloom.
Ms. Lea’aetoa and Ms. Aruja dedicated themselves to seeing this group gets started and up and going. Mr. Samuela Lolohea, a parent volunteer, also helped out with getting this group started. The school choir joined the World Vision’s concert in raising funds for the underprivileged children around the world and this was an unprecedented experience for both choir students and staff.
Having a vision for the future keeps one moving forward. It is indeed essential that the leadership has visions for the school. The book of Proverbs rightly states, that “where there is no vision, the people perish”. The principal and the trustees envisage that in the near future the school will have the following:
- an extension to Years 9 to 13
- a lawn playground
- a rugby and netball team
- participation in the inter-collegiate sports competition among Christian schools in Auckland
- participation in the Pacific Festival for Polynesians students around Auckland
- have a brass band
Having said this we are well aware that God alone in His own time will see them through to completion.
Vote of Thanks
My first vote of thanks is rightly given to God, for He has been very good to us. He took us through the ups and downs of the year and having arrived at the end we can proudly declare that victory is definitely ours. To Him alone be the glory!!
I would like to thank the Founder of Pacific Christian School and president of the Tokaikolo ‘Ia Kalaisi Church Rev. Dr. Liufau Vailea Saulala, for his visionary leadership and his tremendous support in prayer.
I also thank Rev. Sione Havili Maile the general secretary of the Tokaikolo Church for his silent but very powerful support of intercession.
Thanksgiving is also rightly due to Rev. Pita Vai, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Rev. Fifita Hukehuke, and Rev. Talau Hala for being always there when I need their support.
I would like to thank Mrs. Siololupe Telefoni, the chairperson of PTF, the PTF executive committee, and parents and guardians, for standing by me all the way. I really appreciate the support they have given me and my staff this year.
I would also like to thank all the members of the Tokaikolo Church in Auckland for the financial assistance they have provided the school this year.
A vote of thanks is also due to my conscientious and hard working staff members. They have been my anchor on stormy days and were my sail on days that were brilliant, when the sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly. I am very honoured to have them as co-workers in God’s vineyard and I am anticipating a better and more pleasant year of working together next year.
Last but of course not least, I thank the students of Pacific Christian School for choosing to come to this school. It was a pleasure having you as students and I am hoping that the seeds of the Word of God that have been planted in your hearts will one day grow and show forth good fruits.
May I wish everybody a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
‘Ofa lahi atu
Lisita F. Paongo