Congratulations to Mr Keith Buntting who has been appointed Principal of Tauhara College in Taupo to commence in Term 3. Mr Buntting first began teaching at Morrinsville College at the beginning of 1999 as an assistant teacher after he came to the country from South Africa. He quickly became an excellent teacher and male role-model in the English Department. One of his key strengths was building relationships with everyone he came into contact with, so that he was well-loved by our students and well-respected by his teacher colleagues and parents.
Wanting to move on in the teaching profession, Mr Buntting won the position of Head of English at Matamata College and left us in Term 3 2005. Then when we were searching for a new Assistant Principal he was appointed to this position and returned to Morrinsville College in 2009. Mr Buntting made it clear at that stage that his goal was to become a principal and he has made every effort to take on a wide range of leadership responsibilities since and he has also undertaken continuous study, so that he has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, has undertaken other Master’s level studies and last year was part of the National Aspiring Principals’ course. I have also personally mentored Mr Buntting and given him opportunities to learn the skills needed in a principalship.
Last year, after Mr Feast departed, Mr Buntting was made First Deputy Principal, such was the regard that the Board and I held him in. I think that it is fair to say that Mr Buntting is highly-respected by everyone he comes into contact with. He has always been regarded as a good listener and fair and consistent in all matters that he has dealt with. He has had a high profile with our PTA group and also on our Rugby Committee. People will therefore have very mixed feelings about his promotion. I know that many of our students have indicated to me that they will be sad to see him leave us, as all of our Board members will be, and so will be many of his colleagues and parents.
In keeping with Maori protocol, a bus load of students, kaumatua, parents, teachers, Board members and I will ‘take’ Mr Buntting to Tauhara on the first day of Term 3 to formally hand him over to that school. It will be a proud but sad moment.
With Mr Buntting's departure the Board has now begun a process of appointing a new deputy principal to replace him. We are expecting to be able to announce the successful candidate before the end of this term, but it may well be the case that the new person will not commence until half-way through Term 3 if they have to give notice to their current school.
John Inger, Principal
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