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New principal for Mahu College

Posted at 12:32pm Monday 16 Nov, 2020 | By James Addis editor@localmatters.co.nz

Tony Giles
Tony Giles

Mahurangi College will start the New Year with a new principal following the retirement of David Macleod after 18 years at the helm.

Tony Giles, 53, is currently associate principal of Rangitoto College and before that was deputy principal of St Patricks College, Silverstream, and deputy principal of Sancta Maria College, a Catholic School in Flat Bush, Auckland.

Mr Giles was the Board of Trustees' unanimous choice after evaluating 17 applicants.

Mr Giles says he is “humbled and excited” to have been offered the role.

“It's a school that is well regarded and is clearly on an upward trajectory at the moment,” he says.

He describes Mahurangi College's outdoor education programmes as probably the best in the country and its recently established Construction Academy as excellent.

He says one area he is keen to develop are programmes that prepare students for NZQA scholarship exams – the most testing exams for Year 13 students.

“They are fabulous for prepping students for tertiary study. Even if they don't actually get a scholarship, it sets them up nicely to thrive in their next place of study,” he says.     

This year, Mr Giles revamped Rangitoto's “pastoral system”, which focused on “impeccable behaviour for learning”.

He says it is important not to wrap students in cotton wool.

“We need to keep exposing kids to managed risk and to allow them to grow outside their comfort zone,” he says.

“Often we parents have tried to make things too smooth for kids. They have not experienced the setbacks and knocks that help build resilience.”  

At Sancta Maria, Mr Giles led the sports department and has coached rugby, athletics, tennis and golf.

He also assumed responsibility for improving boys' achievement.     

“As a parent of two teenage boys, I know their tendency to cruise. The key is to have high expectations of them. Boys actually want their teachers to be pretty tough on them,” he says.

Mr Giles says he will initially commute from the North Shore while his children finish their schooling, but ultimately looks forward to settling in Mahurangi.

“I'm sure my wife will love the cafés in Matakana and certainly the beaches will be appealing to myself and the boys.”

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