Children’s meitaki: ‘An amazing principal’

Friday July 10, 2020 Written by Published in Education
St Joseph students with principal Shelly Berry. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 20070911 St Joseph students with principal Shelly Berry. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 20070911

St Joseph’s School vows to continue the work of departing principal Shelley Berry. 

“Behind every great school is an amazing principal.” This was the message from St Joseph’s School students, emblazoned across banners to show their appreciation for departing school principal Shelley Berry.

Berry has been with the school since the beginning of 2018 and took on the role of principal later that year.

Yesterday, the school held a special mass at the St Joseph’s Cathedral followed by songs, farewell messages and a feast thanking Berry for her work with the school.

She returns to New Zealand with her husband and son.

Bishop Paul Donoghue, the chairman of Catholic Education, thanked Berry for stepping up as principal of St Joseph and leading the school with her heart and soul in the past two-and-a-half years.

Recalling the 125 years of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny, and the Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, founder of the congregation, Bishop Donoghue said these people started something new and did it for a reason.

“We can’t keep doing it the same way as the Blessed Anne Marie did, she was so many years ago.”

Bishop said Berry had identified needs and challenged students, the Parents Teachers Association and the Catholic Education Trust.

He urged teachers to look back on where Berry had taken the school in the past two-and-a-half years, recognise all the good she had done. The best present they could give her was a guarantee that the work would continue.

Bishop Donoghue said it had been a challenging time and the school had been able to move forward with Berry.

They were grateful and prayed that whoever succeeded her would see many things from her leadership to help develop the school in the future.

Parents Teachers Association representative Edith Nicholas said the school had come a long way and they have seen a lot of positive changes being brought about through her leadership.

Berry says she had enjoyed working in a school with Catholic values at its heart.  She would miss the teachers, students, and parents.

Deputy Principal Savenaca Tukitoba will be acting principal, until the Catholic Education Trust confirms a new principal next month.

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