From The Principal

Welcome to our 2024 academic school year, and a big welcome to our 209 students, their parents, caregivers and whānau who are new to our learning community.

Of our 209 new students, 187 students have come from 54 schools across New Zealand, 4 students are new to New Zealand, and we welcomed 22 international students from China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Germany, with 6 of our international students having already experienced school in NZ, joining us from other schools.  It is also worth noting that out of our 187 students joining us this year, 88 students join us from one of eight Catholic schools in Auckland.

This year we have also welcomed a number of new staff as we farewelled the following staff at the end of 2023:

  • Mrs Sandy Tippett (Science).  Sandy was part of the Carmel College community for 27 years and although she has retired from full time teaching, we are looking forward to seeing her back at school from time to time to continue offering self defence classes, relieving and still being a part of camps.
  • Mr Henry Whipp (Social Sciences and Justine House Dean).  Henry had been at Carmel for 9 years and Dean of Justine for 2 years.  Although Henry has left, he is still within our community of schools as he has moved to Rosmini College.
  • Mr Harry Kim (Year 7&8 Department).  Harry had served 5 years at Carmel, and will also still be within our community of schools as he moved to Rosmini College.
  • Mrs JoJo Hua (Chinese).  JoJo was at Carmel for 2 years covering a maternity leave position.  We wish her all the very best as she begins a teaching position at Kristin.
  • Miss Emma Cleland (Year 7&8 Department).  Emma was at Carmel for 2 years and we wish her all the very best for the future.
  • Miss Lauren Keahey (Head of Guidance).  Lauren was at Carmel for 2 years and we wish her all the best as she explores other opportunities.
  • Ms Tina Kwok (Guidance).  Tina was at Carmel for 2 years and begins a new position at Wellington College this year.
  • Mr Tony Powell (Digital Technology).  Tony was at Carmel for a year, covering a refreshment leave position. 
  • Miss Emily Ma (Learning Support).  Emily was with us as a teacher aide, and we wish her all the best as she begins her teaching career at Scott Point this year.

We also farewelled Ms Deborah Goudie, Principals PA.  During Deborah’s 11 year tenure she served 3 Principals at the college, along with the Board of Trustees and Carmel College Auckland Limited Boards as secretary.  Deborah has been a pivotal member of the administration staff at Carmel for our new families in her role with enrolments and being a central person to contact, and for staff, again as a key person we all went to for support and information.  We wish Deborah all the very best for retirement.

This year we welcomed:

  • Ms Louise Westerkamp (Science).  Louise joins us from St Orans, and has previously taught at Carmel.
  • Miss Lucy Beesley (Social Sciences).  Lucy joins us following immigrating from the UK. 
  • Miss Genevieve Ross (Year 8).  Genevieve joins us after having taught at Liston and Green Bay High School.
  • Mrs Shereen Du Preez (Year 7).  Shereen joins us following immigrating from South Africa.
  • Ms Candice Capacia (Year 7).  Candice joins us from St Mary’s Primary, Northcote.
  • Mrs Tracey Earl (Learning Support).  Tracey joins us full time after working in the department briefly last year.
  • Ms Helena De Ruiter (International Department administrator).  Helena has previously worked at Greenhithe primary school and her two daughters are old girls of Carmel. 
  • Ms Jane Meurant (Principal’s Executive Assistant).  Jane is an old girl of Carmel and joins us from Rosmini College.

We have also welcomed back

  • Mrs Rowena Bullock (Technology) who is returning from refreshment leave.
  • Mrs Kate Gan (Languages) who is returning from maternity leave.
  • Mrs Carolyn Purdie (Guidance) who is returning following being at other North Shore schools.

It is important to recognise that each of our students has come from a different background, have their own perspective, individual outlook and approach based on things like where they were born and grew up, who makes up their family, their friends, what they like to do with their time, and many other factors.  But as we come together in this new academic year, we come together as the community of Carmel College, which includes our students along with you, our parents, caregivers and whanau.

We know that there is something really special about being a part of the Carmel community as we have a connection to each other in our community because of our faith, and this is what makes our school special and unique.  It is our strength as it forms the strong base of our school culture.

In the coming weeks, once NCEA results are finalised, we will be having our Scholar’s assembly.  However, it is important to acknowledge the 2023 NCEA results as they currently stand:

95% of our NCEA Level 1 students gained this qualification, with 40% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 1 with Excellence, and a further 42% gained it with Merit.

98% of our Level 2 students gained this qualification, with 42% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 2 with Excellence, and a further 29% gained it with Merit.

88% of our Level 3 students gained this qualification, with 29% of the year group achieving NCEA Level 3 with Excellence, and a further 33% gained it with Merit. 80% of Level 3 students were also awarded with University Entrance.

These results sit well above National percentages and other schools in the same equity index band, and the students are to be congratulated on their academic achievements in a year that saw many impacted by further disruptions.  When analysing our 2023 NCEA results there remains a clear and undeniable link between consistent attendance and academic success.  If our young women come to school regularly they achieve academic success, and while we appreciate the challenges that some students face, the college strongly encourages parents and caregivers to make attendance a priority.  Should you or your daughter require any support, please do not hesitate to contact the college.

A new year, for some a new school, and this brings new challenges and opportunities.

At Carmel we want education to open opportunities and pathways for your daughter, we want to see her leave empowered to challenge and shape her future, whilst being a woman who lives by our Mercy values, whereby they are compassionate and respectful, where they seek justice for others and herself, and where they have the courage to pursue their ambitions.

For your daughter to be the best she can be, and to get the most from her time here at school, we ask that you continue to encourage and support her to participate and contribute as much as she can each day.  There will be challenges, there will be some ups and downs along the way.  Please never hesitate to reach out to your daughter’s Dean as the first point of contact if you have any queries or concerns.

At this point, I would like to remind you all that students’ phones are to be off and in their bags, throughout the whole school day.  If you need to contact your daughter during the school day, you can either email them using your daughter’s school email address or leave a message at Reception to be delivered.  As this rule is enforced, next week staff will be reminding students that phones are to be off and in their bags.  Following that, if a student does not comply with this rule a note will be made on KAMAR, our student management system. 

As a college, we prefer to work with students and support them in developing their self-management skills.  We would also look forward to working in partnership with parents around appropriate actions to minimise the temptation of using a mobile phone during the school day if a pattern of noncompliance develops.  A review of this rule will take place towards the end of term.  Your support around making the college mobile phone free is greatly appreciated. 

While many of us were hopefully enjoying a break over the holidays, a team of support staff remained working on site, completing a number of property projects.  I hope our students have recognised this work that has been done while they have been away, which includes the construction of the canopy on the top court, resurfacing of the netball court, new bleachers and visual displays in the gym, a new sound system in the hall, buildings have been painted with some having roofs replaced, and new classroom spaces have been created to accommodate our growing school roll.   To Mr Grant Julius and Mrs Brenda Pheh, who with the support of Mr Kamal Mitchell, Jake Officer, Mrs Karen Mitchell and our Board’s property committee, we thank you for the care and attention you have provided to ensure that our school is maintained to a high standard that is safe, clean and welcoming and contributes to a positive learning environment.

I encourage our students to stop and reflect on the work and changes, not only to take time to appreciate the work, but also to recognise that our Carmel community is more than just what happens in the classroom.  There are a lot of people who work very hard behind the scenes to ensure we enjoy the privilege of our school environment.

As our school year begins, and as our young women return we need to challenge them to be the best they can be, and to make the most of their time at the College.  From the classroom to providing service to others in the wider community, from the arts and cultural stages to the sports courts and fields, our young women need to make the most of each day.  The call to challenge comes from Catherine McAuley, to do the ordinary extraordinarily well.  

We wish all in our community the very best, and we ask for God’s blessing on a successful year.