It is tradition to recognise and thank leaving staff at the end of the year. We have shared information about some of our long-serving staff members who have retired. Alongside them are a number of other staff who, while they have not been with us for as long, have also made very valuable contributions to Palmy Boys’ and enabled us to offer the opportunities that we do to our young men.
Ms. Amy McAllen joined the English Department on March 29 this year. We have greatly appreciated her willingness to come in part-way through the year, never an easy thing to do when classes have already settled into routines with other teachers. Ms. McAllen has proven to be hard-working and always keen to do her very best to help the young men in her classes. She has supported our co-curricular programme through her involvement with Water Polo. We wish Ms. McAllen all the best for her teaching career.
Mr. Xavier Mason joined the PNBHS staff in January 2020 as a Teacher Aide. As a recent Old Boy, Mr. Mason knew many of the young men of the school and both them and the staff have appreciated his positive approach in the classroom and around the school. Mr. Mason is joining the New Zealand Army and we wish him all the best for his career.
Mrs. Kathie Price joined the PNBHS staff in January 2020 as the Teacher in Charge of Japanese. The young men in her classes have benefited from her knowledge and expertise as a teacher and we have appreciated the proactive manner in which she has engaged with her colleagues in the Languages department. Mrs. Price has supported our co-curricular programme, managing teams in the Friday night Manawatu Secondary Schools Basketball competition. We wish Mrs. Price all the best for her retirement and impending move to the South Island.
Mr. Levi Ensing has been a member of the Physics and Science departments since January 2018. He has impressed with the depth of his subject knowledge and willingness to work to assist the young men in his classes. Mr. Ensing has also worked to support the Puhoro STEM Academy and is involved in weekly tutorials to assist Māori students studying NCEA science subjects. He has also supported our co-curricular programmes, managing Basketball and Debating teams.
Mr. Ensing and his family are moving to Hamilton to be closer to their extended family and he has been appointed to a Physics teaching position at Hamilton Boys’ High School. We wish him all the best for the next stage in his teaching career.
Mrs. Susan Berry was appointed as a part-time teacher during the 2018 school year working in the English department. It was quickly apparent that she was a very capable teacher who formed positive relationships with young men while also having high expectations of their academic performance and behaviour. Mrs. Berry has continued in a part-time capacity since 2018, helping us out in a variety of roles. She showed her versatility, significant subject knowledge and professionalism when stepping in to take Classical Studies classes, despite this not being her preferred subject area. Mrs. Berry has been enthusiastic in all that she has done, and we have appreciated her contributions to our co-curricular programmes, stepping in at short notice to ensure that opportunities were able to be offered for young men. We wish Mrs. Berry all the best for her well-deserved retirement after a long period of service in the education sector.
Mr. Stu Trembath joined the PNBHS teaching staff in a part-time capacity in January 2017, following a long and distinguished career in education, including significant service as the Principal of Feilding Intermediate School. Mr. Trembath has taught in a wide range of subject areas, often in situations where his ability to relate to and engage positively with diverse groups of young men has been key to his success. The young men in his classes speak very highly of Mr. Trembath and he very quickly became well-known and respected across the student body.
Mr. Trembath has been an enthusiastic contributor to our co-curricular programme. He has coached rugby to a high level in the Manawatū region and his expertise and enthusiasm was appreciated by the young men he coached. Likewise, he has been enthusiastically involved with Cricket, most recently the legendary Cake league competition, and has also managed Basketball teams throughout his time at Palmy Boys’.
While his time as a staff member at PNBHS has been relatively short, his association with the school goes back much further with him having attended from 1970 – 1973. He was also a school parent for a number of years, with his sons Rodger and Dean attending during the 1990s. Mr. Trembath’s contribution during the last five years has been significant and belies the relatively short time he has spent on staff. We wish Mr. Trembath all the best for his well-deserved retirement.
Mr. Jake Blanks joined the PNBHS staff in January 2015 as a teacher of general Science and senior Biology. Mr. Blanks has impressed with the positive and constructive manner with which he has developed relationships with the young men in the classes and teams he has been associated with. His sense of humour, relaxed approach and desire to achieve the best outcomes for the students he is teaching is appreciated by his classes. Mr. Blanks likewise relates well to his teaching colleagues and his contributions to Palmerston North Boys’ High School have been greatly appreciated. He took leave during 2019 to travel, teach and coach hockey overseas before returning to his teaching duties in 2020.
Mr. Blanks is an experienced and talented Hockey player and coach. He has been involved with the Sports Development Hockey programme throughout his time at PNBHS. Mr. Blanks was the assistant coach to the 1st XI Hockey team in 2015 and began his tenure as Head Coach on 2016. He has stamped his mark on the 1st XI side, developing a very impressive interschool record during his coaching tenure.
Mr. Blanks was appointed to the position of Hostel Master at College House in 2016, a position he resumed after returning from his overseas travel in 2020. The staff and young men of the hostel have appreciated his friendly but firm approach and willingness to engage in the full range of hostel activities.
Mr. Blanks will travel to England to take up a position coaching Hockey and teaching Biology and Chemistry at the Francis Holland School in Regent’s Park, London. We wish Mr. Blanks all the best for this next stage in his teaching career and look forward to welcoming him back to Palmerston North Boys’ High School in the future.