Alexandra Central Otago


High Achieving Yr 9 -13 Co-ed Decile 9 530+ Secondary School

Applications are invited from innovative, talented, experienced facilitators of learning who understand the need of a community to see its young people nurtured to achieve their best in academic, sporting, cultural and community service fields.

Alexandra is a rural service town in Central Otago, with a population of approximately 6,000 people. Growth is occurring steadily, rather than in the more rampant style associated with Queenstown and Wanaka. Major service companies Delta, Fulton Hogan, Contact Energy and Dunstan Hospital are significant local employers. Alexandra’s commercial centre contains cafes, boutique shops and our new Art Gallery, Museum and Information Centre complex.

Alexandra is surrounded by some of NZ’s best cherry, apricot and peach orchards (with many orchardists showing entrepreneurial flair to compete in world marketplaces); top Pinot Noir vineyards include Dry Gully, Leaning Rock, Two Paddocks & 3 Miners. We have international peony growers; Merino “Icebreaker” sheep stations and sustainable gold mining restarting. Our newly iconic Rail Trail and top recreational mountain biking, river trail walks, kayaking, fishing, hunting, lake leisure, skiing and golf opportunities define our outdoor lifestyle.

A vibrant arts community is spear headed by Graham Sydney, Neil Driver, Nigel Wilson, Brian Turner and Michael Harlow. High profile events like Blossom Festival, Art in the Garden, Clyde Wine & Food and Thyme festivals provide opportunities for emerging talent to be showcased.

Just one hour from Queenstown or Wanaka and two hours from Dunedin or Invercargill, Alexandra is an ideal base for young, teenaged, new and established families, international researchers and older people. Consequently Dunstan High School’s community has a wide range of expectations for its local high school.

A visionary leader and manager is sought to keep Dunstan High School moving forward as:

An innovative, high achieving New Zealand Secondary School. 

A top Central Otago school serving its community while equipping its students to take their place in the 21st Century Global Community.

Dunstan has an enviable record as one of NZ’s best little secondary schools. While trying to be all things to all of the students in it’s community it has kept it’s best young people at it’s local high school and sought innovative ways of engaging those most challenged by formal education.

A “reflective - consequences and moving on with a plan” behaviour model, assisted by our learning support faculty, RTLB’s, Guidance counsellors, local agencies, our Careers advisor, and recently “the recovering confrontationalist” model underpin our pastoral care system. Challenge For Change targets our most at risk students with support from Central Lakes Trust and our local mayor’s initiative fund.

Dunstan has complemented its Midyis benchmarking system with personalised added value analysis for tracking students’ results. HOF’s report on this annually to the Board.

In terms of achievements Dunstan students do very well.

In the last 5 years we have:

oBeen in 2 NZ Maths Olympiad teams winning bronze, a Chemistry Olympiad Team also winning bronze and 2 students in final trials for their Geography Olympiad team after winning NZ’s yr 11 Maatangi Whenua competition

oBeen selected to attend 2 Biosecurity Conferences in Australia, NZ’s Youth Parliament, the Sir Peter Blake Environment Conference, The Rotary National Science and Technology Forum and MUNA

oGained multiple NCEA scholarships in Chemistry, English, Geography, History, Maths with Calculus, Maths with Statistics, Physical Education and Physics and more than our expected share of excellence endorsed NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 certificates

oGained numerous scholarships – Otago University Dux, Auckland University Dux, Otago University Alumni, Contact Energy/Trustpower, Central Lakes Trust, Mana Pounamu full fees, Otago University Maori and Pacific Island, AAW Jones Trust, Otago University Leaders, Canterbury University Emerging Leaders, Massey University High Achievers and IPENZ.

oHave the highest NZ acceptance rate at Otago University Halls of Residence

oHad 2 former students announced top apprentices this year-1 as NZ’s Top Building apprentice & the 2nd as CO Award winner -top resident apprentice, 1 other nominated

oHad 7 singers in the NZ Secondary Schools Choir in 9 years

oBeen winners in Queenstown Jazz Fest, Gore Country Music Awards, Concord Speech & Singing competitions, and finalists in Smokefree Rockquest.  Also various Ballet and Jazz dance competition winners

oWon NZ Jaycees debater of the year, and Rotary Central Otago debates

oAnnually produced NZ plays starring senior students and every second year a musical with a professional director

oStaff and students in annual Blossom Festival Production as actors, dancers, props constructors & painters, musicians, sound & light engineers and front of house

oHad several exhibitors in Blossom Festival Art awards, including winning artist ‘09

oBeen acknowledged as the inaugural and still one of only 3 NZ Secondary Schools to hold an Outdoors Mark Safety Audit Certification. One of few NZ schools to have own Outdoor Education Lodge – at Tititea, Mt Aspiring National Park

oHad over 40 National Sporting titleholders or team members. National and SI accolades have been presented this year for Athletics – SI hurdles, discus, shotput and triple jump place getters, Boys Basketball – 3rd in NZ U600 Sec Schools & 2 players in Tournament team, Bowls – SI pairs titles, Cricket - Gillette Cup finalists, Curling – 2 NZ team members to Japan next year, Cycling – 3 gold medalists, Equestrian – NZ triallist, Ice Hockey – 2 NZ reps, Kayaking – 5 NZ squad members, u16 title holder & runner up NZ school, Karate – 3 NZ reps, Mountain biking - 2 on International circuit and 2 others NZ medalists, Netball 13th in SI Winter Tournament & 2  students in Talent ID squad, Rowing @ Maadi – “A” finalists in both girls and boys, Softball – National tournament team honours for 2 girls and 1 boy, Rugby – 5th in Highlanders Zero Fees 1st XV competition, 5 selected for Otago Country including as captain- runners up SI U18 competition & 2 selected for SI team, U15’s 2nd in SI Co-ed Schools tournament & 3 in tournament team, Skiing –top Otago Southland Secondary School & previously 2 students in NZ Nordic X country ski team, Squash - ranked 9th in NZ with higher placings for individual team members, Taekwondo – 2 NZ reps, Trapshooting 3 golds at SI’s

oStudents play over 34 sports with a school wide participation rate of approximately 60%, supported by over 100 coaches and managers

oConsistent donor for World Vision appeal and our own sponsored child; supporter of Canteen, Save The Children Fund, Alexandra (Aust) bushfire appeal, Masters Sports Games, SADD, and Planeteers, including participation in this year’s Earth Hour “60 minutes lights out” challenge.  Both staff and students are involved as Volunteer Fire Brigade and Ambulance officers.  Serve on and lead Alexandra Youth ForumoCurrent top NZ St Johns cadet & top SI team

oCODC Youth awards in Leadership, Community Service & Entrepreneurial skills - 3 finalists & Special Award winner ’09. Winner CO Youth Community Trustpower service award. National Fuelled for School (School Nutrition initiatives) Award winner

The successful applicant will show outstanding strengths:

In pedagogical leadership, continuing the implementation of best practice models.

The Principal will be expected to be a visionary leader who values research based pedagogy as the informant for developments in student learning and achievement, and progress in teaching methods.

As an effective communicator and networker, capable of maximising outcomes for students and staff, parents and the wider community.

Our school is small enough for the Principal and staff to know every student and their family and large enough to have a wide network of coaches, facilitators, supporters and legislators to manage and enthuse. Examples of the various groups the Principal works with

oTe Aohuri - we have a 14% Maori roll with students consistently exceeding National benchmark statistics

oHostel management –our 50 bed co-ed hostel is currently close to capacity with most students from “just beyond the bus stop” 40-60 minutes away but also from Nelson, Timaru, Auckland and overseas.

oA boutique sized International Division with students currently from Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Africa. International Director on site. Overseas travel a possibility

oArts and Sports co-coordinators on site. Sports council chaired by AP & composed of parents, coaches & executive students

oChairs the Management Group of the Mt Aspiring Outdoors Centre. School rep on Mt Aspiring Trust Board. Chairs Learning Adventures Committee, the marketing wing of DHS, selling facilities & programmes to NZ and International visitors. Together these are million $ committees

ooMember of BOT subcommittees Curriculum, Discipline, Finance, Hostel, International, Maori, Personnel and Property

oFacilitators of Gateway, Transition & Learning support, RTLB cluster, & e-learning & ITO providers accessed through Otago Net and other regional Nets

oPrincipals of feeder Primary schools, Otago & NZ SS Principals


oLocal government Mayors, Councillors, Rotarians and MP’s

oThe Ministry

oArchitects and landscapers

oFunding agencies

In fostering strategic thinking and entrepreneurial development.

As a small school we are conscious that parents and funding agencies have a choice about where they send their children and spend their money. We need to maximise our point of difference and the opportunities which support our vision. The Principal is expected to facilitate the identification and capture of learning and marketing opportunities available in an electronic and global age.

In property management, as we seek to enhance current pedagogical research with flexible teaching spaces

In the last 5 years our building programme has reflected our School Vision and legislative changes. We have added

oA Whare as our community’s bicultural centerpiece for learning, taonga classes,     meetings, support events, celebrations and tangis

oA Performing Arts Centre with specialist teaching studios for Music and Drama. In Stage 2 the PAC will be linked to our Hall, changing rooms and an outdoor performance area

oAn upgrade to our School & Hostel boilers to meet Regional Council Air Monitoring levels and to use a sustainable energy source

oA Wireless Broadband system to each teaching block. Class sized pods of laptops are almost fully available in each block. Each staff member is provided with a laptop.

oA purpose built community gymnasium with 2 classrooms which can also be used as meeting and function rooms for visiting teams is due for completion in March 2010.  It will have a competition quality floor for Basketball & Netball tournaments, and a $200,000 Rock Climbing wall for which our local rock climbers club have accessed funding. There is exciting potential here for link ups with the Hostel.

oThe School Hostel has been significantly upgraded. Senior students now have their own rooms and a communal space. Some interior work and landscaping are still to be done, but with increased renting of the facility during holiday times more self generating funding should be available. The potential for us as a School, and Alexandra as a community to host sporting tournaments will receive a significant boost.      

We are about to embark on

oThe alignment of our Administration block with our new community entry point. This summer the Library and Admin blocks will swap functions

oThe refurbishment of our 1960’s built classroom blocks into more flexible teaching and learning areas with learning streets, breakout spaces, caves, watering holes,

e-learning study & video conference areas and interview/seminar rooms. The first block will be altered this summer.

And saving the most important until last!

The successful applicant will show outstanding strengths:

  1. As a compassionate, inclusive, encouraging and inspiring leader of young people.

The position commences Term 1 or 2, 2010. School housing is available

Application packs are available by emailing Karen Richards, Principal’s Appointment Secretary, or phone Karen on 03 4488595.

Applications close Monday, 23rd November 2009