Board keen to get started

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The Ministry of Education’s nearly five-year statutory intervention at Waitaki Boys’ High School has come to an end. Last month, a new board of trustees was elected as part of the national 2019 triennial board of trustees elections. Oamaru Mail editor Rebecca Ryan chats to new interim board chairwoman Andrea Ludemann.

Q Tell me a little bit about you and your family.

My husband Richard Plunket and I, and sons Angus (16) and Will (14), farm 588ha on the outskirts of Oamaru. It is an intensive operation with sheep, beef and dairy.

My role on-farm is mostly administrative, with a focus on health and safety, as well as the Banarach Farm operations manuals we on-sell. Since 2010, I have worked for the Otago Rural Support Trust, which assists farmers through adverse events. I am responsible for all administration and accounting procedures, receiving all calls to the 0800 number, triage and manage the caseload of co-ordinators. Angus goes to Timaru Boys’ High School and Will is in Year 10 at Waitaki Boys’. He is an active sportsman, so life is busy supporting his endeavours. I also currently have roles with the Ravensbourne Youth Yachting Trust, the Waitaki Boys’ High School Community Association.

Q Why did you send your youngest son to Waitaki Boys’?

It was the best choice for him. There were many factors considered and we felt that Waitaki Boys’ covered these for us, knowing what we thought would be best for him.

Q Why did you put your name forward for the board of trustees?

Because I have a strong interest in seeing Waitaki Boys’ reach its true potential. It is an exciting step to be re-establishing self-governance and I believe a vital next step in ensuring the school continues to grow and thrive.

Q What does it mean to you, personally, to be chairwoman?

We decided as a board to appoint an interim chair as we sit around the table and get to know one another, understand skill sets and passions. It comes with a huge sense of responsibility and I am really excited about the future possibilities.

Q What is your vision for the school?

One of the tasks high on the priority to-do list is to gather the community’s ideas on what they would like to see for the school. This consultation will be really important to help the board understand the community voice. Personally I want to see the school realise its full potential – just like the boys within it.

Q What are the biggest challenges you see for the school?

Managing and positively supporting development of the school with a very defined pool of resources.

Q What’s the feeling among the new board of trustees members?

Nervous excitement. We are very aware that the school community will be watching us closely. I have a real sense of everyone wanting to do the best for our boys, the teaching and support teams and those who help in so many ways – from sports coaching and supporting fundraising, to the Community Association.

The new community-elected Waitaki Boys’ High School board of trustees is made up of Mat O’Sullivan (102 votes), Andrea Ludemann (101), Cornel van Basten (76), Greg Wilson (66), and Silou Te Moana (64).