St Paul’s unique and supportive culture was a big drawcard for both Robert Torrance (School 2005-2008) and Savannah Patterson (Harington 2013-2014) as they returned to school as teachers this year.
Robert and Savannah agree teachers at St Paul’s work hard to enable students to reach their full potential and teaching with high expectations helps to deliver on this.
Savannah completed her teaching practicum at St Paul’s and was excited to be given the opportunity to return to teach English this year after teaching at Morrinsville College.
Robert had been at Hauraki Plains College over the past five years teaching mathematics and psychology. He is looking forward to teaching a varied curriculum, while also being able to spend more time with Hamilton based family.
During his high school years, Robert recalls Tihoi as being the ultimate highlight of his time at St Paul’s and says it gave him a love for the New Zealand bush, leading him to be a Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) volunteer for many years.
“The other thing I loved about St Paul’s was their willingness to extend me where required, allowing me to bridge across multiple year levels”, he says.
Savannah agrees, crediting the opportunities she had at St Paul’s as helping her on life’s pathway.
“Colin Lewis taught me English in Year 13 and helped grow my love for all things English. His passion for the subject was inspiring”, she says. “Colin played a huge role in me deciding to go on to study English and creative writing at university, which I am very thankful for as it led me to where I am today”.
Robert was also inspired by a teacher at St Paul’s; the legendary Gary Judkins. Head of Mathematics, Mr Judkins taught Robert for three years. He says Mr Judkins gave him a love for mathematics, problem solving and chess.
"I hope that I can provide my class with even half as much of the energy as he provided us", he says.
Robert and Savannah have similar advice to give to their students; make the most of all the opportunities, enjoy the competitiveness and camaraderie and not to take anything for granted.