As Mangere College finishes up its 2020 school year, principal Tom Webb talks about the school’s milestone birthday and future growth. By Penny Lewis.
Next year is shaping up to be a big one for Mangere College. The school, in the heart of Mangere Development on Bader Drive, celebrates its 50th jubilee in early April 2021. There will be a host of events to mark the occasion and the school is asking previous students and the wider community to register on its website for updates. In 2021 the school will also get some brand-new classrooms in the first stage of a complete rebuild. “We’re really excited about the future. We now have 700 students, 55 teachers and 20 support staff, but we’re planning for significant growth within the school over the coming years,” says Tom. “We don’t yet know the full school rebuild timetable but building work will start with four new classrooms coming in and then go on for years to come as we grow with the development in the local area.”
More new homes for our growing community
The school is next door to Cessna Place, where homes will be built soon and close to the new Bader McKenzie complex, where tenants have moved in recently. “Compared to what has been there in the past, [Bader McKenzie] is a big improvement on those state houses and then we’re going to get developers coming in with some market-value houses and some KiwiBuild houses, so it will be a good mixture. We are keen to build a positive partnership with the developers for the benefit of our students. We would love to see work experience opportunities for our students and job opportunities when they leave school.”
Culture at the core
The principal says that as the area develops, keeping hold of what makes the school special is a strong focus. “One of the things around that is being able to keep our strong school culture – the strong family, community feel we have within the school as we grow in numbers.” “We describe ourselves as a community school. The vast majority of our students are very local to us. We don’t have a wide catchment area, so we think of ourselves as contributing to that local community, in our students and what they do, projects they take on in the school and in the classroom and outside. Our students have a very strong sense of giving back to our local community. Their desire to give back to the community is a really powerful driver for them.” “We talk about the MC family,” Tom says. “And that’s not just current students, but ex-students as well. We’re really keen to hear from ex-students for the jubilee and have them share their knowledge and experience to help us support our current students.”
Register to know more about Mangere College’s 50th jubilee celebrations at mangere.school.nz, Mangere College 23 Bader Drive, Mangere 09 275 4029