From its humble beginnings in 1993, started in an Arorangi garage as a preschool with barely a dozen children attending, the school has now grown to accommodate a roll of some 200 students.
Addressing all 200 students alongside dozens of parents, staff and special guests crammed into the school hall and overflowing outside, principal Mark Harris reflected on those humble beginnings and the place of all those present in the history of the school.
“Every time I hear the story of this school and the key people that put it together, I’m glad I can be part of it,” he said.
“The vision of those few people right back in 1993 stands strong today in the vision and the mission of the school.
“They were ambitious then, and they are still ambitious now. Teachers that attend this school feel that ambition, kids are ambitious, and parents want the most for their kids as well, and will fight to get that.
“I feel very honoured and privileged to be in this position today.”
Also present at the school’s 25th birthday celebrations was co-founder Jessie Sword, who was given a carved hook to thank her for the work she and others did in getting the school started.
Acknowledging several other Te Uki Ou parents from “back in the day”, Sword added that it was “great to see that the school’s been left in some really good hands”.
“In a nutshell, it’s about all of the people that believed in us, came onboard, and really worked hard over the weekends to actually create what we have today,” she said. “And you will always have lots of parents willing to give of their time, their resources – anything just to ensure that our children benefit at the end of the day.”
We’ll have more from Te Uki Ou’s 25th anniversary celebrations in the Monday edition of CINews.