A cumulative collection of staff biographies - what makes our staff the great teachers that they are!
Paul Kennedy - Headmaster
I was born in Temuka in South Canterbury and at 6 months old we re-located to Southland where I would spend the first 7 years of my life before the family moved to Christchurch. As the second of 4 boys I would grow up surrounded by sport (Rugby and Cricket), although it is fair to say that I was the un-coordinated one alongside 3 very competent sportsmen! My lack of sporting skills meant I was more inclined towards the Arts, with a heavy involvement in Brass Bands and Drama throughout my secondary school years.
I was also heavily involved in The Boys Brigade whilst at secondary school, achieving my Queens Award and Silver Duke of Edinburgh award, whilst developing a lifetime love of the outdoors, including tramping, canoeing and sailing.
With 2 parents who were teachers I suppose it was inevitable that one of the sons would also enter the teaching profession, and so it was that I entered Christchurch Teacher’s College directly following secondary school. My first teaching position was at West Spreydon School in Christchurch, but after 3 years of teaching I decided that a change of direction was needed and I joined the New Zealand Police. The next 14 years involved a mix of front line policing and periods in Police Education, Training and Management positions. I managed to continue my interest in drama during this time, including appearing in several television advertisements and small roles in two television series.
In 2000 I returned to teaching, having had all the excitement I could handle, and after a short stint teaching at Banks Avenue School I took up the position of Head Teacher at a unit designed to rehabilitate youth offenders. After 3 years in one of the most challenging teaching environments imaginable, during which I was able to complete my Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Management and my Master’s Degree in Education, I was employed by the Ministry of Education to lead the behaviour service to schools in Christchurch.
In 2005 I began as Principal at Halswell Residential College, a national residential school which delivers the curriculum within a residential setting for students in years 7 – 13 whose educational, social, emotional and behavioural needs could not be met in their previous environment.
During my time at Halswell Residential, I served as a Senior Facilitator at the Ministry of Education’s Principal Development and Planning Centre in Wellington, presented to a number of national and international conferences, was a member of the Associate Education Minister’s Advisory Group on Special Education, provided Professional Development to schools, organisations, school districts and government agencies from New Zealand and around the world (including Australia and the USA) and was recipient of both New Zealand Principal’s Federation / Konica Minolta Study Award to Asia (2008) and the Canterbury Primary Principal’s Association Study Award (2010).
My family have always been central to my life, and Cathy, my wife, and 3 wonderful children have been the greatest supporters and stability imaginable. This has meant that I am always grounded in the ‘real world’ and allowed us all to meet the many challenges that life brings with resilience, courage and hope, qualities I work very hard to instil in the children I teach.
The opportunity to lead a school like Cathedral Grammar is the culmination of the skills, experiences and knowledge acquired over the past 48 years and I am passionate about ensuring the best possible outcomes for every individual within the school (students and staff).