Service to Teaching and Education Outside the Classroom
Mike has been serving St Peter’s for 40 years, starting as a Farm Manager in 1979 before progressing to science teaching in 1991 and his current HOD Agriculture and Horticulture role in 1997.
He was an integral part of St Peter’s strategic move to use its farm as a structured teaching and learning opportunity, and played a huge role in the development of the agriculture and horticulture subjects. In 2019, St Peter’s had the highest student numbers yet for AgHort. It is a fully endorsed subject for years 11-13, with a 100% NCEA pass rate.
Mike envisaged a learning system where classroom theory would be backed up with practical skills learned on the farm. He laid the foundations for Owl Farm, which gives not only St Peter’s students but the entire farming community access to world class resources, information and practices.
Having lived on campus for 40 years, St Peter’s is Mike’s home. He has brought his personal interests to campus, planting numerous fruit trees for example. He has also introduced viticulture to the curriculum, and St Peters will have its own vintage by 2020.
Principal Dale Burden says, “Mike’s loyalty and dedication have helped to create a better environment for all staff and students. In 40 years, his enthusiasm and professionalism haven’t wavered. We are extremely fortunate to have him.”