WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Meet Michael Hinds – Principal St Benedict’s School

Principal Michael Hinds and students standing among four large ‘pencils’ displaying St Benedict’s School values in English and Māori at the front of the school. Photo: Supplied

WelCom May 2018:

Annette Scullion

Among this year’s newly appointed Catholic school principals in the two dioceses is Michael Hinds, principal at St Benedict’s Primary School, Khandallah. Born and educated in New Zealand before embarking overseas, where he has spent several years in educational leadership, Michael and his young family returned to live in New Zealand late last year.

A self-described ‘Catholic through and through’ Michael attended St Theresa’s School, Plimmerton, and St Patrick’s College, Wellington. He went to Teachers College in Karori and studied for a Masters Degree in Education before embarking on an overseas career that took him to 54 countries. He worked in five of them including London, India, Azerbaijan and Burkina Fason (West Africa) as a teacher and academic leader including principal of an international school and leading an international Bacalaureat programme.

‘I’m passionate about education. I’m committed to it, I love it,’ he says.

Having been away for 15 years Michael says it was time for he and his wife Gina from England to come home to New Zealand with their two children and put down roots.

‘I’ve lived a life of education and travelled and taught in many places that have enabled me to bring a world vision of education back home to share,’ he says.

‘I’m so pleased to be home. The parents and students at St Benedict’s school and church community and the wider Archdiocese community have all been so welcoming to us. I am delighted to be here and have such positive and supportive staff and parents who are all so knowledgeable and committed.’

Michael believes in the holistic development of each child. ‘I hold the vision that by the end of Year 8 we are sending out well-rounded, polished students who have had a religious education, and have been exposed to arts, music, sports, bi-culturalism, cultural diversity, external interaction as well as learning the traditional codes of reading, writing and arithmetic so that they are exiting our school knowing they can cope in society.’

St Benedict’s Catholic character stems from the school’s founding order, the Brigidine Sisters, who developed the school’s EPIC values: Empathy, Perseverance; Integrity; Creativity.

‘We link the values to scripture, and bring them to life through words and actions. Our values underpin everything we do. They show in how we treat one another, and how we prepare our students for life and learning beyond St Benedict’s School,’ Michael says.