WelCom August 2021
Jenny Gordon, a passionate advocate for Catholic education, has resigned from her position as Vicar for Education in the Archdiocese of Wellington.
Having served in the role for 15 years she will remain involved in Catholic education at a national level in her role as a Board member of New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO) and as Chairperson of the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS).
Cardinal John Dew has paid tribute to her leadership skills.
‘Jenny has served the schools of the Archdiocese with very real generosity and with great attention to detail in terms of both Church and Ministry of Education requirements. Her leadership of the Catholic Schools Education Services has been outstanding and her interest in and promotion of Catholic education has been very much appreciated by me and others.’
Jenny told WelCom it was time ‘to pass the baton on’ after 15 years in the role.
‘It has been a privilege to have been of service to Cardinal John and the wonderful people who make up the rich fabric and whānau of Catholic education. That has been the highlight for me. Their commitment, passion and dedication to bringing Christ alive in young people through providing a holistic faith education with excellence has been inspirational, humbling and sustaining for me over the years.
‘Our Catholic education system and our Catholic schools are the jewels in the crown of the evangelising mission of the Church. They have been for many decades and will continue to be for many decades to come but we need to ensure that the services provided to them are robust and strengthen the delivery of authentic Catholic education.’
Jenny said a significant and ongoing challenge for the Catholic education system is the transmission of institutional knowledge.
‘This means understanding our story, handing on our “taonga”, working together to realise the core purpose of a Catholic school. The transmission of our faith within a vibrant Eucharistic community and this realisation of the core purpose of a Catholic school relies on having informed, formed and qualified teachers and authentic and passionate Catholic leadership and governance. This is critical for the future delivery of Catholic education.’
She also called for ‘vigilance to safeguard and champion the rights of our Special Character and status as a State Integrated school’.
‘Over the years there have been many education changes and implications for our Catholic schools as an Integrated school with a Special Character, that is our Catholic Character. Of significance is the protection, and enhancement of our Catholic Character and our place in the education system.
‘As a national network, Catholic schools represent nearly 10 per cent of the education of school-aged children and consistently perform well above the norm in the delivery of a robust education.’
Jenny expressed her gratitude to the many organisations and people she has worked with including the Ministry of Education, APIS and ‘the inspiring teachers, principals, boards, parish priests and leaders, who work tirelessly to bring the Good News to all’.
Kelly Ross has been appointed as the new Vicar of Education for the Archdiocese and the new Director of Catholic Schools Education Services as from 26 July 2021.