New Principal Commissioned

October 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

These are exciting days in the life of the Boys’ School as we welcome Mr Peter Cassie and his wife, Sally into the Saint Kentigern community. Mr Cassie took up his appointment as the new Principal of the Boys’ School at the beginning of Term 4.

At the first assembly of the new term, Mr Cassie, Mrs Sandra Hastie, in her new role as Head of Primary, Board members and invited guests were piped into JC Chalmers Hall by Year 7 student Lachlan Broadhurst. They took their seats alongside the boys to witness this historic occasion as Mr Cassie was commissioned as the fourth Principal of the Boys’ School.

Following tradition, Mr Cassie and Mrs Hastie joined the boys who were new to the School this term to stand on stage to face the School and be challenged by a rousing haka from the senior Kapa Haka group. Along with the new boys, Mr Cassie received his Saint Kentigern and Glasgow Cathedral badges. This was followed by a moving waita, Te Aroha, sung by the whole school.

Chairman of the Trust Board, Dr Bruce Goodfellow, came forward to read the same words used in 1953 at the commissioning of the first Saint Kentigern Head, the Reverend Dr Adam MacFarlan and all subsequent Heads, ‘Mr Cassie, on behalf of the Saint Kentigern Trust Board, I now commit to your charge and care this School, the scholars who may from time to time be enrolled and all the staff who serve here, assuring you of the Board’s confidence in you, and support of you, to implement the objects of the Trust.  May God richly bless you in this task.’

Cassie_Commission-50.jpgIn his first speech to the students, Mr Cassie said, ‘It is indeed a privilege for me to lead Saint Kentigern Boys’ School, a very proud school where service, quality and excellence is evident in all that is done. My role is to continue to develop the best possible outcomes for our boys to ensure they are fully prepared for life, to provide opportunities and engender that love of learning where values are integral for future success and citizenship.’

Mr Cassie thanked the Trust Board for the trust and faith they had placed in him to lead the School and thanked Mrs Hastie, Head of Primary and Mr Steve Cole, Head of College for their collegiality and support in these early days of settling. In his final word to the boys he concluded, ‘You are the ones who make this place what it is today. Continue to be the best you can be, be prepared to try new things, treat others as you wish to be treated and make the most of every day by seizing the many opportunities available. This country needs people with a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, pride in their country and decent values. You are these people.’

There have been four Principals since the Boys’ School opened in February 1959. The inaugural Headmaster, Mr Jack Chalmers started with a roll of 190 boys and led the School for the first 20 years. His emphasis on the School being an extension of the family and having a close relationship with its parents is still a central feature of the School today. The second principal, Mr Brian Irwin oversaw growth in the school roll and the proliferation of building projects to accommodate smaller class sizes and changing teaching methodology. Third Principal, Mr Geoff Burgess managed the transition of the School to accommodate the latest technology, extended the range of specialist teaching and promoted values education as the School’s cornerstone.

Cassie_Commission-35.jpgFollowing the resignation of Geoff Burgess, the Trust Board sought a new Principal for the Boys’ School and were fortunate to have a very strong field of candidates from New Zealand and overseas with experience, talent and expertise. The Board believes that Mr Cassie has the professional and personal qualities, aligned with our values and vision for the School, that are key to providing outstanding leadership.

Mr Cassie has considerable experience in the education sector with 24 of the last 30 years devoted to independent boys’ education at primary level. He was most recently the Principal of the newly formed Scots College Middle School (Years 7-10), having formerly been Principal of Scots College Preparatory School (Years 1-8) for 10 years. Both these roles have involved all facets associated with the management of a school. Prior to that, he held varying positions at King’s School, including Dean of the Senior School. At this stage of his career, he has aspirations to head a leading independent school and is delighted to have been offered the opportunity. 

He is passionate about the independent school structure and the opportunities it offers to students, staff, past students and parents. In particular, he cites the importance of a values system being central to teaching. He says that values build standards and nurture relationships among all members of a wider school community; values that are sometimes seen to be lacking in society. He recognises the importance of the Saint Kentigern Way and the tradition of ‘Keeping the Faith.’

Cassie_Commission-45.jpgMr Cassie is married to Sally and they have two children, Lyle age 21 and Candace age 19 who both attended independent schools and are both currently studying at university.  He attributes a great deal to the importance of family and the role that Sally has played in support of his career. Sally is also involved in education and has held senior leadership roles in successful preschools.

The Trust Board is confident that Mr Cassie will provide strong and effective leadership for Saint Kentigern School as it continues to build on the strong foundations and achievements of the first 53 years.  

We welcome Peter and Sally to this, our place of learning and life, our ‘world of opportunity,’ our special Saint Kentigern family. 


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