by PETER GRACE
AUCKLAND — The Catholic school system’s loss was the state system’s gain when Henderson principal Kathy Moy-Low was farewelled in a “humbling experience” on August 16.
Mrs Moy-Low had been principal of Holy Cross Catholic Primary School in Henderson for 17 years.
The school’s acting principal, Janice Borsos, told NZ Catholic that the farewell began with a powhiri at the school hall at 1pm, and didn’t end until after 5pm.
Mrs Moy-Low had mentored deputy principals to become principals, Mrs Borsos said. “So, in her time here she’s actually had four or five deputy principals who have become principals, and they all went to Catholic schools.”
Mrs Moy-Low told NZ Catholic: “The farewell was was one of the most humbling experiences of my life.”
The day before was the Feast of the Assumption, she said, and at a school Mass that day she was presented with a statue of Our Lady.
On the Friday, the powhiri to call her on was called by a woman who had been a Holy Cross student 17 years earlier.
That was followed by a liturgy led by student council members. “They built the altar from things that were important to us, and led us in prayer,” as did parish priest Fr Paul Helsham, OFMCap.
That was followed by speeches and afternoon tea in the staff room — then a wine and cheese social for invited guests. Fr Helsham spoke, and prayed for Mrs Moy-Low. The general manager of the Auckland diocese Catholic Schools Office, Neil Laurenson, told guests that she would be a big loss to Catholic schooling, and would always be welcome back.
Mrs Borsos said that Mrs Moy-Low had not only led the school and the children, but had been very good at helping teachers grow to be leaders.
Mrs Moy-Low said that her philosophy, particularly in a bigger school, is to “grow” principals. “I grew teachers and I grew students, but the deputy principals in the larger schools help grow the students . . . and if [the DPs] aspire to leadership, you help them.”
Mrs Borsos is acting principal until the end of the year, after which a permanent appointment would be made. “I’ve done extra study, and Kathy Moy-Low mentored me as well,” she said.
Mrs Moy-Low is now principal of Waiheke Primary School, where she and her husband live.