Kevin Shore, Principal of Cullinane College 2009 -2018
In recent days we have farewelled Kevin Shore, the Principal of Cullinane College for the last eight years. Kevin is moving on to become the Principal of St Peter’s College, Palmerston North. We wish him every blessing, and take this opportunity to pay tribute to a fine Principal, a great mentor, a valued friend.
Cullinane College is a better place because Kevin was there. In the Young Marist programmes we have run in recent years, it has been a pleasure to see the growth in confidence of the Cullinane students, and their obvious pride in their school, nurtured in the environment with which they have become so familiar. As with any school that is born again out of the amalgamation of two previous schools, Cullinane had its issues in its nascent years. Kevin inherited a foundation forged in hardship by Tracy O’Brien, and on that foundation he has built a growing edifice shaped in large part by his determination, his compassionate care for individual students, his humble respect for staff, his enthusiastic engagement with the community, and his own deep and abiding faith.
The Cullinane community met on the evening of his final day at school to farewell him. These are some representative reflections:
· Ashley Te Weri, a young former pupil, reflected with some emotion on her last year at Cullinane. Appointed a prefect, she made a very public mistake and had to front up to Kevin whom she felt she had let down so badly. His response to her was that mistakes are to be learned from, and to go away and make herself great. On the last day of the year he returned her prefect’s badge to her because it had been blessed in her name, and it belonged to her. She reflected on her success in her young life and attributed it to Kevin’s belief in her as a person, no matter what.
· Sister Marie Skidmore reflected on the way Kevin had managed to integrate the Josephite and Marist charisms of the old Sacred Heart and St Augustine’s into a vibrant, faith-filled, Cullinane College. There would be few, if any, schools in New Zealand or Australia that have managed such a successful and compatible integration of two religious charisms.
· Kevin himself spoke of the multitude of significant influences on his principalship at Cullinane. Among them were his own mother and father, both present, and his wife Heather. Family, he said, was the dominant value in his life, and at the heart of any success he has had. He also paid tribute to his religious family, the members of the Sisters of St Joseph and the Marist Fathers, who have worked alongside him to shape the culture of Cullinane College. And Aunty Carol, the ubiquitous servant leader, the grandmother figure that every school needs, the fount of wisdom and the speaker of the truth, the mentor of the generations --- his tribute to her was so warmly applauded.
Kevin, we wish you every blessing, kaiārahi, mentor, servant, friend. He tangata kī tahi.