Waitākere College

ISC Celebration & Farewell to Rosie Garner

The ISC Celebration was held today and brought together students and staff (both past and present), whānau and the wider community to commemorate the successes of 50+ neurodiverse students during 2023.

The event not only marked the graduation of eight remarkable individuals (Saimoni Bese, Emily Brown, Brody Harris, Melissa Hoffman, Thomas Smith, Mohamed Siyad-Hussein, Miriana Wharakura and Ross Wadsworth)  but also served as a platform to farewell and honour Rosie Garner, the ISC’s esteemed Head of Department, whose leadership has been instrumental in creating an inclusive educational environment within the college for our ISC students. Garner's commitment to fostering an inclusive educational environment, where every student can thrive, was acknowledged with gratitude and admiration. Her influence was evident in the confidence and accomplishments of the graduating students and award winners, a testament to the impact of her supportive leadership.

The theme of the graduation reel was “Just Be You” inspired by the lyrics from Anthem Lights and it encapsulated the essence of our ISC whānau -  a place where uniqueness is not only accepted but celebrated. The ceremony commenced with an air of excitement and anticipation as families, educators, and students gathered to celebrate the culmination of a year filled with hard work and dedication. The eight graduates took centre stage, with each graduate sharing their pre-recorded speeches. The theme of "Just Be You" echoed through their narratives, highlighting the importance of embracing one's true self in the face of adversity. 

The whole ISC Centre reel was entitled ‘Cover Me in Sunshine' and it told the story of a travelling scarf that eventually found its way to Rosie Garner’s shoulders during the celebration. As the scarf was carried down the aisle,  the whole audience sang the lyrics in unison.  A touching tribute to Rosie Garner as she heads off for a well-deserved retirement. The celebration concluded with a touching haka performed by ISC students and staff honouring those who were leaving.

The ISC award winners for 2023 are
Junior Trophy - Anna-Maria Demeter
The Emma Evans Cup - Jethro Taylor
The ISC Entertainer of the Year - Gabriel Taylor
Te Taonga Hūmārie Award - Brody Harris
The Denise McCartney Cup - Cyprus Ray Tepu
The Rosie Garner Award - Melissa Hoffman
ISC Senior Trophy -  Max Wymer
The Year 13 Leavers Award - Miriana Wharakura 

A special mention and heartfelt thanks to the ISC teachers, therapists and support staff, mainstream staff and students who played a crucial role in the success of the ISC Celebration for 2023. We appreciate your efforts. Thank you.

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