has been more than three decades since Kaikorai Valley
College deputy principal Garry Chronican was at university.
Now the 55-year-old is going back.
Mr Chronican will start a new job as academic manager of the
foundation year at the University of Otago on Monday.
''It's a university entrance course for international
students and domestic students who don't have enough
qualifications to get direct entry into an undergraduate
While Mr Chronican was ''really excited at the change'', he
was sad to be leaving Kaikorai Valley College after 32 years
at the school.
''Leaving is going to be tough.
''What I've really loved about here is the people. It's been
about the people that have come in and out of here every day.
''I love the fact that they are full of promise and you know
when you've been doing this a long time that you do make a
difference to their lives.
''Kids come back and you find out later on that you were
their favourite teacher and you made an impact. It takes a
while to cycle back to you.
''I like that.''
Mr Chronican said he was not looking for a new job, but when
the opportunity came up, he decided to take it.
''I thought, I'm 55, I want to be working at 65-70. I can
either sit it out here or I can look for a whole new
''I'm happy with what I've been doing here - I love it - but
I have been doing the same thing over and over. It's
challenging, but there aren't any challenges that I haven't
''I need to do something else in my life.''
He had accumulated a lot of experience and skills managing
people and programmes during his time at Kaikorai Valley
College, but felt it was time to use them in a different
environment, he said.
Mr Chronican began his teaching career at what was then
Kaikorai Valley High School in 1982, as a relieving maths
He was kept on and became head of maths in 1990 before taking
on a variety of roles in the school's senior management,
including student support director, assistant principal,
deputy principal, learning support manager, and international
student programme director.
He was also a successful First XV rugby coach during the
1980s, with his team winning the Dunedin under-18 competition
He continued his involvement with secondary schools rugby at
a national level throughout his time at Kaikorai Valley
College and is the present chairman of the Secondary Schools
Mr Chronican was also heavily involved in coaching rowing at
the school for many years and was a keen participant in
outdoor education activities, regularly attending year 10
Tautuku camps and school ski trips.
Principal Rick Geerlofs congratulated Mr Chronican on his
appointment, but said the school was devastated to be losing
''a person who has given so much to Kaikorai Valley
''Our loss is the university's gain.''