College – Issue 41

NEWS & EVENTS College ‘greeter’ whips up a new work recipe

First impressions count. For the past few years, everyone walking into Christ’s College on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday has been greeted by the smiling face of Penny Whyte at reception. In fact, “a greeter, meeter and facilitator” is exactly the way Penny describes the role she greatly enjoyed but has now left to pursue fresh challenges. She first came to College as a teacher aide nine years ago in 2012, working part-time with a Year 9 student whom she had previously taught at Medbury School. Then the primary school teacher spent a year teaching at Selwyn House, before returning to College as assistant librarian with Lisa Trundley-Banks for 18 months. In 2018, she stepped into the receptionist role and a year later opting to job share. Being in a school environment was perfect for Penny, who taught in primary schools in Wellington and Auckland before she and her family moved to Christchurch. Everything about College resonated with her and she relished her role. “I’ve had some marvellous experiences here. I loved the job in reception, and it’s bittersweet to be leaving. I just loved making people feel welcome and being the first voice – and face – many would have seen.”

She believes she may well have been the first to introduce greetings in te reo, too – “aided by staff Mike Field, Rikki Clark and Steve Everingham”. Penny has been very impressed by the Immerse & Inspire initiative and has made a point of waving the boys off as they often nervously embark on their camps. “I could see the concern of the boys as they prepared to set off and it was lovely to be able to go out and wave them goodbye. I believe many of those boys have made lifelong friendships through the month-long adventure with Immerse & Inspire. “It has been a fantastic nine years, but it’s time now to try new things.” First up for this passionate cook is to expand her interest in food to a commercial level.

“I’m a foodie of long-standing. I like experimenting. I love to cook, and I love to cook for people.” The labels for her initial products are already designed and waiting. Watch out for Penny’s Perfect Paté and Penny’s Perfect Pesto. She’s been making both for years, gradually refining and perfecting, and jealously guards the secret ingredients which lift the ordinary to the extraordinary. Along with developing that business enterprise, she will be spending more time with her family, as well as learning to play golf. She will also be found regularly on the ski slopes, hiking, and tending her large garden. “It’s the freedom to pursue other interests that will be so exciting,” she says.

Christ’s College Canterbury


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