Known for her vivacity, bling and sense of fun, Lindy Cavanagh-Monaghan was much missed when in 2010 she left her post as deputy principal of St Peter’s to take over as principal of Blue Mountain College at Tapanui. Her ability to relate to all those around her and to remember all about their lives and families endeared her to everyone who knew her.
Gore born, but brought up in Riversdale, Lindy knew from the age of seven that she wanted to teach and would follow in the footsteps of mother and grandmother – both teachers. A “people person” from early on, she enjoyed studying the humanities and did a four year degree course at Otago University, specialising in music at teacher training. She returned to Gore for her first teaching job with Year 7 and 8 at Longford Intermediate School. In 1987 a vacancy at St Peter’s enabled her to fulfil her ambition to work with older students and also to develop her passion for music.
When she arrived she was immediately enveloped by the welcoming community in school and loved the feeling of inclusiveness and strong values that she found. It didn’t take long to discover that there was a fun loving staff and a good social element to the job too. Lindy fitted in well and was known for her enthusiasm as a netball coach, which culminated in winning the South Island Secondary Netball Tournament in 2009. She enthusiastically supported other sports as well and was famous for her rugby rattle on the side lines. Her involvement in the performing arts provided many highlights over the years, especially at the annual Eisteddfods.
Her main satisfaction however, came from seeing her students blossom as they progressed through school and discovered their talents – especially those who may have struggled at first, but “came good” in the end. She takes great pride in all their achievements.
Away from school, Lindy’s main interests are cultural and this was reflected at her leaving party, which was a glamorous Hollywood Awards Night, where she was described in one tribute as a “one woman crowd”.
Today in her new role at Tapanui, she focuses on the challenges of the here and now and as always in giving 110 per cent.