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News > Collegians > A full circle experience for Kat Visser

A full circle experience for Kat Visser

Kat's life was a balancing act when she started at St Paul's Collegiate School as a Year 12 student in Harington/Hall House in 2008.
11 Oct 2023
Collegians
Jarrod (Hamilton, Yr 11) and Kat Visser
Jarrod (Hamilton, Yr 11) and Kat Visser

Remarkably, Kat (Katharina) Visser (nee Moghadassi) was juggling her academic pursuits alongside the responsibilities of being a first-time mum to her son, Jarrod.

During Year 11, and Kat’s second year of Correspondence School, she wanted to study Sports Science. Kat’s older brother had been to St Paul’s so her family contacted the school to ask if Kat could carry on her correspondence and attend the Sports Science class daily. “St Paul’s was really supportive, and it was the only way I could get back to schooling without being overwhelmed juggling a newborn.”

“I came into school every day for an hour and did my Sports Science class. I even did my lifeguard training, which was part of the subject and would bring Jarrod along, it was just a cool experience and one which I am very grateful for.”

Jarrod would often come in after school and hang out at St Paul’s with Kat, but Kat would hardly see him, “Her classmates would sweep him up, pop him on their shoulders and take him around the school.”

After high school, Kat went to Dunedin to study at Otago University where she also worked as a dental assistant while completing Oral Health Therapy. Whilst in Dunedin Kat met her future husband, Rick, and since then they have added to their family with two more children. 

Three years ago, the family was living in Auckland and made the decision to relocate to Hamilton where Kat’s parents are still based. One advantage of the shift to Hamilton was Kat found herself back in the area of St Paul’s, Kat had come full circle.

Drawing from her own positive experiences at St Paul's, Kat and her husband enrolled Jarrod. Kat recalls their interview with the then-headmaster, Grant Lander, and their tour of the school. She remarks, "While much has changed in the layout of the school the sense of community that I felt still remains and that’s what I want for Jarrod."

Since moving back to Hamilton, Kat has opened her own dental clinic, Tulip Dental and employs five staff members. “I couldn’t have done this without getting back into a high school, it would have been really hard to go from homeschooling straight into University.”

“Jarrod and some of his friends came to the clinic for the Tulip Dental’s website photoshoot in the Number Ones (formal uniform) and it's lovely to reconnect with St Paul’s students and Collegians when they book in for appointments.”

Part of the full circle experience for Kat is seeing Jarrod represent St Paul’s, “When I was at school, I had friends who were rowers and I remember taking Jarrod to Maadi Cup for the day to watch the St Paul’s students racing. Now I have sat on the banks watching Jarrod row for St Paul’s. It's very nostalgic,” says Kat.

Paul Wilson (staff 1998 – current) was Kat’s Physical Education teacher during her time at St Paul’s. Recently during parent-teacher interviews, Paul Wilson recognised Kat and said, “What are you doing here?” Kat’s reply was, “My son is now 15!”

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