Waitakaruru School’s new principal Tina Taylor is enjoying the variety of her new post.
“One of the things I love about a small school … as a principal is that you have all those different roles,” she said.
“Last week I went on a pool training course, Friday I’m driving the van to take the kids home, it’s like changing all the different hats, which I love about a country school.”
Mrs Taylor previously worked at larger schools in and around Auckland and also in England.
After graduating from the Auckland College of Education, she taught in Ellerslie for a few years before heading overseas with husband Paul Taylor, who is a teacher of deaf children.
She taught in London for six years while travelling before returning home to work at Weymouth Primary School in Auckland, where she taught for nine years, including four as assistant principal.
Mrs Taylor then took on the deputy principal role at Tuakau Primary for six years and was acting principal for three terms before accepting the principal position at Waitakaruru School.
Working closer to home was also an advantage for Mrs Taylor, who lives with her family on a lifestyle block in Maramarua.
“I wanted to be more local, I had heard great things about the Hauraki Community of Learning so I wanted to come work there,” she said.
“And I wanted to be in a school that was a feeder to Hauraki Plains College … that’s the high school my own children will be going to, so just getting to know the local area.”
Mrs Taylor has two children, Evie, 10, and Lucas, 8.
She took on her new role at the school during the Covid-19 shutdown, which was “an interesting experience”, but was welcomed with a powhiri and hangi after the shutdown lifted.
She was enjoying her new job, she said.
“The school has a wonderful, supportive community [with] wonderful students and a really supportive board of trustees.”
Her plan for the school was to grow the roll, which was currently 86 students, along with working on getting systems and processes in place and building relationships with staff.
“We had a new person who started at the beginning of the year so just building a really collaborative team and we’re all working together, which is happening, which is wonderful – we’ve got really positive teachers.
“We’re all focussed around the child and having a child-centred approach where everybody is working for the benefit of the student.”
- By TERESA RAMSEY