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Sharon Moller said she’ll spend the first school term as principal celebrating student success. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Homegrown tumuaki fills college chair

A former head girl of Hauraki Plains College (HPC) is eager to give back to the community that had “positively shaped” her life as its new tumuaki (principal).
Sharon Moller takes up the torch from Ngaire Harris, who held the top job at the Ngātea college for 21 years.
Sharon, who was most recently principal of Putāruru College, told The Profile the appointment was a “real honour” and the opportunity to return home to Ngātea was “an amazing feeling”.
“Absolutely a mixture of feeling extremely thankful, blessed and privileged really to be able to give back to the community that has given me so much to me through my education and time here,” she said.
“The opportunity to come home was an amazing feeling… and it’s a real honour to be stepping into the principal role and following Ngaire Harris.”
“She’s been a very positive mentor of mine over the years, and I think the biggest learning from her is to keep a really close eye on where we’ve come from and all of the great things as we continue moving forward to help form a positive future for our kids.”
Sharon said she attended both Ngātea Primary School and Hauraki Plains College, where she was head girl in 1999 and competed in netball, rowing and rugby.
She then studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in finance and agribusiness at Massey University in Palmerston North. “I thought I was going to be a rural bank manager at the time but then I quickly realised a banking career was not for me so I did the extra year to become a secondary school teacher,” she said.
“I returned to Hauraki [Plains College] in 2005 and 2006 as a teacher and taught social studies and economics, and then went overseas for a few years and returned for a position at Albany Senior High School. “I was there for eight years and finished as deputy principal and during that time I completed my Masters in Educational Leadership and had done some other studies and I gained the deputy principal role at Huntly College in 2017.”
Sharon said she was principal of Putāruru College for 18 months before she applied to become the principal of Hauraki Plains College.
Sharon said her principal goals for the first term included celebrating the success of the 860 students on the HPC role for 2023 and continuing the college values.
“I want to spend the first term listening to what it’s like for students here, how the community feel about the school, what’s working well for staff… but I’m really excited to continue the notion that excellence is our tradition and that it is more than a school,” she said.
“I really would like to focus on celebrating students’ success – not just NCEA success, but every individual student reaching their goal, reaching their potential.
“The other kind of drive for me in leading a school is creating a community where everybody cares for each other and lifts other people up.”
A pōwhiri was held for Sharon on January 26.