At the start of this term, I celebrated two years as Principal of Paparimu School. What a journey it has been!
The school has grown so much since October 2014 when I started – including nearly a 60% increase in our school roll! The school looks loved and it is great to see student projects featured around the school. We are fortunate to have a fantastic staff and students who are keen to learn.
The job is a challenging and demanding one, being both a teacher (Mon- Wed in Ako 2) and a full time Principal (the job that never stops!), however I often find myself undertaking a wide range of other jobs. These may be caretaker, sports coordinator, property manager, nurse, part time office manager (on non ‘Mandy days’), event coordinator and (unqualified) social worker - the job is certainly very varied. Above all else, it is a rewarding job – and that is why I am still here.
We are privileged to have a supportive Board of Trustees who take their governance role seriously, and who assist in making the hard decisions. We have an amazing school community, consisting of our parents/caregivers, PTA and wider community members – each who are passionate about our school.
One of the things I have learned in my time here, is the incredibly strong connection to the ‘place’ and the land that people in our community have. We call this tūrangawaewae. Tūrangawaewae is one of the most well-known and powerful Māori concepts. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), it is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.
Paparimu, and Paparimu School is certainly a special place.
Ngā mihi nui