New prin­ci­pal takes charge

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAW­LEY

Af­ter a tur­bu­lent year Mar­cellin Col­lege is em­bark­ing on a pe­riod of sta­bil­ity.

In­still­ing that sense of calm is new prin­ci­pal Jan Wae­len’s first pri­or­ity.

She says the school com­mu­nity has dealt with more than most.

At the end of 2013 long-stand­ing prin­ci­pal Den­nis Fa­hey re­tired and Bren­dan Schollum was ap­pointed as act­ing prin­ci­pal.

But in Septem­ber while he was still lead­ing the school, Schollum died leav­ing the com­mu­nity in tur­moil.

‘‘It was a trau­matic un­set­tling time,’’ Wae­len says.

The school’s strong char­ac­ter will help it bounce back, the How­ick res­i­dent says.

‘‘It is a school with great po­ten­tial.

‘‘Its char­ac­ter is em­bed­ded in the com­mu­nity and it very much has a fam­ily feel about it.

‘‘Stu­dents here al­ready re­ceive a re­ally good ed­u­ca­tion but I want to make it more 21st cen­tury fo­cused,’’ she says.


That will be a key fea­ture to turn­ing around the drop­ping roll – since 2010 the roll has dropped from 713 to 633.

Wae­len says the chang­ing de­mo­graphic and the cost of a Catholic ed­u­ca­tion may be a few of the rea­sons be­hind the statis­tic.

‘‘We want to fo­cus on mak­ing this a school that more and more par­ents want to send their kids to,’’ she says.

‘‘No Catholic child should be pre­vented from re­ceiv­ing a Catholic ed­u­ca­tion. We don’t want cost to be a bar­rier.’’

Wae­len was deputy prin­ci­pal at St Paul’s Col­lege in Pon­sonby for the last six years.

She has a pas­sion for Pa­cific ed­u­ca­tion and this will be a fresh start for the col­lege.

‘‘I’ve got lots of en­ergy and that feeds down to the staff and cre­ates a cy­cle.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is re­ally ex­cited to move for­ward.’’


Tak­ing charge: Jan Wae­len is the new prin­ci­pal at Mar­cellin Col­lege.

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