New prin­ci­pal sets sights on suc­cess

Chris Her­lihy doesn’t stand still for long, but re­porter Alastair Lynn man­aged to get him to sit down long enough to talk about his new role as prin­ci­pal of Glen Tay­lor School in Glen Innes.

Central Leader - - NEWS -

He’s just 10 weeks in to his new role and Chris Her­lihy has been on a steep learn­ing curve.

From fig­ur­ing out how to op­er­ate a boiler to putting to­gether a 10-year prop­erty plan, be­ing a school prin­ci­pal comes with big re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

‘‘Ev­ery day I’ve learnt some­thing new. It’s quite a big jump from the deputy prin­ci­pal role,’’ he says.

It’s not like Her­lihy wasn’t pre­pared for it. He spent five years at Fruitvale School in New Lynn, two years teach­ing in the United King­dom, seven years as the deputy prin­ci­pal of Kel­ston Pri­mary and was part of the Na­tional As­pir­ing Prin­ci­pals Pro­gramme.

Be­fore help­ing mould the minds of the next gen­er­a­tion, Her­lihy used his light­ning-fast re­ac­tions to play ta­ble ten­nis at in­ter­na­tional level.

‘‘I rep­re­sented New Zealand at the Asian Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in 1998,’’ he says.

‘‘Through­out my mis­spent youth and univer­sity days that was a big part of my life.’’

A high­light was play­ing in the qual­i­fiers for the Syd­ney 2000 Olympics – but that dream was not to be. ‘‘Golf’s the new pas­sion now.’’

He’s ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of his new lead­er­ship role. ‘‘ My heart’s around the lower decile schools, mul­ti­cul­tural schools. Glen Tay­lor came up so I thought I’d give it a crack.’’

The decile 1 school has seen a drop in its roll, which is now sit­ting at about 250 chil­dren.

How­ever with the Ta­maki Re­de­vel­op­ment Pro­ject well un­der way, Her­lihy sees an op­por­tu­nity to re­vi­talise the school.

‘‘We’re go­ing back and we’re go­ing to be work­ing with the staff around de­vel­op­ing the vi­sion of the school.

‘‘It seemed to me that there was a lot of pas­sion­ate staff mem­bers here to raise stu­dent achieve­ment.

‘‘There’s a lot of po­ten­tial to make a real dif­fer­ence in the school.’’

A new prin­ci­pal has a whirl­wind of things to do, peo­ple to see and plans to or­gan­ise. It is this va­ri­ety that makes rolling out of bed in the early hours of the morn­ing easy for Her­lihy.

‘‘The base to build from here is re­ally solid,’’ he says. ‘‘The thing that’s made it the eas­i­est is the kids, they’re just awe­some. Ev­ery day it amazes me that they’re so happy and keen to learn. Hope­fully I can take it to the next level.’’

New Glen Tay­lor School prin­ci­pal Chris Her­lihy is ready to lead the school in a new di­rec­tion.

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