Leader’s exit an end of an era

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MARY FITZGER­ALD

A pres­ti­gious Auck­land col­lege is about to lose its prin­ci­pal after 20 years of ser­vice.

Lynda Reid has been the St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal since 1996, and for 20 of the col­lege’s 100 year his­tory. Her ten­ure comes to a close to­day.

St Cuth­bert’s is an in­de­pen­dent school with a lead­er­ship role in the sec­tor. The col­lege pro­vides ed­u­ca­tion to more than 1400 girls from years 1 to 13 at its cam­pus in Ep­som.

Reid is recog­nised for her lead­er­ship in guid­ing the school to many aca­demic suc­cesses, in­clud­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of NCEA and In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate. In an au­da­cious move she in­tro­duced the month-long Kahunui re­mote cam­pus in 1996 to pro­vide an ed­u­ca­tional plat­form for stu­dents to de­velop re­silience and com­mu­nity ori­ented life skills.

‘‘I am proud that I leave the col­lege more con­nected to the wider ed­u­ca­tional com­mu­nity than at the point that I started. The col­lege is ac­tively in­volved in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor,’’ she says.

Reid’s re­la­tion­ship with the col­lege be­gan when she was a Dunedin-based deputy head prin­ci­pal. Her hus­band saw the St Cuth­bert’s prin­ci­pal po­si­tion be­ing ad­ver­tised and sug­gested she con­tact the school. Reid made the call but was em­bar­rassed to be in­formed she was speak­ing to Dioce­san School for Girls, not St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege. Now, with her legacy well es­tab­lished, Reid re­flects on this em­bar­rass­ing mo­ment with good hu­mour, fo­cussing on what she will miss most now that she is leav­ing.

‘‘When you work with young peo­ple all the time you can’t help but be in­spired by their en­ergy. I will very much miss the girls’ en­thu­si­asm and I will miss the staff.’’

Reid’s com­mit­ment has been recog­nised with the pre­sen­ta­tion of the Sec­ondary Prin­ci­pals’ As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand Lead­er­ship in Ed­u­ca­tion Award. She is the only head of an in­de­pen­dent school to re­ceive this ac­co­lade.

After leav­ing col­lege life Reid will take time writ­ing re­flec­tions on the NZ ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, lead­er­ship within the sec­tor, and prob­lems such as the up­com­ing teacher short­age cri­sis.

St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege trust board chair Si­mon Allen says he ‘‘would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to ac­knowl­edge Mrs Lynda Reid for her out­stand­ing 20 years of lead­er­ship at St Cuth­bert’s and the ex­tra­or­di­nary legacy she leaves for the col­lege’’.

Lynda Reid has been the St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege prin­ci­pal since 1996, and for 20 of the col­lege’s 100 year his­tory.

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