Rangikura head has moved on
Paul Nees has seen a lot of changes in the last decade and a half at Rangikura School.
After more than 15 years as principal he has taken a job with the New Zealand Educational Institute.
Two full cohorts have passed through the year-one to eight school and in that time he has seen ‘‘huge changes – both educationally and politically’’.
National standards have wrought massive change that will continue into the future, he said.
The Tamaiti Mua (Children First) programme he and his staff instituted has transformed Rangikura into a communitycentred school, he said.
‘‘It’s basically a 10-year plan to achieve total collaboration. It’s about involving our community and it’s about providing services to our community through our school.’’
Among the Tamaiti Mua initiatives were play groups for young mothers and evening maths classes, not just for children but for anyone wanting to do a bit extra.
‘‘A lot more parents are coming into the school and a lot more parents are visibly involved in their children’s school.
‘‘What stands out for me is that we have enhanced Rangikura’s reputation in the wider community as well,’’ he said. Does he have any regrets? ‘‘I would like to have seen this community project all the way through to its completion,’’ Mr Nees said.
‘‘Having said that, whether anything ever gets completed to how you would like is a moot point. Overall it was a good time to bow out.’’
Many Rangikura pupils have gone on to success but Mr Nees was particularly proud of Daniel Albert, who returned to the school to play the role of master of ceremonies for his leaving celebrations.
Daniel had faced a lot of difficulties during his primary school years, Mr Nees said.
‘‘Now he has graduated from Aotea and is doing Maori Studies at Victoria, and next year will study law and politics.’’
Mr Nees’ role at the NZEI is providing professional and employment support for other principals.
Passing the baton: Paul Nees has moved on after after serving more than 15 years as principal of Rangikura School.