New principal has big plans
New principal Shirley Porteous wants to put Greenacres School on the map – quite literally.
The Tawa primary school does not show up on internet search giant Google’s maps, which Mrs Porteous discovered when applying for the principal’s job last year.
Correcting the omission will be a senior-student project this year, and Mrs Porteous also hopes to install better street signs directing people to the school.
‘‘I want to get us more on the map, so people know who we are and where we are,’’ she says.
A Newlands resident, Mrs Porteous has come from a deputy principal’s role at Fergusson Intermediate in Upper Hutt, and replaces long- time principal Graeme Schofield.
Greenacres’ strong community has warmly welcomed her this term, she says.
‘‘I’m loving it. Since I’ve been here I’ve been welcomed so well. People have been really, really supportive of the change, and they’re looking forward.’’
Mrs Porteous has plenty more ambitious changes in mind.
Greenacres is due to get a substantial property grant from the Ministry of Education this year, and extensive community consultation will be done to decide how to spend the money, she says. The decile 9 school’s long-term direction will also be discussed during the consultation.
‘‘It’s really good timing for me to do that, with me being new.’’
Mrs Porteous hopes the community will get behind her idea to upgrade and modernise classrooms with some of the grant.
Sustainability will be a focus for Greenacres’ 200 pupils this year – Mrs Porteous is passionate about the subject and wants to establish an environment group that will begin gardening and composting at school.
ICT is another focus – Mrs Porteous hopes to get more laptops and iPads into classrooms and encourage students’ online engagement. Language classes are also being introduced, with Mrs Porteous herself teaching Spanish, and other staff will be giving Japanese and German lessons.
‘‘ A rich curriculum is what we’re after here, to expose the kids to as many things as they can be exposed to,’’ she says.
Change coming: New Greenacres School principal, Shirley Porteous, has plenty planned for her first year in charge, including a property makeover, foreign language lessons and a sustainability club.