Step up for new St Theresa’s prin­ci­pal


Donna McDon­ald’s ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion be­gan when she be­came in­volved with the board of trustees at the school her chil­dren at­tended.

‘‘I guess be­ing in­volved just sparked an in­ter­est,’’ said the new prin­ci­pal of St Theresa’s School in Plim­mer­ton.

McDon­ald was on the board of trustees at St Fran­cis Xavier School in Tawa. Iron­i­cally, when she de­cided to go down the teach­ing route, she even­tu­ally be­came deputy prin­ci­pal at the school.

She moved from that po­si­tion at St Fran­cis Xavier into the va­cant prin­ci­pal spot at St Theresa’s in term one.

‘‘I waited for the right school at the right time,’’ McDon­ald said.

She has been in­volved in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor for about 20 years and is ex­cited to get her first prin­ci­pal gig.

‘‘I came to it a bit later than most, but I’m for­tu­nate to have a job that is so var­ied and re­ward­ing. Ev­ery­one has been very sup­port­ive.’’

McDon­ald went to Teach­ers Col­lege’ in 1998 and has since spent 14 years as a teacher, and eight as a deputy prin­ci­pal.

She said she loved the fact that her new po­si­tion was so re­ward­ing and was re­ally look­ing for­ward to what was ahead.

‘‘It’s a cliche to say we make a dif­fer­ence, but the truth is we do,’’ she said.

She is be­ing men­tored by Jan Win, a re­cently re­tired prin­ci­pal from Belle­vue School, as part of the First-time Prin­ci­pals’ Pro­gramme.

The Tawa res­i­dent said there was a fan­tas­tic team at St Theresa’s School.

She is also part of the Paru­moana Pri­mary Prin­ci­pals’ and Catholic Prin­ci­pals’ as­so­ci­a­tions.

‘‘I love the re­ally tight com­mu­nity and hav­ing the church on site.’’

McDon­ald said one of her goals was to push ahead with e-learn­ing and up­grad­ing de­vices around the school to bet­ter help pupils learn.

An­other was to re­la­tion­ships with par­ents and teach­ers.

St Theresa’s School has 174 pupils.

build pupils, The St Theresa’s Catholic School car­ni­val in Plim­mer­ton takes place on April 9, 11am till 3pm.


Donna McDon­ald, the new St Theresa’s School prin­ci­pal.

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