Mana principal relishes new role
Mana College has a new principal and a bright future.
John Murdoch was welcomed into his new role as principal with a powhiri last Friday.
‘‘I was looking forward to the ceremony, but I want to get on with the work,’’ he said.
The college is getting more staff, more funding and a flash new classroom, and that’s just the start.
Murdoch has already secured $500,000 of funding for the school for new teaching and support staff.
Next month the soil will be turned for a modern learning hub in the school grounds.
‘‘It’s a new way of learning in a building made especially for the students,’’ he said.
Murdoch left his job as principal of Taita College last month and said Mana’s potential appealed to him.
‘‘A challenge is an opportunity and it was the right time for a new one.
‘‘The school is a canvas that I’m excited about colouring in.’’
NCEA pass rates more than doubled at Taita College during Murdoch’s six-year tenure.
‘‘That’s what I’m most proud of and what I want for Mana.’’
Murdoch said the challenge he relished most was changing the perception of Mana College.
The school was placed under statutory management last year because of a plummeting roll and poor financial decisions.
He said perception of the college would change when people saw how well it was performing. When that happened, the roll would blossom as parents took notice.
‘‘Porirua and Titahi Bay parents are smart people who want the best for their kids.
‘‘They will look for the best and we will provide it.’’
He said the most important thing was to deliver good quality in teaching and college programmes.
‘When we do that, people will come.’’
Murdoch said he always wanted to be a principal and believed that all teenagers wanted to learn.
‘‘It’s in their DNA and we just have to teach them better.’’
Murdoch and his wife, Alissa, have three children, which he said made for a busy life.
He wants to see innovation in the secondary school sector and can’t wait to bring the change to Mana.
‘‘There’s gold in them thar hills.’’
John Murdoch, who is ready for his next challenge as a principal.