School’s out for girls’ college principal
There are times when Karen Stewart walks down the main street of Blenheim and can recognise most of the female faces passing by.
Such is the reality of working for a quarter of a century in Marlborough’s only all-girls school.
‘‘It’s a really nice part of teaching in a town like Blenheim.
‘‘To see the girls mature, and then add something of their own to the community is very special,’’ she says.
It is a facet of her position as the principal of Marlborough Girls’ College that Stewart says she will miss after ending her tenure in the top job on Friday.
‘‘To see the girls mature, and then add something of their own to the community is very special.’’
Stewart will head south to work as the principal of Rangiora High School, which has been without a permanent principal for more than a year.
While the job will allow the Cantabrian to be closer to home, Stewart says it is bittersweet to leave behind her school of 25 years.
‘‘It has been very hard to say goodbye to everyone,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s the relationships that keep you in a place, and I’ve really enjoyed my time at Marlborough Girls’ College.’’
Stewart started at the school as the head of social sciences in 1992, before being promoted to assist- ant principal in 1997.
She has been principal since 2006.
Stewart’s departure comes at a crucial time for the college, which is planning to co-locate to a site shared with Marlborough Boys’ College.
The new schools are expected to open in 2021, costing $63 million.
The co-location of the colleges is bigger than one person and her departure should not impact the project, Stewart said in May.
The outgoing principal says she is thankful to everyone who has helped her over the past 25 years.
The Marlborough Girls’ College board has met several times to plan for the appointment of a new principal, expected to be on board for the start of the 2018 school year.
Deputy principal Jo Chamberlain will step into the role of acting principal for the rest of the year, while assistant principal Sandy Wyber steps into the role of deputy principal.
Stewart will start at Rangiora High School next term.
Karen Stewart will start as the principal of Rangiora High School next term.