School’s out for girls’ col­lege prin­ci­pal

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - JEF­FREY KITT

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.

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