Am­is­field School gets a new prin­ci­pal

South Waikato News - - Property - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa’s Am­is­field School has a new prin­ci­pal but she’s no new­bie.

Act­ing prin­ci­pal Chris­tine Mcliesh has now of­fi­cially be­come prin­ci­pal af­ter tak­ing over from former prin­ci­pal Bex Kil­gour who went on ma­ter­nity leave last year and who has now de­cided not to re­turn.

Mcliesh comes with 17 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence as a prin­ci­pal at var­i­ous New Zealand schools and be­fore com­ing to Am­is­field she worked in the Mid­dle East as a coach and men­tor for prin­ci­pals in girls’ schools.

Prior to tak­ing on her new role she was cur­ricu­lum and as­sess­ment leader at Am­is­field.

‘‘What I bring is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the dream Bex had be­cause she and I worked closely to­gether and be­lieved in the same ed­u­ca­tional phi­los­o­phy,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s about the strength of re­la­tion­ships and then grow­ing ed­u­ca­tion from there.’’

She said over the last four years she’s been work­ing on the ground­work to im­prove achieve­ment rates at the school.

‘‘Where we had an is­sue with quite a lot of chil­dren not achiev­ing in lit­er­acy it is not there any­more, par­tic­u­larly in the ju­nior school,’’ she said.

‘‘Both Bex and I worked re­ally hard to make sure we’ve got the best qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and that ev­ery child has the op­por­tu­nity to achieve their very best.’’

‘‘We raised lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy stan­dards sig­nif­i­cantly dur­ing that time so my role now is to con­tinue that work. It’s about putting struc­tures in place to make sure it stays at the top end so we only have the one or two hard-to-moves that we can work with rather than hav­ing a goodly num­ber,’’ she said.

She said cre­at­ing a whanau en­vi­ron­ment was essen­tial.

‘‘It’s about mak­ing sure that this is a re­ally good place for chil­dren to feel like they are part of a whanau and that there are other peo­ple that re­ally care for them,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s not to say we don’t have our chal­lenges in life, just like other schools do, but the re­al­ity that most of our chil­dren now be­have like that and they are good with oth­ers, par­tic­u­larly the older ones with the lit­tle ones, is re­ally nice. It gives it much more of a fam­ily feel.’’

Mcliesh said she was excited about the fu­ture.

‘‘This is an awe­some com­mu­nity. I wouldn’t have taken it on had I not al­ready felt very much at home here,’’ she said.

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