Amisfield School gets a new principal
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.