Hop­ing to make a dif­fer­ence

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

Maria Pot­ter started her ca­reer in education ex­actly 20 years ago - in 1997 she started her train­ing to be­come a teacher.

A for­mer pupil of Sa­cred Heart College her­self, this is her third year as prin­ci­pal of the school.

Cur­rently she looks af­ter the 820 stu­dents at the Catholic girls’ college and said she loved the school and what she does. More than 250 girls from Up­per Hutt make the trek to Sa­cred Heart ev­ery week­day, nearly a quar­ter of the school’s stu­dents.

Sa­cred Heart cel­e­brated its cen­te­nary in 2012 by putting in a new per­form­ing arts cen­tre that is widely used by the com­mu­nity.

WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PUB­LIC SPACE?

We are so spoilt for choice here but it would have to be the Wainuiomata coast – it’s pretty wild at times but it can’t be beaten on a beau­ti­ful day.

WHAT DREWYOU TO WORK­ING IN SCHOOLS?

The idea that per­haps I could make a dif­fer­ence to some stu­dents – I was so for­tu­nate to have had many great teach­ers when I was at school and they were def­i­nitely an in­spi­ra­tion for me.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

I have a large fam­ily, a lot of whom still live lo­cally, so most of my time is spent with ei­ther them or with friends.

I like to be ac­tive so I do a bit of walk­ing and I re­ally en­joy a nice meal and a glass of wine. Two of my three chil­dren now live in Taranaki so no doubt a bit of my free time will be spent on the road so we can catch up!

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR­WARD TO MOST IN THE SCHOOL YEAR?

I love see­ing both staff and stu­dents suc­ceed. Ev­ery year I am blown away by the achieve­ments within our com­mu­nity and it is so re­ward­ing to wit­ness this. I also love the va­ri­ety and chal­lenges that each year brings – no two years have ever been the same.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEER­FUL MEAL YOU LIKE TO MAKE?

It has to be a curry – I’m not much of a cook but I amtry­ing to make this more of a pri­or­ity in 2017.

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