Tararua principal calls it a day
Retiring Pahı¯atua School principal Lynne Huddleston hopes she has left a mark in her lengthy career working in education.
Huddleston is retiring at the end of the term tomorrow after 19 years as principal of the school.
She has had a long career teaching and as a principal and she had enjoyed workingwith good leaders in that time.
‘‘I think the most important thing in education is having good role models.
‘‘I’ve been fortunate in having a few really good role models right from the word go, and hopefully I’ve been a really good role model to a few others.’’
Originally from Woodville, she started teaching in 1975 at Port School in Napier.
After a year she taught at a Woodville School and later had a leadership role, working there for 21 years, then spent five years as principal at Kimbolton School before taking the job at Pahı¯atua.
The thing she was most proud of at Pahı¯atua was the development of children’s social skills.
The school’s behaviour system is everyone needs love, power, freedom and fun, and if those four things were done, there was no growling, Huddleston said.
‘‘If they’re not behaving, chances are high either something went wrong in the morning or [the pupil] doesn’t know what to do, but doesn’t want to let on.
‘‘We’ve put up a strong sense of belonging in the children and the staff. From the teachers’ point of view, if the kiddies comes to school [and] they can’t read or write, we teach them.
‘‘If they come to school and they can’t behave, we teach them.’’
She believed this led to a positive culture at the school and good academic achievement.
When she started the school roll was in the early 200s.
‘‘Now it is close to 400.
There had been big changes in teaching and learning during her career, with technology also having a positive impact.
The modern learning environments were something that worked if the right support systems were in place, she said.
Huddleston said teaching had becomemore scientific and classroom work was only about a third of the work.
Since she had been at Pahı¯atua, they’ve had a new deck and verandahs added, a new library thatwas now a classroom, rooms renovated and two new roll-growth classrooms built.
A covered turf should be built by the end of the year.
In retirement, Huddleston planned to play golf and had a few projects to work on.
She said she was amechanical freak and liked working on old motorbikes.
She won’t miss the late nights and busy days in the job.
Deputy principal David Jackson will be acting principal while the job is advertised.