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Team work...Principals Kay Stevens (left) of Riversdale School and Linda Fraser of West Gore School will co-lead the 13 schools collaborating in the Eastern Southland Community of Learning.

The former leader of Eastern Southland Community of Learning has stepped down and two new co-leaders are stepping up in her stead.

New co-leader and Riversdale School principal Kay Stevens said it was a privilege to take on the role.

The new co-leaders knew the area they wanted to work on.

“The focus will be on working together on projects that enhance student achievement,” Mrs Stevens said.

An example was pupils transitioning between the 13 member schools or between year levels.

The transition from year 6 to year 7 often involved both.

“If we get alignment with the core curriculum they are able to move forward from where they left off.

“It makes things smoother for the tamariki.”

New co-leader and West Gore School principal Linda Fraser said she was excited about her role.

“We’ve come through the initial relationship-building phase,” Mrs Fraser said.

The community mission was to build on that and make schools collaborative and not competitive.

Making transitions easier between schools was an important focus area, she also said.

Former leader and St Mary’s School principal Annie Nelson said while good leaders were important, good followers were also necessary.

That is what she intended to be.

“I am looking forward to doing my part,” Mrs Nelson said.

She had led the community of learning since its inception three years ago.

“I was more involved with setting it up and its foundation.

“It’s time that somebody else got it moving.”

She had stepped down over the lockdown period, on April 28.

A highlight of her experience as leader was when all the member schools planned a teacher-only day for the same day, so that they could all gather together to work and plan .

“It’s about bringing schools together.”

Members ranged from preschools to high schools and the Southern Institute of Technology.

She felt “absolutely stoked”about the new co-leaders.

The role had required a lot of time and effort.

“It’s too much work for one person.

“We’re just going to move so much quicker now.”