Principal relishing Pukerau position

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Pukerau Primary School’s new principal is enjoying working at the rural school.
Lisa Parish has been at the school for seven weeks now.

“I’m looking forward to getting into things,” Mrs Parish said.

She moved from Willowbank School where she had been principal for nine years.

Mrs Parish grew up in Taranaki but had family ties to Southland. Her grandfather, Jack Whitworth, was a former principal of Menzies College.

Mrs Parish had wanted to be a teacher since she was 12, she said.

“I come from a line of teachers. It’s in the family.

“I love teaching.

“It’s a big job but the positives far outweigh the negatives,” she said

Ready for class. . . Pukerau Primary School’s new principal, Lisa Parish, with some of her year 6 pupils.

Her first three years on the job in the North Island were diverse. She worked part-time, teaching all ages from early childhood to college pupils.

Now she enjoys having just one group of children to connect with.

“You get to know the kids better and they get to know you better.”

She also enjoys teaching in a rural setting.

“The community is the hub of a rural school. It is very important to have a strong connection between the school and families.”

She was impressed by the Pukerau community, she said.

“Parents are very supportive of the school.”

Mrs Parish was also impressed with the Pukerau staff.

“The teachers are incredible. Kids here are getting a very good education.”

The previous principal, Colleen Watt,set up good programmes that Mrs Parish planned to continue, including using technology as a learning tool in the classroom.

Mrs Parish intends to ensure learning is fun.

“I want the kids to get up in the morning and be excited to come to school.

“I think school should be a place where kids work hard but also have fun,” she said.

Seven weeks in, Mrs Parish is already enjoying the job.

“I feel pretty lucky,” she said.