Pukerau School principal signs off

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Today is the last day of the year for Pukerau School and also the last day retiring principal Colleen Watt will spend with the children.

Mrs Watt has been principal at the school since 2004, after several years as deputy head at East Gore School.
“There was a lot of unknown of what was in front of me. I had thousands of questions of what to do, when to do it and how to do it, as far as management was concerned,” Mrs Watt said.
In her time as principal, the school roll had doubled to about 56 and there were now three classes.
The most rewarding aspect of her job had been seeing the children develop and progress during their time at the school.
“It is great seeing their personal development, whether in academic work or sporting achievements _ it is very satisfying. I will definitely miss the children _ the paperwork not so much,” she said
The school had not changed much in her time at the helm, although it had become an Enviroschool, which had resulted in the children taking on community projects.
Some of the changes in education had not pleased her, Mrs Watt said.
“There have been many significant changes in education and I do not think all of them have been advantageous to children.”
She had spent 46 years in education and was a bit apprehensive of how she would occupy herself once she retired.
She was looking forward to travelling, including visiting relatives in Australia, and spending more time with her husband Bevin.
The highpoints of her time at the school were too many to enumerate, but she would miss the school, Mrs Watt said.
“The school has a great staff who have always been here and supported everything.”