Hadlow School’s new principal Andrew Osmond, far right, being welcomed by pupils through waiata. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER
Hadlow Preparatory School entered a new era on Monday as it welcomed its new principal who promises to teach his pupils how to live a life filled with kindness.
Andrew Osmond has big shoes to fill as he replaces former principal of 22 years, Michael Mercer, who retired at the end of last term.
Osmond moved to Wairarapa only two weeks ago from Whanganui, where he has been principal of St George’s School for the past five years.
Several staff and pupils travelled from Whanganui on Monday to farewell Osmond and formally hand him over to his new school.
“Andrew is a treasure and we were lucky to have him at our school,” said St George’s School Te Reo Maori teacher, Mandy Cresswell.
“We’re handing him over as a treasure to Hadlow.”
Cresswell led the St George’s School group in waiata at the assembly as part of their farewell, saying tradition and tikanga helped reflect how the school valued him.
Osmond was described by staff as passionate, motivated, and known for treating everyone with kindness.
“You will hear me talk about [kindness] a lot,” Osmond said. “For me, it’s the number one thing.”
Hadlow School associate principal Jane Milne said the two schools were already linked through sporting exchanges and saw it as important to join them together in a special assembly to mark the new chapter.
“It’s important to involve his history into our future,” she said.
Osmond said the morning had brought “a mixture of emotions” but called the event “very special”.
“Tikanga is very important to us – we always start our school year at St George’s with a powhiri and it’s only fitting I start my time here like this,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get stuck in and start my role here at Hadlow School.”
Osmond is joined by his wife, Emma, and their teenage children, Megan and Max.