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St Mary’s new principal

Karen Goodall is the new principal of St Mary’s School in Carterton. PHOTO/CHELSEA BOYLE


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The new face at St Mary’s School will already be a familiar one to many in Carterton.

Karen Goodall has taken up the position as principal, replacing former principal Tim Nelson.

Miss Goodall has strong connections to her new school on King St.

She grew up just a stone’s throw away from the school, which she attended as a child, and has a niece and nephew who attend the school.

As a person who embraces change she was “excited” about the new chapter in her career.

She liked to get out of her comfort zone, she said.

After almost six years of great memories at Wainuioru School it felt like it was the right time for herself and for the school.

“I was time for a change,” she said.

“I knew I would be doing something different this year.”

Wainuioru School would always be special to her as her first principalship, a place she absolutely “loved”.

St Mary’s School would also represent a first for Miss Goodall who said it would be neat to work in the community she lives in.

“I’ve never worked in Carterton before.”

There were a lot of similarities between the two schools beyond just the brilliant pet days they each host.

Being smaller schools Miss Goodall said she liked being able to know everyone’s name.

“I want to know everyone and the story behind them.”

She said she was passionate about making a difference for the pupils and making sure there were experiences that “inspires and motivates the kids.”

Miss Goodall would also be encouraging a lot of “hands on” learning.

“I love seeing older kids working with playdough and dress-ups.”

Miss Goodall was welcomed to the school with a powhiri at the start of this week, in a ceremony that both pupils of St Mary’s School and Wainuioru School were a part of.

St Mary’s School Board of Trustees Chair Tom Roseingrave said Miss Goodall was “extremely experienced” and that the board felt she was the right person to take the school forwards.

“We’ve had five years of sustained growth in the school, the school has almost doubled its roll, and obviously we had a great principal with Tim Nelson who went to Lakeview.

“So, we needed to find someone who could carry that on and also help us to further enhance the facilities and opportunities for the children.”

Miss Goodall had a lot of connections to the school, community and church and as a Catholic school the wider community was an important consideration.

“That was another really strong point in her favour.”

But what really shone in her interview was her “absolute commitment” to the children and her passion for education.


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