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Teacher’s new challenge looms

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

The horticulturist, come teacher, come builder, and come teacher again has an endless list of life experiences up his sleeve to help him manage the 54 pupils as principal at Dalefield School next year.

For Eric Daubé (pronounced dough-bay), a teacher at Martinborough Primary, said this next chapter in his career is a challenge he was looking forward to pursue.

“I don’t find the principal role daunting in the least. It’s time for me to step up, time for me to work in a community around community spirit, and I’m really excited about that,” he said.

Since leaving behind the city life in 2014, where he taught at West Park School in Johnsonville for 10 years, including an 11-month stint as acting principal, he has enjoyed the Wairarapa lifestyle.

The born and raised Wellingtonian has had a strong Wairarapa connection since he was a child. As a boy, his family would camp at Pahaoa on a family friends farm.

While 18 years of his life has been dedicated to teaching the young generations of New Zealand, Mr Daubé followed various interests before settling into his teaching career.

Originally, Mr Daubé studied a horticulture diploma at Massey University in Palmerston North in the early 1980’s, and shortly after owned a landscaping business.

After many successful years with the business followed by a year or two of travel, he settled back in his hometown, Wellington, to study at Wellington Teachers College in 1986.

“I think I knew when I was in my mid-teens that at some stage I wanted to be a teacher. But I thought oh no that’s not the right thing to do, so I needed to get the horticulture out of my system in terms on training.”

“But I’m still as passionate, probably even a bit of a greenie.”

Then in the late 1990’s Mr Daubé took a break from teaching and tapped back into his building talent, having previously built the family home in Wellington for his wife Shona, and their three children. Mr Daubé started up his own building business, which he had for seven years.

“I built the house we lived in in the 80’s, our children grew up in that in Wadestown, then coming here we bought one of the oldest houses in Carterton, which was a huge change but it’s been fabulous,” he said.

“It’s funny because when we tell people where we live they say “oh you’re the pink house”,” he said.

Eventually after all these years Mr Daubé discovered that teaching was his calling in 2004, and has been teaching ever since.

“It’s amazing how many life accomplishments you can fit in, and now I understand a life beyond a school.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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