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Statutory management to ERO heaven

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Wairarapa College principal Shelley Power has resigned and will leave the school at the end of the year.

In a letter sent to parents on Friday, Power said Wairarapa College had made positive moves forward over the past three years with the hard work and support of the staff, board, and community.

Wairarapa College principal, Shelley Power, has resigned.

“This has been confirmed by the Education Review Office after their visit at the end of Term 2,” Power wrote.

“Wairarapa College now needs a new principal with the energy and drive to see the vision for the future of our school that is currently being formed by staff, students, community and board, through to fruition.

“The board of trustees will now begin the process of employing a new principal for the start of 2020.

“This will allow for a smooth transition to new leadership.

“I know that the new principal will be well supported by a fantastic board and staff and will be welcomed by a wonderful group of young people that they, too, will be lucky to work with.

“Wairarapa College is a great school. It is made great by the people who come here every day and by the passionate commitment of its community who hold us all accountable for keeping WaiCol great.

“I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to be a part of the school and community.”

Powers moved to Wairarapa College in 2016 from an associate principal role at Katikati College in Bay of Plenty.

She took over the principal role from Mike Schwass amid mounting pressure over the college’s financial crisis.

The school was put into Ministry of Education management the year before, after confirmation it owed $1.86 million as a result of overstaffing.

Board member Maria McKenzie said Power had worked incredibly hard over the period of time she’d been at Wairarapa College.

“She has taken the school out of statutory management and got us to the point where we got a fabulous ERO report just recently.

“She’s got the school in a really good financial position alongside the statutory manager Helena Barwick.

“She’s done a huge amount of work in terms of introducing academic mentoring which has brought the school a lot closer aligned with the community and increased the communication with the community.”

McKenzie said Power had positioned the school to implement changes.

“She’s been strategic in her approach and worked incredibly hard to position that school so it can be a modern learning environment, student catered, student focused, and culturally responsive.”

Power is going to take a sabbatical in Europe, which was well earned, McKenzie said.

“I think being a principal of a secondary school in New Zealand is one of the hardest jobs you could possibly have, and I think she has worked incredibly hard,” she said.

“We thank her very much for the work she has done.”