By: Anne-Marie McDonald
When South Makirikiri School needed a new principal, it enlisted the help of its biggest asset – its students.
The 150-pupil rural school, near Marton, has produced its own video about what it wants from a new principal. See below.
Current principal Stu Devonport has been at the school since the start of 2016. Next term he will take up the role of principal of Boulcott School in Lower Hutt. He said the Board of Trustees came up with the idea of making a student video, and the board’s teacher representative Craig Beer picked up the idea and ran with it.
“The school wanted something that was a point of difference, something that showcased the school,” Mr Devonport said.
“Craig talked to some of our Year 8 student leaders, and they developed the project.”
The student leaders organised the script, did the filming and edited it.
“I think it’s awesome. It’s great that the kids have taken leadership of it. Some of the comments from the kids have been quite poignant – it’s interesting to hear what they are looking for in a principal,” Mr Devonport said.
In the video, one of the student leaders said she hoped the new principal would be “dedicated, hard working, kind, have a sense of humour and will play games with us at lunchtime”.
One junior student asked: “Could you please play hide and seek with us?” Another student said she wanted the new principal to “know country life”.
In return, the new principal can expect “supportive staff and community, and amazing children”.
The video also shows some of South Makirikiri School’s environment, including large playing fields, native bush and playgrounds.
Mr Devonport said the school’s advertisement in the Education Gazette – where all education sector jobs are advertised – encouraged applicants to the school’s website so they can see the video.
He said community feedback on the video had been very positive.
Source: Wanganui Chronicle