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Right timing . . . Rebecca Meek has been appointed as the new principal at Oamaru Intermediate School. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

Rebecca Meek has landed her “dream job”.

After 12 years as deputy principal at Oamaru Intermediate School, Mrs Meek will take up the role of principal in the new year, replacing Mary Healey, who is retiring after 13 years in charge.

Mrs Meek said it felt like the right time for her to step up and she was “looking forward to steering the ship in 2021”.

“I’m ready for a change and a new challenge,” she said.

“It’s just an awesome opportunity.”

Mrs Meek has been teaching at Oamaru Intermediate School since she graduated and has been deputy principal since 2007.

Originally from Southland, Mrs Meek completed her secondary schooling in Oamaru, and married “high-school sweetheart” Craig Meek.

Teaching is in her blood.

“My mum was a teacher. She taught at St Joseph’s for many, many years, and my dad played a big part on board of trustees and in different governance roles,” she said.

Mrs Meek said she was passionate about “leading intermediate-aged learning”, and pastoral care and wellbeing were top priorities.

“I just love this age-group and love this school,” she said.

“They’re just becoming young adults, really finding out who they are as people and being able to support them on their journey as learners .. is pretty cool.”

Mrs Meek has seen many changes at Oamaru Intermediate School since she first began teaching there.

She loved its cultural diversity and “high energy”.

Over the past two years, she had enjoyed being involved in the Waitaki Ara Kahui Ako community of learning, which also involved Oamaru kindergartens, Fenwick and Oamaru North Schools, and Waitaki Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools.

She was looking forward to strengthening those connections as principal.

Mrs Meek said she had received “overwhelming support” since her appointment was announced on Monday.

She said she was “really lucky” to have the rest of the year as a handover period with Mrs Healey, who had been a great mentor for her.

The Oamaru Intermediate School board of trustees was “tremendously excited about Rebecca’s appointment”, chairwoman Bec O’Sullivan said.

“[We] believe her vision and passion for intermediate-aged children will provide strong leadership and vision moving forward,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.

There had been “great interest – and not just locally” – in the role, she said.