New North School head sees potential

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Oamaru North School’s newly-appointed principal says the North Otago school has “a lot of potential”, which she is keen to see flourish.

Stacey Honeywill, who has been principal at Waitati School near Dunedin for five years, will replace acting principal Sam Winterbourne, who took over when Peter Roundhill left after several years in charge in 2019.

Mrs Honeywill said the two schools were similar in a lot of ways, such as roll size, which made the job too good to pass up.

“I think it was the fact it was a school that has a lot of potential and I feel like it’s the type of community people would probably enjoy working in.

“A smaller school where you know the community well is the kind of environment I like working in.”

Her first priority was to “get the tamariki and their whanau engaged in school life”, which she said was important to her personally and professionally.

Mrs Honeywill also looked forward to sharing in the school’s cultural diversity.

“There’s probably a different cultural aspect to North School, but culture … is one of my strengths.

“I am Ngai Tahu myself and I know there is a large Pasifika population there, so that’s great.”

School limited statutory manager Cleave Hay said Mrs Honeywill was originally scheduled to start on April 29, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown, would instead ease herself into the role.

He described Mrs Honeywill as an ideal fit for the school.

“She is very passionate, very visionary and focused on relationships. She has a very good record at Waitati. There is a real passion that flows from her.”

The school has been under statutory management since November last year, when Mr Hay was appointed with powers to manage employment and communication matters.

Otago Daily Times