Next challenge: learning to relax

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Putting her feet up will take a bit of getting used to for retiring Oamaru Intermediate School principal Mary Healey, when she steps down at the end of the year.

Mrs Healey said the “timing was right” for her to retire after 13 years in charge and three years as deputy principal, and it was not a hard decision to make.

The school had a positive ERO report last year and was “well placed heading into the future”, she said.

“It’s time to step aside. Thirteen years is a long stint in one place.”

Mrs Healey would also be leaving her post as lead principal in the community of learning Waitaki Ara Kahui Ako, which involved the Oamaru kindergartens, Fenwick and Oamaru North Schools, and Waitaki Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools.

The highlights of Mrs Healey’s time at Oamaru Intermediate were the amazing staff she got to work with, “just really committed teachers”, and, of course, the pupils.

“I love the intermediate age group, and seeing where these kids go from here. There are a lot of rewards that come your way through teaching.”

Mrs Healey had been teaching since 1975, “with time out to have kids along the way”.

She initially took on the principal role because she “loves a challenge” and said the next big challenge would be learning how to relax. Three of her four children lived in Richmond, near Nelson, so she would enjoy being able to spend more time with them and her two young grandchildren.

Board of trustees chairwoman Rebecca O’Sullivan said Mrs Healey would be sorely missed.

“The board are very sad to receive Mary’s resignation and would like to acknowledge her inspirational leadership and dedication.

“We appreciate the notice given to formally get under way the process of filling the role.”