New challenges for head
Pakuranga College will continue to be in good hands when its new principal takes the realm.
Michael Williams starts at the school in term three after making significant progress at the school he leaves behind, Papatoetoe’s Aorere College.
Mr Williams replaces Heather McRae who took over as principal of Diocesan School for Girls this term.
The Howick resident was a physics teacher for 20 years before becoming a principal.
"People become teachers because they have an in-built desire to help people.
"Physics was my first love," he says.
Mr Williams is a father to three children aged from 17 to 22 and is a keen fisherman and family man.
The Counties Manukau Principals Association chairman is looking forward to new challenges and is feeling proud of his accomplishments at Aorere College.
"One of the things that drew me to Pakuranga College was their value system which is similar to the one we have at Aorere but in a different context.
"Here we have a commitment to excellence, value high achievement, being involved and taking responsibility."
One of the main differences between the role at a decile two school compared with a decile eight is parents know the education system better in Pakuranga and get more involved.
Academic results were "abysmal" when he started at Aorere but has consistently improved each year to beat higher decile schools.
He attributes the success to hard working staff and a commitment to professional development, setting high expectations and making students believe in themselves.
Mr Williams is impressed with the broad curriculum at Pakuranga College and will look at opportunities for further diversification of subject areas.
"My first task will be to observe and ask the hard questions."
He will be presented to Pakuranga College in a traditional Maori ceremony by staff and students of Aorere College.
"I have been here seven and a half years which is about the time frame I set to stay at the school. It’s good for schools to have new blood."
He says he wanted a new challenge and to go on to a school that was different from the last.
As principal he has less direct contact with the students but runs an "open door policy" for them to approach him.