Honour for Farm Cove principal

00:40, Jun 18 2009
QUEEN'S HONOUR: Farm Cove Intermediate principal Madeline East is recognised for 40 years of contributing to primary education.

Farm Cove Intermediate principal Madeline East doesn’t expect students to start calling her "your majesty" just yet.

But Mrs East does admit to "enormous pride" in what she’s achieved during 40 years of promoting primary education, dedication which has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

She’s been appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, an honour she describes as "incredibly humbling".

"You don’t set about doing anything thinking about reward or acknowledgement, you just set about doing the job.

"But then when you do get recognition, you take enormous pride in what you have been able to do," she says.

"It’s a huge honour."


Mrs East has been principal at Farm Cove for 15 years, just a sample of her impressive list of contributions to primary education.

She was involved for 20 years with the Auckland Primary Principals Association, including as president, and received its Travelling Fellow award in 1989.

As well as serving on the national executive of the New Zealand Principals Federation, Mrs East has won its service with distinction award for her national contribution to primary education.

A founding member of the English as a Second Language (ESOL) advisory committee, she’s also an elected member of the Education New Zealand Board, a non-profit group dedicated to education exporting.

Mrs East is particularly proud of her work for ESOL teachers and students, and on international education.

It’s something she still works hard at, flying out on Monday to Korea to meet with potential students and their families.

"I passionately believe that New Zealand should be so proud of our education system," Mrs East says.

"I’ve had the opportunity to visit lots of other schools around the world and whenever I come back I feel immensely proud to be a New Zealander and a teacher.

"I look at our teachers and I look at the commitment they have to teaching and learning. They go the extra mile and give it their all," she says.

Eastern Courier