From the Indian army to Nga Tawa's halls

01:51, Nov 15 2012
NEW DEPUTY: Kevin Kannan pictured with the Nga Tawa students Sophie Martin and Danielle Gray has been appointed deputy principal of the school from next year.

Kevin Kannan came to Nga Tawa college as a temporary chemistry and maths teacher but his stay has become more permanent.

Dr Kannan has been appointed deputy principal, in charge of curriculum and operations at the girls' secondary school.

He became an educator by chance.

"I actually got into it accidently," Dr Kannan said.

After studying chemistry at university in India, Mr Kannan spent five years in the Indian Army.

He did not have a plan upon leaving but during his time there he received endorsements as an instructor, which lead to him studying and working as a teacher.


After studying in India he came to Rotorua in 1986 and worked at John Paul College in Rotorua, where he later became deputy principal. He has spent the last 18 months at Verdon College in Invercargill.

But with adult children throughout the North Island, Dr Kannan decided to move back North and Nga Tawa presented him with an opportunity to do so.

"What really took me here was that Carmel, the principal, has such high expectations of the students," said Dr Kannan. "Not only were expectations set, they were actually implemented."

He had never seen such respect and courtesy and was still getting used to students standing for staff and opening doors for them.

"In charge of the school's curriculum it is important to consider the future, and what students will be expected to be able to do when they leave school.

"The age of information is shaping how people learn. It's preparing the children for this huge amount of information available, and being able to present it."

Having never taught at an all-girls school, Dr Kannan said he was enjoying the challenge of tailoring his teaching to girls.

"It's actually rejuvenated me."

He said New Zealand was one of, if not the best country in the world for educating girls.

"My goals are to . . . put girls education [in this school] on the national map, if not the international map."

Nga Tawa principal Carmel Spencer said Dr Kannan already had a deep understanding of the school.

"His depth of character and demeanour is a perfect fit for Nga Tawa and this is supported by extensive experience and a high level of academic qualification," she said.

Manawatu Standard