School has new principal

22:26, Jun 04 2014
Karen O’Donnell
SCHOOL CELEBRATION: New Wairau Valley School principal Karen O’Donnell celebrates her appointment with the junior room class she is teaching.

After more than a year of administration by a commissioner, Wairau Valley School again has a permanent principal.

Wairau Valley School commissioner Bev Moore announced the appointment of Karen O'Donnell on Tuesday.

O'Donnell would formally take on the position next term.

"She will be teaching full time in the junior class for the rest of this term and work alongside acting principal Joy Baker to plan ahead and ensure a smooth transition to her role next term," Moore said.

O'Donnell is an experienced rural principal. She was principal at Koromiko School for five years until it closed in mid 2012.

The ERO reports from Koromiko School at the time O'Donnell was principal were excellent and acknowledged her leadership, inclusive student-centred culture and the range of experiences she provided children with to enhance their growth and development, Moore said.


She has particular strengths in literacy, the arts and using ICT for learning.

O'Donnell said she was excited to again be at a rural school, had so far enjoyed her time there and was looking forward to taking the next step, she said.

"There is just something about a rural school . . . I can't wait to start as principal and look forward to working with the community."She has established links with other Marlborough schools and principals from her time at Koromiko School.

She took a year off to focus on study after Koromiko closed.

Moore was grateful for the help of the school's advisory group; Katrina White, Vanessa Webb and Liz Scherp.

"They were involved every step of the way in appointing Karen, and ensured the community's voice was heard. Parents and members of the community who provided input and feedback, and Sheila Grainger, who provided the specialist educational perspective, all made the process so much easier," Moore said.

A parent meeting was being planned for later this month to officially introduce O'Donnell.

The Marlborough Express