A dedication to stamping out bullying and introducing a caring school culture has been singled out with a national award for excellence in leadership.
Hawera's Tawhiti Primary School principal Chris Riley received the NEiTA (National Excellence In Teaching Awards) Cognition Education Excellence in Leadership Award last week in front of family, friends and peers.
Overcome with emotion for most of the ceremony, Mrs Riley said that she was "blown away".
"I'm a team person."
She said the school's staff, board of trustees and students were the reason she was receiving the accolade.
"I'm very lucky with the people that I have worked with. I love Tawhiti School, I'm passionate about education."
Mrs Riley also received a $2500 professional development grant.
Cognition Education consultant Micheal King said she joined 72 other leaders and teachers who had won the awards since they were introduced in 1996.
"Mrs Riley is one of 617 teachers nominated for this round of the NEiTA awards," he said.
"Mrs Riley provides opportunities for staff and other leaders to realise their potential. She demonstrates the transformative power of leadership as she builds relationships within and between school communities."
He said the judges were also impressed by her dedication to restorative justice.
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