Passionate about early education

17:00, May 23 2014
Dave Hawkey
END OF ERA: Grantlea Downs principal Dave Hawkey is leaving after 18 years to take up the position of general manager of the South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association.

The South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association has a new general manager.

After 18 years as principal of Grantlea Downs school, Dave Hawkey is making a "sideways shift". He said he had mixed emotions about the challenge of the new role.

"It's with tempered excitement.

"A change and new opportunity, but I am sad to be leaving after 18 years here," he said.

Hawkey said he was looking forward to the role with the 11 local kindergartens as he was passionate about the positive effects of early-childhood learning.

He had read a lot of research that said how important the first few years were on the rest of the person's life.


He believed the free kindergartens should be nurtured, as the focus the teachers gave the children was unmatched.

"I think the greatest challenge is to ensure kindergartens remain the first choice for preschool education," he said.

Hawkey's family were surprised he had decided to apply for the position but were fully supportive, he said.

"They know I am motivated by change and a challenge."

Change, he said, was a positive thing, and both the kindergarten association and Grantlea Downs would benefit as a result.

The Timaru Herald