Digital stories

Principals' stories about what is happening in their schools, highlighting the adaptation of leadership practices to particular school contexts.


Although most of these stories are some years old, and some of the principals have moved on from their schools, their insights into leadership are still relevant.

New Zealand school stories

Cashmere Primary School

Jacqui Duncan found that she lead Cashmere Primary School with renewed enthusiasm after attending an in-depth professional development course.

Forbury School

Janice Tofia has led the staff of Forbury School, in South Dunedin, during a period of regeneration and rebirth. She has used the arts curriculum as a springboard to build self-esteem and improve levels of student motivation and engagement.

Kaitaia Intermediate

Kaitaia Intermediate acting principal Shaun Stevenson is striving with fellow staff to raise student achievement by encouraging children to actively lead their own learning.

Kaipaki School

Sue Quinnell is leading school curriculum development at Kaipaki School, a family-oriented, country school near Hamilton. Her story focuses on literacy and on the literacy-rich environment of the school.

Kerikeri High School

Joan Middlemiss, one of two principals at Kerikeri High School in Northland, is leading the Te Kotahitanga pilot project in her school with the aim of improving educational outcomes for Māori students.

Manunui School

Lesley Murrihy is leading curriculum change and fostering contextual numeracy skills at Manunui Primary, a decile 1 school on the main highway a few kilometres outside Taumarunui.

Murrays Bay Intermediate

Colin Dale is leading change at Murrays Bay Intermediate, a decile 10 school located between Milford and Browns Bay on Auckland's North Shore. Colin empowers staff and students to take leadership roles and encourages his staff to use teaching strategies that support how children learn.

Morrinsville Intermediate

Colin McDonald is leading Morrinsville Intermediate, a decile 6 school that has questioned what structural and pedagogical changes are necessary to enhance student learning in the digital age.

Parkvale School

Led by Mark Gifkins, real change has occurred at Parkvale School in Hastings by reflecting on how teachers teach, and by bringing children into the process of teaching and learning.

Nayland College

Nayland College principal Charles Newton is anticipating the future and harnessing the power of digital data.

Karen Douglas, Southern Cross Senior Campus.

Southern Cross Senior Campus

Karen Douglas at Southern Cross Campus senior school took a ‘no excuses’ approach to student management, and academic improvement followed.

David Hodge, Tamaki College.

Tamaki College

Tamaki College wanted to regain the confidence of its community. Past principal of the college, David Hodge, looks at methods used to raise academic achievement across the school during his time there.

Arihia Stirling, Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae.

Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae

Arihia Stirling discusses how data improves professional knowledge.

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