The region’s biggest secondary school has some new talent in its top ranks, with two new associate principals starting this year.
Fiona Crump and Gus Shirley, both long term staff members at the school, have just stepped into the leadership roles. They replace Faye Wilkinson and Tony Enoka, who were at the school for 39 years and 10 years respectively.
Fiona, a chemistry teacher at Waimea College for 10 years, who has just returned after a 2-year stint as the assistant principal at Garin College, says that it’s fantastic to be back.
“I was really excited to come back. It was great to see how a different school operates, but it’s definitely good to be back.”
Gus, who has been at Waimea for 20 years, as the head of PE for 10, says that it’s good to have a new challenge.
The day-to-day role of an associate deputy principal is to provide guidance and pastoral support for staff, along with a range of different portfolios and responsibilities.
While they’ve only been in the jobs for a few weeks, they both agree that it’s a learning curve.
“Faye was here for nearly 40 years, and you’re not going to replace those personalities – you can’t be a Faye or a Tony, you can only build on what they’ve put in place,” says Gus.
“It’s really about respecting the values that they’ve built into the school – but trying to build on it,” says Fiona.
The two say that starting their new roles at the same time has made life a lot easier.
“It’s good starting with someone else, we’re both on that learning curve. Fiona has more deputy experience, but I can fill her on what’s gone on in the last 2 years,” says Gus. “We’re using some of each other’s knowledge and strengths to fill in the gaps,” agrees Fiona.
“We do see it as a privilege to be in this role, and we hope the school will keep getting better,” says Gus.