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Hamilton School Principal Re-Elected

Media Release September 27
From NZEI Te Riu Roa For Immediate Use
35. 06

Hamilton School Principal Re-Elected

Hamilton primary school principal, Irene Cooper, has been re-elected National President of the country’s largest education union, NZEI Te Riu Roa.

She was re elected on the final day of the union’s Annual Meeting in Wellington which was attended by 400 members.

The union has 45,000 members working in every education sector. They are teachers and principals in primary schools, early childhood teachers, support staff and special education staff in primary and secondary schools, plus early childhood education services, and school advisers and lecturers in education faculties at universities and Colleges of Education.

Irene Cooper was first elected National President 12 months ago at last year’s Annual Meeting. She is on leave during her presidency from her job as principal of Hillcrest Normal School in Hamilton.

She qualified as a primary teacher in England and began her teaching career in New Zealand in 1972. She spent several years as a full time reliever before getting her first permanent teaching job at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Ara Rima in Hamilton. She was appointed deputy principal at Gordonton School near Hamilton in 1991 and then Assistant Principal at Knighton Normal School, in Hamilton, in 1994. She became principal at Hillcrest Normal School in 1996.

Irene Cooper has a Masters of Education Leadership with honours, a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Teaching.

“It’s an honour to be elected to lead the country’s largest education union, as I know that every member is committed to providing quality education for the country’s children,” says Irene Cooper.

“I am proud to be a teacher. I’m proud to be union. And I’m proud to stand with all the members of NZEI in building a quality public education system in New Zealand.”

Frances Nelson, principal at Fairburn School, in Otahuhu in Auckland, has been elected National Vice President. Frances has been a member of NZEI’s National Executive for nine years.

Three members were elected onto the union’s National Executive for the first time.
- Vicky Carr, a relieving teacher from Auckland.
- Frances Guy, a deputy principal at Kaurilands School, Te Atatu, Auckland
- Donna Mason, a school secretary from Sunset Primary School, Rotorua.

The following members were re-elected to NZEI’s National Executive.
- Nigel Wilson, the principal of Kaikorai Primary School, Dunedin.
- Sandi Abel, the principal of Rapaura School, Blenhem.
- Louise Green, the principal of Stanley Avenue School, Te Aroha, Waikato.
- Diane Lawrence, the head teacher at Ascot Kindergarten, Porirua, Wellington.
- Judith Nowotarski, the head teacher, Hawera Kindergarten, Taranaki.
- Ian Leckie, the principal, Tahatai Coast School, Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty.
- Diane Leggett, the principal of Karori Normal School, Wellington.
- Winnifred Morris, a special education adviser, Palmerston North.
- Chris Eccersall-Panther, a teacher at Somerfield School, Christchurch
- Jonathan Ramsay, a teacher at Mt Eden Normal School, Christchurch.
- Megan Rich, a teacher, at St Albans School, Christchurch.
- Karl Vasau, an assistant principal at St Josephs School, Grey Lynn, Auckland
- Hayley Whitaker, an early childhood education advisor, based in Napier
- Mereana Epi Mana, a librarian at Ellerslie School, Auckland.
- Annette Patterson, a special needs teacher aide at Catlins Area School, Owaka, South Otago.
- Te Aroha Hiko, a special education adviser, based in Hastings.
- Manu Pohatu, a teacher at Te Kohanga Reo o Ngaa Kuaka, Silverdale, Hamilton
- Maramena Tipiwai, a teacher at Te Kura Motuhake o Tawhiuau, an area school in Murapara, Bay of Plenty.
- Colin Tarr, the immediate past president.


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