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Diocesan School For Girls Appoints New Principal

DECEMBER 15, 2008

Diocesan School For Girls Appoints New Principal

A new principal has been appointed to head Diocesan School for Girls in 2009, the school’s Board of Governors has announced.

Ms Heather McRae, who has been the Principal of Pakuranga College and is widely respected as one of New Zealand’s leading principals, will take up her new position as the 11th principal of Diocesan at the end of term one next year.

Diocesan School for Girls is a leading independent, Anglican all-girls school in central Auckland with a roll of around 1600 and which caters for students from Year 1 to Year 13.

The Chair of Diocesan School’s Board of Governors, Hilary Poole, says the Board is delighted with Ms McRae’s appointment which was made following a rigorous recruitment process.

“Heather has a warm and engaging personality. She will bring excellence in educational leadership and a strengthened global perspective and international connections to Diocesan School,” said Ms Poole.

Ms McRae, a keen sportswoman who has run five marathons, is one of only two secondary school principals on the National Curriculum Advisory Group for the Ministry of Education.

She has also received a Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship which enables her to undertake the Hillary Leadership Programme run by the University of Auckland’s NZ Leadership Institute.

After completing a Bachelor of Science with a double major in chemistry and biochemistry at Massey University where she was also awarded a “blue” in netball, Ms McRae earned a Diploma in Teaching with distinction and later gained a Masters in Educational Administration with first class honours.

Ms McRae began her career as a science, chemistry and maths teacher, then became Dean and Head of Department for Science at Awatapu College in Palmerston North.

Other career highlights have included advising on curriculum development and on professional development for teachers for the Ministry of Education and working from 1996 to 2002 for New Zealand’s Multi Serve Education Trust which “exports” education services to public and private education providers, mainly in Asia and the Middle East.

In 2002 Ms McRae helped to establish the Western Academy in Beijing, China, and became Principal of its High School as well as being director of curriculum for kindergarten through to Year 12.

The academy, a private school with 1600 mainly expatriate students, is accredited to teach the International Baccalaureate Diploma that Diocesan also offers.

Heather returned to New Zealand in 2004 to take up a role as Associate Principal of Pakuranga College and was swiftly promoted to Principal.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Principal of Pakuranga College and will miss the school and its great culture very much. But I am thrilled to have been appointed to head Diocesan and look forward to the challenge of leading such a fine school,” says Heather.

Joy Wiseman, who has been Acting Principal at Diocesan since former Principal Ann Mildenhall retired in October, will assist Heather with her transition into her new role when she joins the school at the end of Term One, 2009.


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