On the last day of term 1, Kuranui College held a special pōwhiri to welcome its new principal Simon Fuller.
Staff, students and special guests, including principals from local primary schools and mayors Viv Napier and John Booth, packed into the college’s auditorium to hear the school perform outstanding Waiata and a rousing haka.
It was an extremely emotional event given that Fuller was accompanied by his family, and his former school Opunake High had closed for the day so that staff, students and board members could attend to officially hand him over.
Andy Whitehead, Board of Trustees Chair of the South Taranaki school, said that it was a privilege to support Fuller at the event, “He is part of our family and Kuranui is now part of our extended family. You have found a good man and a good leader.”
In his welcome speech, Kuranui Head Boy Samson Dell, acknowledged the work undertaken by former Principal Geoff Shepherd. “The sharing of ideas and collaboration between the students and the staff, is what makes our school environment unique,” he explained. “Thanks to Mr Shepherd’s previous leadership, Kuranui is embracing an innovative approach to how the curriculum is delivered.
“Over the four years that I have been here, I have seen an incredible amount of resilience shown by the teachers, as they tailor their teaching style to us, in order to make our educational experience the best it can be.”
“We are all living in a time of rapid change, and as young people we need someone to help guide us on our own individual journeys. We need someone to push us to be determined to achieve our goals, and at the same time help us to understand the importance of having integrity for our peers and ourselves. We believe that person is Mr Fuller.”
Opunake Head Boy Dylan Coleman felt very sad to see Fuller move on. “I feel affected in my heart because he has made a great many contributions to our school, including many technological advancements. He will really be able to help to continue to bring Kuranui forward into the 21st Century,” he said.
Fuller’s wife Laura was a Kuranui student, as was his mother-in-law Clare Crawford. Crawford was principal of Kahutara School for 10 years and is the current principal of South End School in Carterton.
“My heart is feeling good for being here,” said Fuller. “It’s a privilege to bring my family back here having gone through these doors and being a product of the great place it is.”
Fuller hopes to continue a relationship with his former school through collaborations such as a sports exchange. “I can’t wait to smash Opanuke on the sports field,” he said.