Principal’s got two schools of thought

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Queenstown Primary principal John Western has put his hand up to have a say in the running of Wakatipu High at next month’s Board of Trustee elections. 

Western is one of many Wakatipu parents nominated to stand for school boards at the nationwide polls, which opened yesterday and close on May 7. 

It’s not unusual for a school leader to be elected onto another school’s board, he says.
“It’s quite a common thing in the cities. 

“I have a number of friends that are principals in Wel-lington and Auckland who are parents as well and are on boards of trustees. 

“We bring a skill set that the average parent doesn’t have.” 

If elected, Western will wear his “parent hat”. 

“That’s an important distinction between my role as principal of QPS,” he explains. 

“I’ve spoken with [Wakatipu High principal] Lyn Cooper about that in courtesy – it’s her school, she’s the principal and I would be a parent rep.” 

Local schools are reporting candidate numbers are up on previous elections, which are held every three years – and there are plenty of new faces alongside the incumbents. 

Existing board members must stand for re-election if they want to continue governing their school.
Wakatipu High needs six parent representatives for its board, while QPS, St Joseph’s Primary and Arrowtown School each need five. 

St Joseph’s only got five nominations so those people have automatically become board members.
Wakatipu High board candidate Carolyn Kirkpatrick urges parents to vote for “what’s best for our community”.
“If we get a strong turn-out we’ll get the strongest boards we can.”