Wakatipu High enters new era

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Government intervention at Wakatipu High is set to end, following a successful handover to the school’s new leader. 

Ministry of Education-appointed limited statutory manager Peter Macdonald has told the Ministry he’s no longer needed now that principal Steve Hall is at the helm. 

Macdonald, a Christchurch-based employment lawyer, has been overseeing the school’s management for 18 months which included the exit of former principal Lyn Cooper last year. 

“It’s been a complex and at times tortuous 18 months, but I’m absolutely delighted with the results,” he says. 

“The reasons for a good result are no one does it by themselves – the school has an excellent board and the staff have held together and been very respectful of the situation.” 

Macdonald, who’ll be officially relieved of his duties by the end of the year, adds: “I’ve been statutory manager for nine schools and this has been the most successful outcome.” 

Hall says as part of Macdonald’s final steps, a performance management agreement has been written for him. 

“This is what you expect, it’s normal practice,” Hall explains. 

“I’ve shared with staff the things in my performance management agreement – having objectives around student achievement, the culture and [school] environment.” 

Hall has decided he’ll stick with the status quo for the senior management structure. 

Macdonald previously recommended a change in the number of senior management roles, but Hall wants to remain with one deputy and two assistant principals. 

Hall will add another staff member to senior management who’ll contribute to decision-making. The vacancy for deputy principal, after the resignation of long-serving deputy Grant Adolph, closes October 29. 

“There are many different models for management structures,” Hall says. 

“This is one model that I feel meets the needs of us now in 2012 and gives us options in the future if the school grows.”