Malcolm Laurence is the new Principal of Pukeoware School. Just one term into the job, he’s shown his passion, commitment and encouragement of the students, and their families.
Malcolm was formerly deputy Principal at Pukekohe Hill School for ten years, before that he was in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, and Waikato areas. Now, he’s 100 per cent local. “I live in the area, I actually live in the school zone.
So far he has enjoyed the challenge. “This was my next step, the challenge of being a first time Principal.”
He is enjoying teaching in a rural area. “It’s kind of back to my origins. I was based rurally as a kid, now I’ve gone full circle.”
Teaching has always been something Malcolm wanted to do. “I had a lot to do with kids growing up, with nieces and nephews.” He has been in the education sector for 30 years.
Malcolm has thrived being part of the Pukeoware community. “I really enjoy being part of this community and the school.”
It’s a thought echoed by the Board of Trustees and parents.
Chair of the BOT, Justine Gustafson said, “The feedback is, he is making a difference. We’re already seeing big changes, and changes for the better.”
While he admits he was still learning names, Malcolm has a knack of making everyone feel welcome and important.
“It’s the little things,” Justine said, “He wears the school shirt, he’s out on road patrol each day,” she said. “We are a destination school and as such there’s no bus here, so parents have to be prepared to drop their kids off and pick them up. Malcolm has really grabbed hold of that and is making Pukeoware School a unique experience.”
His goal for the students is to focus on student achievement and student wellbeing.
“We want the children to leave school with skills, and a really sound foundation for the future. There’s a great culture here, but there’s still work to be done.”