He’s new to the school, but not to the area. Onewhero Area School’s new Principal, Simon Craggs, took over the role at the beginning of September this year.
It’s not his ‘first rodeo’ however, he was previously the deputy principal of Dilworth Rural School at Mangatawhiri and before that he was teaching in Whangarei.
Simon says the rural schools have always been what he is passionate about.
“I grew up ‘over the motorway’ and attended primary school in Mangatangi, so teaching here is not so different.”
“I like the idea of a rural school. From the first year to year 13— that was the pulling factor for me,” he said.
Simon said there has been significant growth in the school over the last ten years. “There was great leadership from former principal Greg Fenton. It’s a wonderful environment here. We’re very big for an area school.”
Simon’s focus is now on improving the curriculum. “We want to make this school the best.”
He enjoys being able to have influence over what happens in the school, but also on the ground level.
“When I feel stressed, I enjoy hanging out with the kids.”
He said the staffing team are great. “They’re dedicated and they all work hard. They welcomed me with open arms.”
He enjoys the lovely commute to work too, with the rolling hills and fantastic greenery.
“There’s not too many traffic issues, just the odd tractor or rubbish truck.”