New Leadership at Aramoho school

By Liz Wylie

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New Aramoho School Principal Rebekah Watts with teachers Emma Fawcett (left), Rodnita Ngarotata and tamariki at the school this week.
New Aramoho School Principal Rebekah Watts with teachers Emma Fawcett (left), Rodnita Ngarotata and tamariki at the school this week.

Aramoho School children along with their teachers and families have been facing an uncertain future for some months.

With a dwindling roll and a number of staff changes, some decisions had to be made and Ministry of Education commissioner Kevin Palmer has been working with the school, families and community members to help find a way forward.

After a number of meetings with school families and community stakeholders, the tough decision has been made to transition the 16 pupils currently attending Aramoho to other schools.

A new principal has been seconded from Auckland to lead the school through the next term and possibly until the end of the year.

Rebekah Watts has come from her role as deputy principal at Royal Oak Intermediate and said it is a "privilege" to be working with Aramoho tamariki.

Community stakeholders Hellen Puhipuhi of Born and Raised Pasifika pre-school and kamatua John Maihi were at the school to welcome Ms Watts on Monday and both said they will assist her in any way they can.

"My children all attended this school," said Mr Maihi "but my mokopuna are attending schools all over the world.

"Things change and people move around but we will continue to support the tamariki at this school."

Mr Palmer said final decisions will be made later in the year as to the future of the school but in the meantime, the children must be everyone's first priority.

A powhiri was held at the school for Ms Watts on Wednesday and she commended the staff for their care and commitment to the akonga (students) at Aramoho and said she intends to work with them as a strong and united team.

Ms Watts is staying in Marton with her parents who have chosen to retire there.
"It's a nice drive," she said "much shorter than my drive to work in Auckland and the traffic keeps moving," she said.

The principal said she would like to encourage families and community to support Aramoho School and bring their talents and knowledge to share with tamariki at the school.

Most importantly, she said, it is about he tangata, he tangata, he tangata - the people, the people, the people.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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