By Tom Clarke
A New Zealander who is headmaster of a preparatory school in Perth is to be the new headmaster of King's School in Remuera.
He is Neil McWhannell who will take up the appointment at the beginning of term two next year, replacing Bret Butler who is retiring after 12 years.
The chairman of the school's board of governors, Peter Harrison, says Mr McWhannell is taking over at a time when the school is facing a strong demand on behalf of potential pupils. "The school is going very well," he says.
"We have a full roll, which we always have, and there continues to be a very strong demand.
"There's always a big demand for independent schools in Auckland and most of them have got long waiting lists. I think that's because we put emphasis on a values education and provide a rounded education." Mr Harrison says there is a low turnover of teaching staff at King's because -- in its 77th year -- it has long-held traditions.
King's is probably the largest boys' prepara-tory school in New Zealand, he says, and the school is delighted to have secured a New Zea-lander with Mr McWhannell's experience. It is very confident of the future under his leadership.
"The fact that he is a New Zealander, that he had an independent school education himself, and that he has had a very good career path that has included teaching at independent schools here and in Australia, means he's very well quali-fied for the job," he says.
There was worldwide interest in the position, with applications coming from many different countries, particularly from Australia and Britain.
The appointment followed an extensive search by Sheffield Search and a rigorous selec-tion process by the board, chaired by the vice chancellor of Auckland University, Dr John Hood, who is a member of the board.
Mr McWhannell is headmaster of Guildford Grammar Preparatory School in Perth. He was previously deputy headmaster of Scotch College Junior School in Melbourne which, Mr Harrison says, is generally regarded as one of the leading preparatory schools in Australia.
Mr McWhannell was born in Hamilton and educated at Southwell Preparatory School in Hamilton, Huntley School in Marton, and Rathkeale College in the Wairarapa. He holds a New Zealand teacher's certificate, a higher diploma in teaching from Massey University, and a bachelor of education and graduate diploma in administrative leadership from the University of New England.
By Tom Clarke