Stratford High School has welcomed its new principal.
Inglewood High School's former deputy principal Cameron Stone was welcomed into his new role with a powhiri on Monday, July 20.
Stratford High School students performed a spine-tingling haka to welcome Cameron, his family, iwi and Inglewood High School students on to the school grounds.
Kaumātua John Hooker and Matua Rumatiki Timu from Ngati Marua Iwi spoke on behalf of the schools for the traditional handover.
Head of department of social studies and Māori at Stratford High School, Daniel Kerr, organised the powhiri.
"It is important to have a traditional handover."
Daniel has been helping to organise powhiri since he started at the school in 2017, moving from Tauranga.
"It is part of my journey. I am wanting to improve my te reo Māori and build connections with the local iwi."
Cameron has been at Inglewood High School for the past 13 years, spending the last six years as deputy principal.
"I started as the PE and health teacher. I became a dean a little while later. When our previous deputy principal left, I applied for the position and was successful."
Cameron, originally from Canterbury, completed a bachelors degree of education with a secondary teaching diploma majoring in PE and health and a second major in geography at Massey University in Palmerston North.
"My sister, Janene, went to Massey University. I decided to go there as well as I knew some people there. She kind of inspired me to go there in a way as I saw how much she loved the course."
Cameron moved to Stratford to be with his wife Melissa, who he met at Massey University.
He says he enjoys working with children.
"My passion for sport and helping kids is why I became a teacher."
Cameron says he felt honoured by the powhiri.
"I feel privileged to be the school's new principal. It is a new journey and a new direction. I'm looking forward to making a difference and building on what's already been done."
Cameron replaces Philip Keenan, who finished at the school last term. This is Cameron's first principal role and he says he is excited to start this new journey.
"It is both daunting and exciting. I'm excited to start at the school after being a part of the community for the past 13 years."