Instilling a life long love of learning is one of the goals of Stratford High School's new deputy principal - curriculum.

Stratford High School students, staff and whānau welcomed Dr Michael Taylor into his new role last week.

Michael moved to New Zealand in 2019 from the UK.

Michael has been teaching for 16 years. Through this time, he has been in different positions including teacher, head of facility, dean and assistant principal.

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"I taught at three schools in the UK and then Hillcrest High School in Hamilton. Stratford High is the fifth school I've taught at."

He says he enjoys living in New Zealand.

"I wish I moved here sooner. I love it. It's good living, fantastic nature and the work-life balance is better than in the UK. It is refreshing teaching in New Zealand."

One of the notable changes between teaching in the UK and here is the different focus points, Michael says.

"Here we focus on the students and their wellbeing. In the UK, the focus is more on the exam results."

At Hillcrest, Michael was head of facility for languages and in charge of boys achievement as part of Community of Learning, where local schools work together.

He says he moved to Taranaki to be closer to family.

"My partner lives in New Plymouth and I've always liked Taranaki. I've been visiting the area since 2010. It's a beautiful area and there are a lot of friendly people here."

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Michael went to the University of Oxford, studying languages and completing his masters degree in Internet Technologies. He then completed his teachers training and began his career.

"While I worked l completed my doctorate in Languages Education. I worked on this part time and completed it in five years."

Michael is fluent in French, German and Italian.

Michael says one of his goals is creating a love of learning in all students.

"I wanted to be an example for students to be life long learners and work to improve yourself. Working on my doctorate gave me a better understanding of my students because I was learning alongside them. It helped me understand and find the best way to support my students in their learning."

Stratford High School has two deputy principals, curriculum and pastoral.

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In his role as curriculum deputy principal, Michael oversees the curriculum programme each student goes through during their time at the school, making sure it suits their needs. The pastoral deputy principal is in charge of student welfare.

Michael will also be teaching French at the school.

"I think it's important for students to learn a different language, even only a little bit as they learn about different cultures and gain a worldwide outlook.

"I'm excited to get to know the students in the classroom setting. I'm looking forward to motivating them."

He says he is looking forward to becoming a member of the school community.

"It's early days but I can't wait to get to know people, the school and work alongside Cameron, the principal."

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