Trish Reddish loves coming to work.
The new principal at Whangaehu School, who took up the role on August 21, believes she has the best of both worlds.
"I have the opportunity to learn principal and leadership skills, as well as still being able to teach."
Ms Reddish immigrated to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2009. She spent two years at Huntley School, then five years as deputy principal at Fordell School. After that came 18 months as a resource teacher for learning and behaviour at Keith Street School.
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"That was very valuable as it gave me the chance to do a diploma in specialist teaching. Then this wonderful opportunity at Whangaehu School came along, and it was too good to pass up."
The small country school just outside Whangaehu, has 18 pupils.
"With my time at Fordell, I'm used to a rural environment and multi-layered teaching. Fordell and Whangaehu schools are both part of the Whanganui East rural cluster, and I'm glad to be back here. Rural kids are definitely different from urban kids - they're so vibrant.
"Whangaehu has a real family atmosphere, and there's a lot of community involvement. It's great to see the 12-year-olds looking after the 5-year-olds," Ms Reddish said.
She hopes to grow the school's roll, as well as continue its reputation of excellent learning.
"We're a viable option now - up there with other rural schools."
Ms Reddish takes over from former principal Craig Sharp, who is now deputy principal at Wainuiomata Intermediate School.