New Catlins principal enjoying rural role

Top job . . . Glenys Hanley is settling into her role as principal of The Catlins Area School. PHOTO: JACK CONROY


A new Clutha school principal says she is looking forward to forming relationships in a “great community”.
Glenys Hanley started at The Catlins Area School in early March.
“It’s a beautiful school,” she said.
Originally from Australia, Mrs Hanley moved to New Zealand 21 years ago. She has brought her husband and two children with her.
It is her first time in the role of principal.
“I was deputy principal of a school in Cheviot in Canterbury,” Mrs Hanley said.
“There are a lot of parallels between that school and this one.
“They’re both rural, they’re both beef and dairy areas.”
She said she enjoyed working in small, rural schools because the school was like an extension of the community.
“The boundaries are very blurred. In a way, the school is the community, as you connect with the community through the children.”
“For example, we have a house tour fundraiser coming up.
‘‘There are houses on the tour that belong to people who don’t even have children at the school. But they still want to help.”
Mrs Hanley grew up in a rural area of Australia, and said such places had “a lot to offer for education”.
“There are a lot of ways you can make education meaningful for kids. You can connect them with their environment.
“In fact this term we’ve done a stream study this term. We’ve been taking samples and talking to a local farmer.
‘‘You can see the difference with kids in their learning when it’s something they can connect to.”
Her predecessor Kate Staniford left the school in a good state, she said.
“Our goal at the moment is to educate the whole child.
‘‘It’s as much about the learning areas as it is who that person is, and how to get the most out of that student.”