Louise Addison has big shoes to fill, and she’s not taking the responsibility lightly.
Three weeks ago the dedicated teacher took over the role of principal at Edgewater College.
This follows the retirement of Allan Vester who left behind him a 23 year legacy.
But as I sit across from her in her new office, Ms Addison already looks at home.
“There’s a really good, strong basis here for me to work with. This is a very caring and supportive school environment with very positive academic success,” she says.
So how is she going to make her mark?
“That’s easy,” she says.
“We recently celebrated our 50 year anniversary and we are at an exciting time now where we start to look ahead to what the next 50 years are going to look like for this school and for our community,” she says.
And she certainly knows which direction she wants to take the school.
“Future-focussed learning,” she says.
“I want Edgewater College students to be world leaders and world changers, and to have the skills to make their mark on this world.”
The teacher of more than 20 years has already pitched the concept of an innovation stream to her staff and received overwhelming support.
She says it’s going to be similar to the successful innovative curriculum she established at Howick College last year in her role as associate principal.
It’ll be called ‘The Edge Innovation Programme’, she says.
It’s an innovative curriculum that will help develop students’ skills to feel at home in a fast-changing world and prepare them to become future innovators, entrepreneurs and change makers.
It will focus on integrating the necessary NCEA content across the innovative areas of community action, creative design, problem solving, future studies and global issues.
“At Howick, the four subjects covered English, maths, science and social studies but the Edgewater version will also include technology, arts, physical education and health and the languages.”
She says it’s going to be a large undertaking but she’s ready to take on the challenge.
“Students who are coming through now are not going to be able to say I want to be this profession and stay in only that career for their whole life,” she says.
“The world is changing and in order to thrive, these kids need to be versatile and able to adapt.”
And she’s a firm believer in meaningful qualifications.
“It’s not just about getting the lowest NCEA level 2 but it’s about having a really good rich qualification that gives students the opportunities they deserve.”
With Addison at the helm, it’s safe to say the next half century at Edgewater College is looking bright.