A familiar face has taken up the reins at Howick Intermediate School.
Sara Pickering looks right at home in the principal’s seat as she talks about her plans for the school’s future.
Having stepped up from being the deputy principal, Pickering knows the school like the back of her hand.
“To be honest, I don’t think some of the student’s have even noticed they have a new principal,” she laughs.
Four weeks in, and despite juggling her deputy principal responsibilities until they find her replacement, she’s not wasting any time finding her feet leading the school.
“I want the students to continue to thrive, and the community to know that this is an amazing school, with amazing students who are doing great things,” she says.
Pickering grew up in the area and even attended Howick Intermediate as a student, so she is passionate about the future of the school.
“I have a real sense of belonging here, and it’s really important to me that as a school, we continue on the same path of success.”
She has seen it go from strength to strength over the past two years and has high praise for her predecessor, Yolande Franke.
“I’d lived in the area and I saw how disconnected Howick Intermediate was from the local community. Then I saw what [Franke] was doing here and I really wanted to be part of that journey.”
After helping turn the school around, Pickering was determined to ensure the school continued to thrive even with Franke moving on.
But her first few months are unlikely to remain short of excitement.
Having already dealt with industrial action she is juggling renovations for the school library and hall with the upcoming school production, The Lion King.
“I’m very excited to be taking on this new challenge, and we definitely have lots to look forward to this year,” she says.