Riverina’s new principal leads with kindness

Ian Dickinson principal of Pigeon Mountain Primary School was a proud husband as he stood by his wife Carol Dickinson who is appointed as new principal of Riverina School. Times photo Wayne Martin.

It is not very often a husband and wife team are appointed as principals of local primary schools.

Ian Dickinson, principal of Pigeon Mountain School, admitted to being a little jealous of his wife Carol Dickinson at the powhiri hosted to welcome her as the new head of Riverina School. 

“I’ve always wanted to be the principal of this school and I’m a little jealous of Mrs Dickinson who got this role. But I will wait my turn. Maybe I will get to be the 12th principal of the school,” he said on Tuesday morning.

Introducing himself as “the younger and the better looking version of the Dickinsons,” he said it was such a proud moment for his wife who is often described as Florence Nightingale/Superwoman for going out of her way to help anyone and everyone with a problem.

“She well imbibes the school values of courage, courtesy and kindness,” he said.

“This week is a very important one for us but I’m sure my wife has forgotten all about the other important event in our lives.

Carol Dickinson (second left) with Principal of Pigeon Mountain Primary School Ian Dickinson, Assistant Principal Riverina School Arinam Goundar and Board of Trustees chairperson Joycelyn TM Tauevihi. Times photo Wayne Martin.

“It’s our wedding anniversary on Thursday…but I do know how much the school and the students mean to  her and well understand that with so many things on her mind, she has forgotten about it,” he said.Getting very emotional as her husband introduced her on her special day, Mrs Dickinson, said it was always her dream to be a teacher.

She started her career as a teacher in a rough area in London. She later went to teach at Pigeon Mountain School followed by a six year stint at Riverina School.

“I have fulfilled my dreams and I encourage you to follow your dreams and aspire to achieve them,” she told students.

“It reminds me of a quote from a very important man from the 60s – Martin Luther King. He said he had a dream. It was a very simple dream for everyone to be treated as equal and work and play together.”

Thanking the former principals of the School Doreen Martin and Caroline Chawke  for giving her mana and confidence to help drive the school forward, she finished with a whakatauki (Maori proverb) on the school playground dedicated to the memory of Koro Percy which reads: “Let the uniqueness of the child guide our work.”