Julie Anderson. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
In an ''unplanned and unexpected move'', Queen's High
School principal Julie Anderson has resigned to take up a newly
developed position at the Ministry of Education.
She is the sixth Dunedin secondary school principal to have
resigned or retired in the past 12 months.
The 56-year-old's resignation was announced to surprised
staff and pupils at the school during a formal assembly
yesterday morning, where she announced she would take up a
new position as the director of education for Otago and
The ministry had not given permission for her to give details
yet, but she was excited about the challenges the position
It would be an opportunity to use her skills to make a
difference at ''the wider systems level'', she said.
''I have been at Queen's for nine years and I expected to
stay for another nine years until retirement age.
''Schools are very hard places to leave, but the success of a
school should never depend upon one person.
''A school is about a team and a community effort.''
Mrs Anderson said a principal's role was to build capacity
and leadership in the pupils, the teachers, the board and the
community, and the school was on a roll at the moment.
''I know it will continue to thrive.''
Mrs Anderson is the latest in a string of principal/rector
resignations and retirements in the past 12 months.
John McGlashan College principal Mike Corkery retired at the
end of last year, Taieri College acting principal Paul Bolton
resigned in mid-2013, and Columba College principal Elizabeth
Wilson, St Hilda's Collegiate School principal Melissa Bell
and Otago Boys' High School rector Clive Rennie have
announced they will be leaving their positions later this
Otago Girls' High School, King's High School, Kavanagh
College and Bayfield High School have also had changes of
principals in recent years.
Logan Park High School principal Jane Johnson is the only
remaining long-serving principal, and despite being at the
school for 16 years, she said she had no plans to resign or
Explaining why many positions for principals were becoming
vacant, Mrs Johnson said many Dunedin secondary schools
appointed new principals about 16 years ago, and it was
logical they would all be ready to move on about the same
Mrs Anderson planned to start her new job in early August, by
which time it was hoped the Queen's High School board of
trustees would have appointed her replacement.