Principal looks forward to 2021 role

Jane 
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Jane Severinsen is the new principal of Waitaki Valley School in Kurow. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/CAMILLA RUTHERFORD
A new principal with a passion for rural teaching has been appointed at Waitaki Valley School, in Kurow.

Jane Severinsen has worked in education for 25 years, nearly 20 of which were spent as head teacher.

Her latest role is her fourth stint as principal — she had also held positions at

Mt Somers Springburn School and the University of Canterbury.

As an educator, she always looked at how to improve teaching practices.

She is a registered Davis dyslexia facilitator and a Davis learning strategies school mentor and trainer, and for the last year and a-half she worked privately with dyslexic thinking clients, or "picture thinkers", as she described them.

"I enjoyed that one-on-one relationship, watching people find the key to their learning, and just thrive," Ms Severinsen said.

When she began studying the learning disorder seven years ago, she saw a shift in her teaching style.

"I gained an understanding of the needs of individuals, and how to give them success.

"We just need to put their wellbeing and health into our understanding, and help people understand how they learn."

What attracted her to turn her focus back to school teaching was the "buzz" that comes with being in a school.

"There is something really special about having a bunch of kids together and watching how they develop."

With one foot in management and the other in teaching, she was looking forward to the role.

She stressed her passion was in rural education and explained rural parents were usually more invested in their youngsters’ education, due to smaller school sizes and the opportunities that provided.

Ms Severinsen, who is originally from Taupo, did not have plans to go into the school and shake things up; rather she would help to support and continue what had already been achieved by "a passionate board of trustees, an existing scholared staff, and leaving principal Matt Bokser".

Her aim was to "keep the good work going."

Ms Severinsen will start as principal at the beginning of the school year in 2021, along with a few new staff.

ruby.heyward@odt.co.nz

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