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Dr Lyn Bird will vacate the position after two and a-half years due to an illness in her family and has accepted a job in Christchurch. She is due to finish at the end of the first term.
Applications for the principal's job closed last week and are being managed by an Auckland recruitment firm.
A total of 35 application packs were requested from Blackcat Consulting .
Blackcat head of principal appointments Alan Jermaine, of Auckland, said the search for Dr Bird's successor was extensive, covering both New Zealand and international educators for this ''outstanding school''.
Mr Jermaine said international inquiries came from ex-pat principals in the United Kingdom and from leaders within other international schools.
''The difference in salary packages from international schools to New Zealand schools did result in a number of potential applicants withdrawing, as they would have had a major loss of income,'' he said.
''Other potential applicants eventually decided that a shift from where they were currently employed in New Zealand and overseas was not the right timing for their families.
''Some people received an application pack, but before applications closed they had already won another position.''
A total of 14 applicants applied, including six from overseas, Mr Jermaine said.
''The quality of the applicants is very high, as many of these have masters degrees or higher and have
led very successful schools in New Zealand and overseas.
''Some of these also have stunning ERO (Education Review Office) reports.''
The board of trustees intends to interview shortlisted candidates on February 8 or 9 for the successful candidate to begin at the start of the second term.
The largest and most diverse state primary school in Otago reopened for term one last Wednesday with 613 pupils and 58 staff members, all from 20 nationalities.