Narelle Umbers, recently appointed principal at Marsden College, shared her vision for the college with Karori Rotarians at their meeting on 13 March.
Narelle is only the 12th principal in Marsden's 140 year history. A short video showed that the school welcomed Narelle in grand style. The ceremony included a powhiri and entry with Narelle wearing a recently aquired  feathered korowai.
Marsden has always excelled at preparing young women for the challenges of their time and Narelle hopes to continue this. She has an impressive background in education, most recently at Peninsula Grammer in Melbourne which catered for 1400 pupils. Her CV also includes time spent outside the education sphere including working on major projects in IT. Her time in commerce gave her skills in finance and HR and she has been able to bring these to bear during her time in the education sector.
Narelle outlined her strengths and the ideals she hopes to bring to Marsden. She stresses leadership through positive psychology and tries to play to her personal strengths of honesty, love, judgement, perspective and teamwork. She is an enthusiastic supporter of choices in education and is happy with the girls only school at Karori and the newer co-ed school at Whitby.
Narelle took time to explain the central tenets of her educational philosophy. These are directed towards ensuring that students can affect their own schooling experience, that teachers are also responsible for acquiring new knowledge and stressing the importance of all the school's stakeholders. The goal is to produce well rounded students that can participate fully in school life and in the broader community.
Finally Narelle touched on the considerable challenges faced in education for the 21st century. We can be sure that the Marsden traditions combined with the energy and forward looking vision of the new principal will be equal to the task.