As Principal Wendy Brooks finishes her 17 years of leadership at Cromwell Primary School, a reflection on her career and her passion for lifelong learning guarantees that it will be a matter of ‘watch this space’ before she takes on another role – most likely in education, and certainly in leadership.
Wendy’s career in teaching and educational leadership has spanned 44 years. The majority of her classroom teaching was at Balmacewen Intermediate, teaching Year 8 students, but she has taught from Year 1’s to Year 10’s.
Before coming to Cromwell Primary School in 2004, she was principal of Taieri School.
Throughout her career, Wendy has taken on many leadership roles on academic panels, curriculum projects and facilitation. In Central Otago, among other duties, she has been a mentor to first time principals, president of Central Otago Principals’ Association, and their delegate on several education panels.
She was the first Lead Principal of “Te Kahui Ako o Nga Awanui” – Cromwell Community of Learning – 2018-2020, during which time she developed the Achievement Challenge Document for the Kahui Ako and established Kahui Ako Management Team, involving 3 schools and 6 ECEs in Cromwell.
“I continue to be passionate about my work in education and to thrive on the rewards and challenges that teaching, learning and leadership in schools bring,” says Wendy, adding, “Our vision at Cromwell Primary School is ‘making a difference’, and this has provided me with the motivation to ‘walk the talk’, model lifelong learning and help our teachers and students to be self-directed and self-managing learners. I feel proud of the culture we have achieved in our school, where everyone takes personal responsibility for their decisions and actions.”
Her role modelling of lifelong learning has followed from a Diploma of Teaching (Distinction) in 1978, through to graduating as Master of Education (Leadership) from the University of Tasmania, with a Certificate of Educational Management and a Diploma of Educational Leadership from Otago University College of Education along the way. A determination to keep abreast of educational practices to meet the needs of learners today has meant that Wendy has introduced many innovations during her principalship.
Recently, this has included buildings designed to provide physical environments that promote self-directed learning opportunities for students.
“I have loved my time at Cromwell Primary School and will miss the dynamic environment the school provides.
I wish the new Principal a successful transition in 2022 and know that he is very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing school community – staff, students and families.”