Danella Smallridge
Danella Smallridge gives the ‘thumbs up’ to her new position as Principal of Lumsden School. The framed pictures behind her are from the students of Cromwell Primary - now displayed in Danella’s office. Photo Supplied

Local teacher, Danella Smallridge, has recently been appointed Lumsden Primary School’s new Principal.

Danella came to Cromwell as a beginning teacher 21 years ago. She and husband Maru had both gained Psychology degrees and teacher qualifications, and wanted positions in the same area. Maru was appointed to Cromwell College and Danella to Cromwell Primary School. Maru has since developed his technology business, Phoenix IT.

Danella in 2008 was granted a one-year New Zealand Royal Society Award to study Dyslexia. These awards are aimed at promoting research excellence. She was allowed to design her own project, and won the award from 93 applicants.

She describes Cromwell Primary as ‘the most awesome school’, saying,

“It’s been a crazy ride, and I have learned so much.”

During that time, the student roll has grown from 120 to 380, and she has appreciated the momentum and purpose that Wendy Brooks has provided the school, with a vision of making learning memorable and enjoyable.

“That’s what drew me to Lumsden,” says Danella. “It has a similar vision of encouraging a love of lifelong learning. Their key values of ‘We are kind’ and ‘We always try our best’ really appealed to me.”

She spent a day at the school last year, and was really impressed by the staff and students.

“I loved being the acting principal at Cromwell Primary for a term last year, and I am excited to be the Principal in Lumsden.”

Danella will be travelling back to Cromwell most weekends, and has asked all the students to call out a big “Hi Danella!” when they see her.