Paula Farquhar

This is my tale. The tale of making a decision that was so right for me. This is a tale of my anniversary. A journey, a trail with connection to rivers.

An anniversary. As a milestone, yes, it does remind me time has advanced. Yet, more importantly it is also a great reminder to what we have done. What we have achieved. It is a timeline of location. It reminds you of the decisions made. All this bound up when we celebrate the day. A celebration.

There in my email inbox, my latest payslip contained the surprise I had not expected. No, it was not a substantial pay increase (although one can continue to dream). Here was a reminder, an anniversary that quietly crept up on me. 21 years. I have devoted 21 years of my life to teaching. 21 years have left a trail. My trail. A trail of meeting and working with such wonderful people. A trail of a profession that continues to give me such joy, excitement and delight each and every day. And yep, a trail that lead directly to the principals morning tea shout as a result of this admission.

A little known point though, is this could have all been so very different. One decision. A decision I had to make. Late in my 6th form year I was on a host exchange to Murray Rriver, Australia. My father telephones excitedly delivering the news I'd been accepted to Teachers Training College. They required me to return immediately, to forsake my exchange. I had to forfeit all of my savings from months of serving behind the counter at my local dairy. My exchange ruined. A choice, at the time I felt so frustrated by.

I reluctantly returned to NZ.

A few days later I began my teacher training beside my next river. Although I had not planned it, it was where I met my future husband. A few years later, north we head, to reside by my next river. Here the joy of my children join my trail. Briefly we do drift away from a river. However, the pull of the river remains strong and calls me back. So, over 21 years later, I proudly stand alongside the river today as Principal of this great school. 

That initial river I once mourned, that tough decision, smoothed away by time, my growth, my trail. That moment required me to trust, to listen and to embrace who I am, who I can be, and who I will be. The same very qualities we ask of our children each and every day. We make no apologies that everyday at Wairakei Primary School we will ask your children to listen hard to their passion and embrace who they will one day be. The lifelong tale for your children, having been through Wairakei Primary School, will be a form of nostalgia for the time and a celebration of the extraordinary character and strength of who they have become. 

And when you join us over coffee during your visit — the staff always appreciate a morning tea shout.

Recent published articles:

How Do I Write a winning Grant Application. Link: NZ Principal magazine pg 19

2017 Wairakei Primary School Principal, Paula Farquhar
required me to trust, to listen and to embrace who I am, who I can be, and who I will be. The same very qualities we ask of our children each and every dayPaula Farquhar