A journey does remind me time has advanced. Yet, more, it is also a great reminder of what I've done. What we've achieved. It's a timeline of location. It reminds one of the decisions made. All this bound up with a connection to rivers.
Rivers form 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.
A little-known point though, my journey could have all been so very different. One decision. A decision I had to make.
Late in my 6th form year (yes, that ages me a little!) I was on a host exchange to Murray River, Australia. My father telephones delivering the news I'd been accepted to Teachers Training College. They required me to return immediately, to forsake my exchange. All those months of serving behind the counter at my local Tamatea dairy - wasted! My exchange ruined. A choice, at the time I felt so frustrated by.
I returned to NZ.
In the Manawatu, I began my teacher training alongside my next river. Although I had not planned it, it was where I met my future husband.
A few years later, north to the Waikato, to reside by my next river. Here the joy of my children join my trail. We do drift away from a river for a short period. Yet, the pull of the river remains strong and calls me back. So, nearly 30 years later, I stand alongside the Waikato 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 students each and every day.
At Wairakei Primary School we'll ask your children to listen hard to their passion. We'll ask them to embrace who they will one day be. Learning is a lifelong journey for your children. Attending Wairakei Primary School will be part nostalgia blended with a celebration of the extraordinary character of whom they have become.
Do join us for coffee during your visit — and the staff always appreciate a morning tea shout.
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