July 8, 2008
New Challenge for ‘Special Lady’
By BLOOMBERG, Simon
Just like her pupils, Brightwater Primary School principal Janice Gulbransen says she needs to keep learning.
That's why tomorrow, after almost six years in charge, Mrs Gulbransen is leaving to take up a position as principal of Nayland Primary School.
She is replacing retiring principal Darryl Smith, who is leaving after 17 years in the job.
Although she has enjoyed Brightwater's 250 pupils, and its staff and parents, Mrs Gulbransen said she wanted the challenge of working at a bigger school like Nayland, which has 420 pupils.
"Brightwater is a neat school, and it's great that the community values the education and the work that the school does. The kids are a highlight, all the time, the staff are very dedicated and the parents are good, and I'll miss them.
"But it's important to learn and grow yourself. I'm excited about the new challenges."
Mrs Gulbransen said one of the highlights of her time at Brightwater was helping to initiate and manage the information communication and technology programme introduced in 2005.
Brightwater, Tapawera Area School and Wakefield, Hope, Ranzau, Appleby and Richmond primary schools joined forces to secure Ministry of Education funding for the Internet- based programme, which has enhanced the learning of many of their pupils.
"It's Internet-based learning, and that's the world they have to live in," Mrs Gulbransen said. "It's been very exciting."
The opening of a new hall and library in 2006 were other highlights. The Dot Watson Library, named after the school's late deputy principal, was a very special building because "we told Dot that we were going to name the new library after her before she passed away".
Brightwater's board of trustees chairwoman, Cheryl Hoult, said Mrs Gulbransen had also managed to get the community more involved in the school and was always present at fundraisers.
"She has always been very honest with the parents and has had an open door policy, which we've appreciated. She is a very special lady."
Deputy principal Glenda Earle will be acting principal for the rest of the year until the post is filled next year. The school will hold a farewell assembly for Mrs Gulbransen tomorrow at 2pm.
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