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New DP ready to make changes in technology

Post Date: 12 Jul 17       Category

Article courtesy of the Wanganui Chronicle.  Photo:  Grant Congdon, Principal Horowhenua College and new Deputy Principal, Jason White

The new Deputy Principal at Horowhenua College has big plans to lead the way in digital integration.

Jason White, 32, first became a DP at 29.  Brought up on a dairy farm in Eketahuna, Mr White graduated from Massy University in 2007 and taught at Whanganui High School and William Colenso College in Napier before getting his first DP role at Ruapehu College, Ohakune where he spent three years transforming the school to reach its highest academic results ever.

Mr White said when he first arrived at Ruapehu College it was in "quite a bad way" and was under Education statutory management.
"I loved it, being able to just get stuck in and role my sleeves up," he said.  "We effectively got the school back on its feet and functioning really well ... It quickly became clear to me that I wanted to do the senior leadership side of things, and I'm absolutely loving it."

He said having the DP level of influence over an entire school rather than a department, gave him a sense of achievement. "I enjoy being in a position where I feel like I have a bit more influence and responsibility in making decisions," he said. "I enjoy the admin side of things and working with the students in pastoral care. "I'd like the community to see a college that serves the needs of its students, and know that the college is providing a really good service," he said.

Mr White has also been working with the Ministry of Education on development of a new digital technologies curriculum. "It is the first change to the curriculum since it was brought out so I've been quite lucky to be a part of the conversation down at the ministry and feeding directly into how that is going to look," he said. "There are going to be some big changes for education in the near future, changes that are definitely needed." He said the current education system is based on students learning to read, write and memorise information. "The reality is, in the real world, we need so much more than that. Change is imminent and if schools aren't prepared for it and ready for change then they will find themselves very quickly left behind," he said. He believed Horowhenua College was in a perfect position to be a part of that change and was enthusiastic about principal Grant Congdon's leadership style. "I think we will work really well together."

Mr White, his wife and two children have settled in Levin and he hopes he can now watch his children grow up here. "We love the outdoors and we have that here," he said. "My kids have already started kindergarten, swimming lessons and gymnastics. Levin has everything we need, and it is a really friendly and welcoming community.