New Principal Shona West takes the reins

Long-serving Hawke’s Bay educator Shona “Pip” West has started in her new role as Principal of Hukarere Girls’ College.

The school’s Board of Trustee’s Chairpersons Heke Huata and The Most Reverend Don Tamihere, along with other Trustees, announced the appointment in December last year and Shona started in January.

Shona was chosen from a strong field of applicants by an Appointments Advisory Panel, which was impressed by the calibre of applicants and with the quality of the three preferred candidates.

Shona, who is of Ngātiporou and Ngātikahungunu descent, has taught Te Reo Māori, art, social science, English, and music at Hastings Girls High School since 1985. She is a passionate educator, who is a graduate (B Ed) from Massey University and has been in leadership roles in the Post Primary Teachers Association, representing Hawke’s Bay and Māori teachers nationally.

Shona says she is humbled and excited by the opportunities ahead of her.

“I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to be Tumuakii of a school with a proud history and tradition of educating strong young Māori women.”

She has had many community leadership roles, including being a current board member and former chair of Te Kura kaupapa Māori o te Wānanga Wharetāpere o Ngātikahungunu and The Hawkes Bay Kindergarten Association, chairperson of Te Kohanga Reo o Te Amorangi o Rongokako, chairperson of U Turn Charitable Foundation and a trustee of Te Aranga Marae Trust, Flaxmere.

Shona is also involved in a range of other activities including The Flaxmere Boxing Academy and Te Kooti Rangatahi (Maori Youth Court). She has two adult children and has been a strong supporter of the rugby career of her son, Ihaia West, who has played professionally for the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes and the Māori All Blacks. She is also a devoted grandmother of three mokopuna.

Heke Huata says: “We are pleased by Shona’s appointment and her dedication to raising students’ aspirations, engagement, achievement, progress and well-being; as well as her commitment to active involvement in the wider community.”