Senior Leadership Team

Marilyn Gwilliam, Principal
MA (Hons), Diploma in Teaching, Diploma in Business Studies

2 February 2015

In July this year, I will have been the principal at our school for 10 years and I have been a principal for 17 years. I also have 10 years experience in teacher training and I have been involved in principal training. My previous appointments include Associate Director on the First-Time Principals Programme at The University of Auckland, Principal of Newmarket and Epsom Normal Primary Schools, and Assistant Director of Primary Teacher Education at the former Auckland College of Education. In 2007, I was awarded a Woolf Fisher Fellowship to study effective teacher and principal practices internationally. In 2009, our school was one of a group of 13 schools nationally that was invited to implement an action research leadership project for the Ministry of Education Kiwi Leadership Project. In 2012, our school was one of a group of 8 selected schools involved in an innovative schools project. Currently we are leading a two-year research project in reading with The University of Auckland funded by the NZ Council for Educational Research. These research initiatives are highly regarded with extensive development opportunities for both our teachers and their students.

My focus at our school is on the improvement in student achievement through the provision of multiple learning opportunities for all students in our very well resourced school. Our school has a very strong academic focus and we pride ourselves on the achievements of our students.

We care deeply for our students and encourage a strong sense of family and connectedness with one another. I believe that effective schools have strong school-parent/caregiver partnerships and I am committed to working with our students’ families to achieve positive outcomes for all. We value the diversity of our families and the cultural connections that they share in our big school whanau.

I value the strong support and self review focus of our Board of Trustees and the energetic contribution of our Parent-Teacher Association. I value all our staff hugely and I enjoy working with everyone at our school as we strive to provide a very safe, values-based learning environment where all students can become independent, considerate and contributing individuals. At our school our work is consistently evidence-based as we continue to develop as an effective and reflective learning community where both staff and students learn with, from, and on behalf of each other.

Susan Fidler, Deputy Principal
B Ed

I have been at Papatoetoe Central School for a long time. For the past 14 years I have held the position of Associate Principal. My teaching at PCS has been in the junior school with my most recent teaching involving the opening of a new entrant class in the latter part of each year.

My major responsibilities at present include the teaching and oversight of reading programmes throughout the school and the leadership of ICT development within the school.

I am proud to be associated with PCS and excited to be a part of the continued dynamics of a state of the art education for our students. I feel I am well known in the community and have enjoyed an ongoing participation with our PTA for several years. I look forward to continuing my association with PCS and am excited at the prospect of developing teaching and learning programmes that help prepare our students for their future.

Ross McGowan, Associate Principal
MA (Hons), Trained Teachers Certificate

McGowan, Ross

25 February 2015

This year I begin my third year at Papatoetoe Central School. I have enjoyed the past two years working with our students, staff and families. Before coming to Papatoetoe Central School, I was a Principal for nine years, including my previous position as Principal of Aka Aka School from 2006 to 2012.

I have many different roles including the oversight of student learning and achievement of Year 4 to 6 classes. I enjoy observing and supporting the students with their learning in their classrooms. One of my roles is to meet parent groups such as our Maori whanau, Pasifika aiga and Indian families to discuss and share learning opportunities that can become part of our learning environment.

I have responsibility for the learning support, special needs and inclusion programmes at our school. Some of these include the Papatoetoe Schools enhancement programme, Mathematics enhancement for Year 4 to 6 and learning support programmes for all year levels across the curriculum.

Mathematics is a particular interest of mine and it is an area of focus at our school. In 2014 we introduced the ‘Friday Maths Programme’ which has a strong focus on students working together in groups to problem solve. In 2015 we have introduced the PRIME Mathematics programme; we are providing a Maths enhancement programme for our high achievers in Year 4 to 6 and extra support for groups of students.

I enjoy working with an experienced and talented group of teachers who ‘make a difference every day’ and provide a rich curriculum so the students have very successful learning experiences and can reach their optimum potential.