Scholarship for college principal Preece

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By Mick Jensen

Ashburton College principal Ross Preece is the recipient of this year’s Advance Ashburton Leader’s scholarship.

There were 11 applications and five people shortlisted for interview for the $10,000 scholarship, which is the second of its kind to be offered.

Mr Preece said he was delighted to be given the scholarship as an education leader.

He said there were big changes coming at Ashburton College over the coming months and years and he was tasked with steering the ship through both a new school build and curriculum reform.

There was a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and “we’ve got to get it right”, he said.

The timing of the scholarship was great because it would allow him to expand his knowledge by attending short courses and going on beneficial site visits.

He intended doing both next year, when he was due a sabbatical.

“I know there are a number of short courses at Harvard University in the USA focused on the ‘educational future’.

“There are also high tech high schools in California that run project-based learning programmes and a visit there will be beneficial.”

Mr Preece said there were also other project-based learning opportunities in Europe that he would consider.

Closer to home, there were a number of examples of new school builds or rebuilds in Christchurch and homework on some of those had already begun.

He said the $50 million Ashburton College rebuild would not be completed before 2025, but getting it right would future proof the school for the next 50 or 60 years.

There would be plenty of opportunity for the school and community to have its say on a new look college over the coming months, he said.

  • Through the generosity of Methven identity Sir Graeme Harrison, who sat on the Advance Ashburton scholarship interview panel, Advance Ashburton has given two further leader scholarships this year. Lisa Anderson has been given a Leader’s enhancement scholarship valued at $5000 and Katrina Palmer a Leader’s development scholarship valued at $2000.