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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Marie Gordon

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Marie Gordon

Name: Marie Gordon

Current title: Principal

Current organisation: Hamilton Girls’ High School

Experienced Principal with a demonstrated history of working in the New Zealand Secondary School sector. Skilled in Curriculum Leadership, Pastoral and Guidance, Human Resource Management, Property and Financial Management. Strong education professional with a Master's degree focused in Educational Leadership and Administration, from Massey University.
Principal, Hamilton Girls’ High School - 2013-present
Deputy Principal, Palmerston North Girls’ High - 2002-2012
Assistant Principal-HOS, Middle Manager, Freyberg High School - 1994-2001
Teacher, Dean - Waiopehu College, 1991-1993

7 Questions with Marie Gordon

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader in the education sector?

Operational Funding from MOE
Managing Change across the curriculum
Hauora in our sector

2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Exercise, work, eat, sleep.
Meaning work-life balance is a challenge, but it is important that I put my wellbeing at the centre.

3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Building trust with your staff is important - always need to take the staff with you.

4. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The Art of Deliberate Success - David Keane; HGHS Focus of PLD in 2015
Identifying our ULP - Unique life purpose and establishing our campaigns and goals to achieve this. Commenced thinking for all staff of the importance of work-life balance, and whom and what is at the heart of what you do.

5. How do you find and keep great leaders in the education sector?

Keep their passion alive and always see the glass half full. Continue to build capability across the sector and focus on a team approach.

6. What's most important as a leader in the education sector for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?

Prioritise hauora - ensure that we minimise stress as much as possible, so that people can focus on their core business of teaching and learning.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader in the education sector so far?

My own story of “Education gives you choices” always resonates within me. Being Maori, 2nd eldest of 6 children, in a 3 bdrm state house in National Park, we knew that gaining an education was going to be the ticket out of the “Once we were warriors” life we lived.
Courage, resilience and self-belief are 3 important values that I have held from my teenage years, and still to this day.
Understanding our why and the values we live by are critical to our sector. Living our values means that we just don’t profess them, we live them. We walk our talk. We care that our words, behaviours and thoughts align with our values. Values-guided action promotes authenticity, and provides richness and meaning to life.

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