Principal – Neil Chalmers
I grew up in the southern city of Dunedin where I attended Wakari Primary School, Balmacewen Intermediate, Kaikouri Valley High School, and Otago University. I first studied Accounting before returning to Otago to complete a Bachelor of Education and beginning a career in teaching.
My family then moved to Marlborough where I taught in a number of schools (Blenheim, Riverlands, Fairhall) and gained my first principal’s roles. After working at Okaramio School as a sole charge principal I moved to Tua Marina and then over here to the wonderful Mapua School and community.
I have very little spare time but like to spend this with my immediate and wider family as well as family friends. The girls are growing and living an active life and it’s great to be a part of this. We like to enjoy all the lifestyle attributes of this stunning region as well as time together at home as a family. I have older children and enjoy time with them and their growing families (my grandchildren).
When I do have spare time I like to pursue interests in art, photography, ceramics, woodwork, as well as travelling although none of these have seen much light of day in recent years. If I had time I would travel much more as well as get into fitness, tennis, squash, and skiing.
I like to think of myself as a reasonable person and accepting of others views, lifestyles, interests etc. People’s diversity is what makes life colourful and interesting. I find it challenging then when people become bigoted and narrow in their thinking.
For me Mapua is a unique community due to the fact that people choose to be here for no other reason than liking the lifestyle it offers and the stunning environment it presents. This makes for a rich and varied community of individuals that appear to appreciate life and the region they live in. Their apparent positivity flows on through their families to this school and ensures that it is a great place to be a part of. Mapua School is successful because of the students and families it serves, the staff team it attracts, and the environment it is situated in. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this school and community.