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Head of Junior School says farewell

A photo of Head of Junior School Kathleen McDonnell surrounded by students.
Kathleen McDonnell with QMC Junior School students.

After 25 years at Queen Margaret College we are sad to be saying goodbye to our Head of Junior School Kathleen McDonnell.

Kathleen is leaving at the end of Term 4 and will be moving to Taranaki where her husband now lives.

She says she is grateful to have spent so many happy and fulfilling years at the College.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with extraordinary staff, children and their families in this wonderful community,” Kathleen says.

Kathleen started at QMC in 1993 as Head of Junior School and taught Year 7. During her time at the College she has been Head of Junior School, Deputy Principal of the Junior and Middle Schools, Junior School  teacher, Year 10 Dean, Humanities, RE and Science teacher in the Middle School and teacher in charge of the library.

During her first few years at QMC she had her three children, taking only a five week break after the birth of her second child. Her daughters Kezia and Niamh attended QMC. Youngest child Niamh finished Year 13 in 2017.

In 2000 Kathleen began to look into creating a more “cohesive” Middle School at QMC and with others began to look at the feasibility of introducing a Preschool.

“This dream of mine came to fruition in 2003 when the Preschool opened with 9 children and quickly grew to 17,” she says.

Kathleen has continued to be involved with the Preschool, Junior and Middle Schools.

In 2004 the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme was first looked at being established at QMC and Kathleen worked on the implementation of the Primary Years (PYP) and Middle Years Programmes. She was the coordinator of the Primary Years Programme from 2014 until recently.

“The last five years in the Junior School have been dedicated to strengthening the PYP and as a Junior School team we have been fully committed to the philosophy that underpins this programme,” Kathleen says.

Kathleen has built up many relationships during the past 25 years and says she is pleased to be part of such a large and generous community.

“I can proudly say I remember the names of each and every student I have taught,” she says.

Principal Jayne-Ann Young says she is grateful for the work Kathleen has done throughout her time at QMC and wishes her the best with her next stage of life.

“Kathleen has made a significant contribution to QMC in the implementation of the IB programme and with the Preschool. I would like to thank her for the integral role she has played in the development of the school.”

Jayne-Ann would also like to thank parents for their continued support during the changeover period and looks forward to continue to build on the success of the Junior School.