Celebrating and acknowledging an exemplary educator and leader – Wendy Foster.  

Celebrating and acknowledging an exemplary educator and leader – Wendy Foster.  
Yesterday we came together at morning tea to celebrate and acknowledge a brilliant career. Wendy Foster’s contribution as an educational leader has been immense and it was an honour to be able to say a few words on behalf of the many people for whom she has made a difference and who hold her in such high regard.  Wendy’s career in education has spanned over 42 years.  Berkley has been fortunate to have had Wendy here for 29 of those years following her appointment as Second Deputy Principal by John Crone in 1990.   In the many years that followed hundreds of students and their families have benefited from her commitment, passion, intelligence, knowledge and skill. During their many years working together John and Wendy formed a very strong professional partnership that focused on what is best for learners.  Wendy’s focus on teaching and learning and her desire for Berkley students to experience world class pedagogical practice has been at the forefront of her daily work.   Wendy’s passion for literacy has enriched the learning and teaching of all those who have worked with her.  Her skill as a leader of literacy learning resulted in her secondment to the Literacy Professional Development Project (LPDP) for two years during her time at Berkley.  The LPDP focused on improving teacher content knowledge in literacy, pedagogy and practice, and building effective professional learning communities. Wendy worked across a number of schools with an evidence-based professional development programme which successfully improved student learning and achievement in literacy.  Wendy’s focus on literacy is also evident in our beautifully resourced Learning Centre.    Wendy stepped in as acting principal and  took over the school during a difficult time for Berkley.  Alongside the appointed commissioner, Dennis Finn, Wendy set about protecting the standing of the school, its staff and its community and thereby ensuring the continuation of the amazing school we have today. The wairua and supportive staffroom culture and great systems in place for learning,  is an outcome of the time and support Wendy gave all people.  Unless required to do so, Wendy preferred to work in the background and therefore did not want to be put in the spotlight regarding her retirement.   The quality of Wendy’s service could not go by unmarked however and so yesterday the staff and invited guests came together at morning tea to honor Wendy and her work with just the right amount of ceremony and ‘fuss’.   From my perspective as Principal I thank Wendy for supporting me during my time at Berkley. For the tireless hours she put in behind the scenes to transition me into this amazing school. I thank her for the chats, the advice, mentoring and friendship. I have learnt so much from her. I along with the staff, students, BOT and community will miss her greatly, but we wish her and Kevin well for the next exciting stage of your lives. Nathan Leith

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