New Chair appointed to Te Kura Board of Trustees

Outgoing Board of Trustees Chair at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, Dame Karen Sewell, says her replacement will bring a wide range of experience and skills to the role.

Barbara Ala’alatoa, the principal of Sylvia Park Primary School in Auckland, will take over as board Chair at the country’s largest school, Te Kura, next month.

Announcing the appointment today, the Minister of Education Chris Hipkins described Ms Ala’alatoa as an outstanding education leader, who will take forward Te Kura’s plans to lift achievement, wellbeing and a sense of belonging for its students.

Mr Hipkins says she will also bring her cultural knowledge to the board and an understanding of the diverse student body enrolled at the school.

The new board Chair has more than 30 years’ experience in teaching and working across the education sector. In 2015, she was appointed as inaugural chair of the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Mr Hipkins has also paid tribute to Dame Karen’s leadership over the past seven years and thanked her for the time and energy she has given to the role. He praised her strong commitment to improving educational outcomes for Māori and Pasifika students, saying her legacy will benefit Te Kura for many years into the future.

Dame Karen says it has been a privilege leading Te Kura’s board and working with such a dedicated and committed staff, whose focus is always on the school’s students.

Read the Minister's statement here