In The Beginning

When I walked out of my office in May 2015 to attend a meeting with the Rangiora High School commissioner Beverley Moore I never suspected it would be the last time I would see my colleagues, the students or the school I had served for thirteen years.  Nearly four years later I am a very different person as a result.

So how do you rise from the ashes of a successful career destroyed?

There is no easy answer, no definitive approach and certainly no blue print to follow  for those of us who have experienced such a life altering event. What I would like to do is share my experiences here and in some small way shed some light on what it takes to reinvent yourself in the face of extreme adversity.

From There To Here

In May 2015 I earned an annual salary of $190,000. I had, after a 40 year career in education, reached the top of my profession and led a large urban secondary school with 200 staff, 1800 students, an annual budget of $7M and $18M in community assets. I was recognised nationally and internationallly as a successful educational leader. My annual appraisals consistently recorded excellence in leadership, management, innovation and collegiality. All that was destroyed when the New Zealand Ministry of Education failed me, the school, our students and the North Canterbury community.

My experience mirrored those of many of my principal colleagues.

So how did I manage to reinvent myself, complete a PhD, open a new business and confidently re-enter public life …

to be continued


Written by Dr Peggy Burrows

I am a leader and enjoy the challenges leadership offer. My leadership journey began in the classroom in 1981, saw me sitting on the Bench in the District Court for 10 years as a member of the Deportation review Tribunal, as a member of NAWAC and as a member of the Aoraki Conservation Board. For the past 40 years I have touched the lives of thousands of people in a myriad of positive ways. Through success and adversity I have lived my leadership role and believe as a servant leader I have made a difference.