NEW deputy principal Rikki Horlock faces off against Ali Fiaur, 11, in a game of chess. Photo James Sandbrook OB4756-03

OPOTIKI Primary School is in good hands, with Rikki Horlock joining the leadership team.

Effective from the first day of term three, Mr Horlock will be stepping onboard as deputy principal.

Before the official handover, he was welcomed to the school in a full assembly, and has been getting to know everyone during the week.

“I’m just learning the dynamics of the school,” he said.

“I’ve been enjoying getting taken around the school by the kids, and I’ve seen that it’s really well resourced.”

Having spent many years with almost 10 schools and the Ministry of Education (MoE), Mr Horlock will enter the role with a wealth of experience.

This includes several leadership roles around the country, and a senior adviser for the MoE, working with primary schools in the Eastern Bay.

Mr Horlock said this meant he already had connections to principals in the district, and was looking to expand those.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the other schools as well,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr Horlock said he was enjoying getting to know the students, introducing himself to classrooms and even challenging some to chess.

“For me, the kids are always at the forefront,” he said.

Mr Horlock said he was also enthusiastic to develop relationships with the community, and was keen to work closely with them during his time here.

“Right now, my focus is on doing the best I can in this role, I’m not worrying about what comes next,” he said.

“I can already see that these are awesome kids, and the staff have been great.”

“You can tell that everyone loves their kura.”