Noelene started her teaching career at 18 years of age in Dunedin, where she met her husband Bill, also a teacher. Bill obtained a position at Wanaka Area School for “country service” where he went on to become Deputy Principal and Noelene held the position of Senior Teacher of Junior Classes. In 1989 Noelene took up the position of Principal at Tarras School, becoming the first woman principal and the fist principal to live outside of Tarras (commuting from Wanaka). Noelene went on to serve Tarras School as Principal and teacher for 25 years, contributing her talents as a warm and engaging teacher, and a forward thinking principal with many building upgrades and initiatives that benefitted both the children and the community. Noelene describes how a school can function at the heart of a small community, and shares many delightful and successful moments for Tarras School, in particular the creation of the children’s book “Shrek: The Famous Hermit Sheep of Tarras” which became famous throughout NZ and abroad.

Interviewer: Carolyn Squires
Interview Dates:
May 2021

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Heritage Central Otago acknowledges the generous support from the following organisations.

Central Lakes Trust