Introduction to the New Principal

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Damian Watson as Principal of ACG Parnell College.
Mr Watson joins us from his role as Associate Headmaster (Senior School) at Auckland Grammar School where he currently leads all academic strategies, processes and operations for Years 9 to 13, including curriculum, assessment, teaching and learning.

Prior to this, Mr Watson held the position of Deputy Principal at Shirley Boys’ High School in Christchurch for six years and was involved in leading and managing all aspects of student engagement, wellbeing and pastoral support. He held a number of other senior leadership roles during his time at the school, where he taught from 2002 until 2014, and also successfully co-led its relocation to the site of another school for eight months following the Christchurch Earthquake of February 2011.

An educator for 26 years, Mr Watson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Canterbury with First Class Honours. His educational philosophy of challenging students to attain outstanding academic results in a holistic and encouraging environment is very closely aligned with that of ACG Parnell College. We are delighted to have appointed such an academically focussed leader.

Raising student achievement across the three pillars of academic excellence, the performing arts and sporting endeavours is extremely important to Mr Watson. He is committed to continuing to develop and expand ACG Parnell College’s outstanding reputation in his new leadership role.

Married to Nicky, with a 14-year-old son, Mr Watson enjoys travel, good food and golf. In an interesting aside, he is a competent speaker of the Thai language, having spent four years teaching English in Thailand in the 1990s.
Mr Watson will start at ACG Parnell College on 2nd March which will ensure a seamless transition for the school, with current Principal, Russell Brooke, leaving us on 28th February.

Please join me in welcoming Damian Watson to the ACG community, and feel free to contact me if you have any queries.

Kind regards,
Clarence van der Wel
CEO ACG Schools

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