Gillian Simpson to retire from role in 2018

Gillian Simpson has made the decision to retire from her role as Executive Principal of St Margaret’s College, at the end of Term One 2018.

This is an enormous decision for Gillian and her family, as well as for St Margaret’s College, a decision that has not been arrived at lightly. From the efforts that Gillian and the Leadership Team, the staff and the Trust Board have made over the past years, the school is in a very strong position, perhaps the strongest it has ever been in its long history. 

The school is going from strength-to-strength in its academic, sporting and arts performance, the roll is strong and growing, the school is in good financial shape, even after the considerable earthquake rebuild efforts, and pastoral care and well-being programmes are firmly embedded in the school’s culture.

The 10 years of Gillian’s tenure have been very successful for our school. Despite this, we all anticipate challenges ahead as the school adapts to the changes in educating our girls for the world they will inherit.

Gillian believes that the time is right for the Trust Board to look for an experienced leader with a passion for educating and empowering young women, who understands and connects with the unique culture that sets St Margaret’s apart, and who can meet the challenges of the future.

We will be looking for someone who will love and care for our girls and staff, and someone who has a clear vision for a 21st century education, and for the next decade of St Margaret’s history.

In Gillian’s own words,

“I believe this decision, while tinged with sadness at leaving the school I love, is the right one for myself and my family, as well as for St Margaret’s. My intention is to finish at the end of Term One in 2018 to give the Trust Board plenty of time to find a new Executive Principal.

At the end of 2017 I will have spent ten of the most challenging and rewarding years of my life at this school, surrounded daily by amazing people. The school community is in great heart, the roll is strong and we are moving confidently forward into the future.

I will continue to serve this community to the best of my ability during my remaining tenure and beyond. As always, my door is open and I look forward to seeing you soon.

 My heart will never leave SMC!”

The Trust Board will now be embarking on a wide-ranging recruitment process, assisted by professional recruitment advisors and with input from the community, to find the best Executive Principal possible for the future, to ensure that the next ten years of St. Margaret’s history is even more successful than the past 10 years.

Gillian has given generous notice of her intentions, and will continue to assist the Trust Board and the school in the recruitment and transition process. The Trust Board is very appreciative of this assistance.

We know that change can be unsettling. However, the Trust Board, is committed to ensuring the values and culture of our incredible school community will be equally supported by Gillian’s successor.

Gillian Simpson, Executive Principal and Albert Brantley, Chairman Trust Board


12 Winchester Street
Merivale, Christchurch 8014

PO Box 25094
Christchurch 8144
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 379 2000
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