Background of Jennice Murray
Jennice was a Whangarei girl and she remembers the year and the teacher who inspired her to go into teaching. “It was a Miss Kendall – the teacher from heaven – and I knew I’d be a teacher.”

After Whangarei Girls, Jennice found herself at North Shore Teachers College. From there it was to Edendale Primary School for her PA year – “Doug Stock was a lovely principal,” – and then she moved to Mellons Bay Primary School, Howick. “I was there for two years and absolutely loved it. Then I took a break to have a family.” After the birth of her first son, because of education department bonding, Jennice chose an opening at Matipo Primary and became a Westie! “Early on the principal asked me to look after a man joining the staff from up north, a Cedric Murray, whom later I married.” Following another son, Jennice moved to Don Buck Primary School as a long-term reliever and, “I was fortunate enough to be offered the DP’s role and worked for a wonderful principal, Malcolm Ross and as luck would have it, when he took early retirement, I won the principal’s job.”

 “I’ve always had a huge interest in emotional intelligence and the EQ philosophy is what helps me drive our school. Don Buck Primary was built in 1980 to accommodate the then current thinking of open plan learning. Much has changed, including the structure of the whole building and returning to single cell learning. Jennice’s husband Cedric works at Don Buck Primary leading sports and P.E. “While the ever present pull to return up North to the beautiful beaches is there, I would be hard pushed to find a school community, staff and pupils to match the calibre of that of Don Buck so I stay.”

Change is constant and one of the biggest changes is the development of a large subdivision next to the school so Don Buck Primary evolves to accommodate the ever increasing population of North West. “We look forward to the challenge the changes will bring.”