Sandy Stirling


Kia ora e te whānau. It is my great privilege to be the principal of our awesome kura. Everyday I come to school so excited to connect and learn with our exceptional tamariki, our incredible teaching and learning team, and amazing community. I am from Derby in England and have lived in New Zealand for 20 years now. I live with my wife Sarah and our four children in Huia now. Previously we lived in Te Aroha in the Waikato for four years where I was the principal of an amazing little rural school, and previous to that I taught at a couple of incredible schools in South Auckland. I am passionate about progressing and developing our fantastic school and am so excited about the journey ahead.

Get to know Sandy

What inspired you to become a teacher?

Teaching was always something that I thought I’d enjoy doing. Working to make a positive difference in children’s lives and having a whole lot of fun in the process really excited me. When I started having children of my own I really knew the time was right to go for a career in teaching and I haven’t looked back since.

What do you enjoy most about working at our school?

I love the energy and absolute fun of working at our school. Every day really is different and there is such a great vibe and energy with working at our school. We all learn together, play together, and share some amazing experiences together.

How do you keep your students engaged and motivated in learning?

We believe at Don Buck that every child has the possibility and potential to be exceptional. Our children have incredible skills, talents, attributes, and passions. Our role as teachers is to offer all our children as wide a range of learning experiences as possible so that our children can find their exceptional. We celebrate success and achievement and we grow our children’s confidence as they progress in their learning journeys.

Is there a quote or saying that you live your life by?

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Sir Edmund Hillary

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My family keeps me really busy in my spare time. Myself and my wife Sarah have four incredible children and we really enjoy our whānau time. It gets pretty busy especially on weekends taking our kids to sports practice and having some great family experiences. By the time we get the kids to bed at night I really enjoy relaxing and enjoying a good movie!