James believes in “hard work’” and that nothing is ever just handed to you on a plate! One of six kids born in Aussie and educated here, James learnt at a young age that to be successful it just doesn’t happen – loads of hard work, effort, earning an income , taking part in everything that was on offer – are all things that grew this man into a highly successful and career orientated, fun loving guy.
James left school part way through year 13 and worked locally to be able to support himself at University. As well as being an academic he loved his sport and to “perform”. He could capture the attention of an entire assembly and enjoyed using his healthy sense of humour to entertain. He took a lead role in South Pacific, won numerous speech competitions, captained the school basketball team and played in the tennis team.
He graduated in 1989 from Waikato University with a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education. He taught at Berkley Normal Middle School for a total of eight years, had two years at the Advisory Service, a year at Bankwood Primary as Assistant Principal, and six years as Deputy Principal at Tamahere Model Country School. He has now returned to where it all started at Firth Primary – now as Principal.
He is still a keen sportsman, playing competitive tennis for Cambridge . He has played in the Waikato Premier Competition and still plays representative tennis for the Waikato Veterans team. He played competitive basketball and also refereed in the National League.
James relished his years at Matamata College where he believes he was set up with a sound educational background, had great teachers and has maintained contact with many close friends from his school days.
He makes his home in Cambridge. His wife Kristin is a physiotherapist who works in Te Awamutu. His two children are sports fanatics. James now spends many hours on the sidelines at netball, swimming and tennis cheering on daughter Georgia and at soccer, miniball and swimming with son Harrison.
James has had a long association with Matamata and loves working in his home town. To learn more visit www.firthschool.nz and click on meet the Principal.