Our Principal

Our Principal

Heather McRae - MEd Admin(Hons) | BSc | DipTchg

Widely respected as one of New Zealand’s leading Principals, Heather is currently President of the Executive of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools (AHIS) and is Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ).

Educational leadership

Before her appointment to Diocesan, Heather was Principal at Pakuranga College, a co-educational school with 2100 students. Prior to that, she was Principal and Director of Curriculum at the Western Academy of Beijing – a co-educational International Baccalaureate school of 1600 students from Kindergarten through to Year 12. Between 1996 and 2002, Heather gained extensive international experience as Director of Educational Operations at Multi Serve Education Trust, a leading exporter of education. This included the establishment of an International School for the Sultan of Brunei and a range of educational projects in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Academic career

Academic career

Heather’s background is as a biochemist. She graduated from Massey University with a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry followed by a Diploma in Teaching with distinction. She later completed a Masters in Educational Administration with First Class Honours and received a Sir Woolf Fisher Trust Scholarship, graduating from the Hillary Leadership Programme, facilitated by the New Zealand Leadership Institute at the University of Auckland.

Philosophy for Dio

Philosophy for Dio

Heather believes that education is about the art of human learning – a venture involving creativity, imagination and discovery. She believes that every person has leadership potential within and that the role of our school is to help our graduates place their feet firmly in life by developing spiritual strength, discipline and resilience. She aims to achieve this by creating a team of leaders with a passion for teaching and learning in a world class educational environment.

A love of sport and the arts

A love of sport and the arts

Growing up on a farm in the Wairarapa, Heather embraced every opportunity to pursue her interests. With a passion for sport she has run five marathons, as well as receiving a ‘blue’ for netball at university. She has a strong affinity for the arts and learned ballet from the age of five.