New CEO for Catholic Education Office

The New Zealand Catholic Education Office (NZCEO) has announced that that Paul Ferris is its new CEO.

He replaces Brother Sir Patrick Lynch who announced his retirement last year.

Ferris took up his position on February 1.

He  has come from a strong background in school leadership in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Ferris was a Principal for 36 years in both state and state-integrated schools, and has been part of the evolving story of state-integrated schools and the part they play in the New Zealand schooling system.

More recently he has been a contractor to the Ministry of Education as a Commissioner and Limited Statutory Manager in a number of schools in the Southern Region.

While the Principal of Kavanagh College, Dunedin, he received a number of awards for his leadership both in the school and across the education sector.

He received a Laureate Award from NZCEO, a Leadership in Education Award from SPANZ (Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand), and is a Life Member of SPANZ.

Ferris was an executive member of SPANZ for several years before becoming its President in 2004.

In Dunedin he was the Founding President of the Secondary Principals’ Partnership, which was established to find successful pathways for students at risk of losing their place in school, and he was the founding Principal of DunedinNet, a video conferencing collaboration for all Dunedin Secondary Schools.

In the 2012 New Year Honours list he was awarded a QSM for his work in education.

In 2014 he was made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Dunedin Rotary Club, for his services to Dunedin education as a non-member of Rotary.

In accepting the position Mr Ferris acknowledged that following Br Pat Lynch’s 22 years of outstanding leadership would be a challenge.

In taking up his new role he noted the support he will receive from a strong board and an agreed transition process, which will ensure there is a seamless passing over of the leadership role.

NZCEO acts as the national office of APIS (the Association of Proprietors of State-Integrated Schools) and individual state-integrated schools, and will continue its support and leadership of all state-integrated schools.

Close relationships with successive Ministers of Education, the Ministry of Education and other government agencies have characterised the success of NZCEO, and Ferris looks forward to continuing these relationships.


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News category: New Zealand.

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