Omakau School’s new principal Adelle Banks has only been at the small rural school for four weeks, but feels quite at home, having grown up on a farm in South Otago.
    Formerly assistant principal for years 9-13 at Roxburgh Area School, Mrs Banks said she wanted the opportunity to go back to a primary school, and had always loved rural schools.
    ‘‘I also felt I had enough experience to make the jump from assistant principal to principal,’’ she said.
    She and her husband Alistair, a teacher at Clyde Primary School, live at Earnscleugh but she said her commute was little different from when she travelled to Roxburgh daily, except the roads were straighter. They had both taught in Dunedin and spent two years teaching in Brunei, but were very happy to have returned and make Central Otago their home.
    Despite Omakau being a small rural school, the 64 pupils did not lack for anything their peers elsewhere might have.
    ‘‘The cost of buses is really expensive if we need to go somewhere, but we have really good parent support and a fantastic home in school committee which helps with expenses.’’
    The support in a small community was amazing, not only from parents but from everyone, she said.
    The children were also curious about newcomers and constantly asked her questions.
    After only four weeks in the school, she felt she had been able to really ‘‘slot in’’.
    ‘‘I feel very lucky to have landed here.’’