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'Devastating loss': Beloved Auckland high school principal dies suddenly

Author
Benjamin Plummer,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Feb 2024, 7:20AM

'Devastating loss': Beloved Auckland high school principal dies suddenly

Author
Benjamin Plummer,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Feb 2024, 7:20AM

A high school community on Auckland’s North Shore is mourning the sudden death of its principal.

In a message sent to parents on Sunday evening, Glenfield College announced the death of Paul McKinley, who had been in the top role since 2017.

“It is with much sadness that we inform you of the sudden passing of our beloved principal, Mr Paul McKinley,” said board of trustees presiding member Donna Kahaki.

“Out of respect the college will be not be running a class timetable as usual on Monday 26th February.

“The school will remain open tomorrow for students that require support and guidance, with a counselling team and year-level deans available.

“Our love and thoughts are with Paul’s family at this very sad time,” Kahaki said.

McKinley took up the role of principal at Glenfield College in 2017, after previously holding senior and deputy headmaster roles at Westlake Boys’ High School as well as being appointed associate principal of Mount Albert Grammar School.

Auckland councillor Richard Hills took to social media to offer his condolences to McKinley’s family, who “shared him” with the North Shore community.

“I caught up with Paul often, he was a great man, had such passion for our school and local area,” wrote Hills.

“He really cared about young people and their future, he had so much more to give.”

Hills said the news was an “extremely sad end to an extremely sad week” following the death of former Green MP Efeso Collins on Wednesday.

“Please hug your loved ones tonight and tomorrow and enjoy every moment,” Hills wrote.

Northcote MP Dan Bidois also paid tribute to the local principal online, saying: “Paul was a fantastic leader in our community with a strong sense of purpose and genuine desire to make a positive impact on others. My heart goes out to Paul’s family, all the GC students, staff and community at this very sad time. He will be sorely missed.”

Kaipātiki Local Board chairperson John Gillon shared the tragic news on Facebook, offering his condolences to McKinley’s family.

The Herald has approached Glenfield College for further comment.

Benjamin Plummer is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He has worked for the Herald since 2022.

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