Originally from the UK, I am a Kiwi citizen and North Shore resident of 24 years; married to Charles, an anaesthetist, for 34 years. I have a BSc(Hons) degree and work part-time. I have been an active WGHS parent since 2008 with three daughters graduating from WGHS. I will continue to have a vested interest in the success of the school, and its students.
I always advocate for best practice for Board, staff and students. Our students deserve the very best education: to enjoy and be actively engaged in learning in a stimulating and motivating environment; to have full access to the curriculum: academic, sporting, arts and culture, technical and life skills; to achieve to their full potential, and to be confident in their abilities to succeed.
The Board annually reviews curriculum areas and tracks student progress. We have supported increased leadership capacity for students at each year level; a Scholars Society and Smart Swans tutoring; improved school attendance and strengthened student mentoring to achieve best outcomes. Staff Recognition Awards and Leadership Programmes promote the very best teaching practice and staff leadership. Development of facilities continues and, with my background in property and planning, I look forward to the realisation of the much needed Events Centre in 2021.
I am honoured to be a member of the Board of Trustees for Westlake Girls High School. I believe all children deserve a supportive and enriching environment in which to achieve their dreams, whatever those dreams are. The responsibility of the BOT is to ensure that the school has the resources, support and leadership to be able to deliver that.
My husband and I live in Greenhithe with our three children. Our two boys attend Westlake Boys and our daughter attended Westlake Girls High School. As a family, we enjoy sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter.
I completed a law degree in London during my OE, before returning to live in New Zealand in 1996. I am one of three partners at Smith and Partners, a medium sized law firm employing approximately 35 people. I currently manage the litigation and private client practise of the firm (which includes employment law) and have extensive experience providing strategic and commercial advice to our business clients.
Managing a busy professional practise in an industry being disrupted by constant change has equipped me with the skills and experience to make sound strategic decisions on all aspects of being in business, including people management, risk management (including health and safety), governance, business operations, finance, and legislative compliance. I am used to operating in a team environment and have excellent communication skills.
Westlake Girls High School provides an excellent education for its students and produces confident, well rounded young women ready to take on the world.
The challenge is delivering that level of education consistently, without favour and without compromise – while balancing the books. That takes a considerable amount of effort by teachers, support staff and other stakeholders with the support and leadership of a strong BOT.
I was appointed Principal of Westlake Girls with effect from 1 May 2017. Following a degree in Physical Education from Otago, my first teaching position was at Epsom Girls Grammar School. I then went on to teach at Rangitoto College for 10 years. More recently I worked at Birkenhead College where I held the position of Assistant Principal for 12 years.
Prior to taking up this position, I was the Athlete Life Manager at High Performance Sport New Zealand for four years, where I led a team of advisers to develop a programme designed to maximise the potential of our elite athletes.
I have lived on the North Shore for more than 30 years and am married to husband Mike and have three children, two sons and a daughter who all attended the Westlake schools. As a former champion rower I am still involved in this sport and I love to spend as much time as I can enjoying outdoor life.
I enjoy working with the Board of Trustees as we build on the success of Westlake Girls and ensure that our students make the most of every opportunity and are fully equipped to meet the challenges that lie ahead of them.
My family moved to Takapuna close to a decade ago and I have three delightful daughters who all attend school here.
I am constantly impressed with the opportunities Westlake Girls has to offer, and the way they encourage all students to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. I want to ensure that ALL Westlake Girls High School students thrive in an environment where they are supported to achieve their best potential.
We love the area and all it has to offer; including the community, the beach, the schools, and the general way of life! My daughters Abigail (Year 13) and Frederika (Year 11) are already at Westlake Girls High School, and Delilah (Year 8) will be starting here from 2022.
While I have lived in Takapuna, the skyscape and population has changed immensely; having an impact on the numbers of students within our zone and adding stress to attracting and retaining great teaching staff. That said, WGHS is a very desirable school and our dedicated staff are teaching and encouraging our girls to achieve great things.
One of the most innovative Communities of Learning in New Zealand, Pupuke Kāhui Ako, has really improved the relationships and progressions between Early Childhood through to Secondary schools in our area. I have had the privilege to have worked with this at all levels, having served 6 years on the Board of Trustees at Takapuna Primary School and 3 (and counting) at Takapuna Normal Intermediate School. I am now excited to be able to contribute to Westlake Girls High School beyond towing the occasional rowing trailer.
My personal expertise is in challenge resolution with many years experience as a project manager and business analyst consultant both here and overseas. I am also a qualified accountant by trade which enables me to bring further financial expertise to the board table.
I want the best outcomes for your daughter(s) and mine, and endeavour to actively participate in a board of trustees that enables this to happen.
Great teachers, a supportive community, and access to a wide range of academic, sporting and cultural opportunities are fundamental to equipping our girls to thrive in a rapidly changing world, and to develop as well rounded people.
I am honoured to be working with a strong and experienced Board that will continue to ensure Westlake Girls is well placed to keep providing an excellent education with high quality teachers and resources.
I have a BA in Psychology and bring a range of skills and experience from diverse fields – market research, marketing, brand strategy, human-centred design, and more recently, training people with science-based skills to boost resilience, wellbeing and productivity.
I’ve held senior roles in companies (such as Colmar Brunton) and have run my own consultancy for many years, working with a wide range of businesses and organisations to help them better understand their customers, donors and clients, and to use these insights to develop successful strategies.
Within education, this includes conducting research with students, teachers and parents to help schools with their long term plans, strategy and marketing, as well as research for Education NZ and a number of NZ universities to understand how to better attract and support students.
My two daughters are currently enjoying the many opportunities on offer at Westlake Girls, and I look forward to helping the school continue to enable all students to reach their potential.
Tēnā koutou katoa
Ngā mihi ki a koutou
Ki te taha o tōku pāpā
Ko Ngāti Marutuaahu, Ngāti Tamatērā, Tainui, Huītene rātou ko Te Rarawa, whangai ōku iwi
Ki te taha o tōku māmā
Ko Ngāi Tahi, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Koata, Rangitāne, Ngāti Rārua, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa rātou ko Ngāti Raukawa ōku iwi
No Te Raki Pae Whenua ahau
Ko Challen Wilson taku ingoa
It is a great honour to be selected as a co-opted Board of Trustee for Westlake Girls’ High School. We have lived in Milford since my daughter was 11 years old, attending Takapuna Normal Intermediate School. My daughter is now in Year 13 and has excelled in her journey from the many opportunities on offer at Westlake Girls. I look forward to supporting the school to continue to enable all students to reach their potential. I want the best outcomes for our taitamawāhine, and endeavour to actively participate in a Board of Trustees that enables this to happen.
I am highly motivated to support our overall success and wellbeing for our school and have the skills to work with our team to champion strategic oversight and political advocacy in our social, economic, cultural, and spiritual spheres. I am passionate about bringing our collective voice together and adding a fresh and transformational perspective.
My governance and leadership experience spans more than 15 years in a multitude of roles. In my working life, I have 15+ years of experience combined in corporate communications, marketing, community development, local and central government principal advisory roles, iwi stakeholder engagement, and as a small business owner.
I started my leadership journey in the international indigenous leadership space in my early-20s as a board member for grassroots collective, Conscious Collaborations. The work of this collective of over 40 young indigenous leaders from across the globe, had me participate in many worthy initiatives, including an international collaboration with the 9 iwi of the USA, primarily the Inupiaq people of northern Alaska and the Diné people of Arizona; bringing a union between our peoples that still stands strong to this day.
I hold a BA (HONS) in theatre and film, and post-graduate qualifications in business management specialising in strategic communications management. I have engaged in a succession of professional development opportunities from critical thinking and complexity theory to Tiriti o Waitangi training, and project management. My vast experience and varied skills lend to strong leadership attributes to share on the Board, and as a committed member of our community.
Outside of all the mahi I do I like to spend quality time with my whānau through connecting with diverse cultures, sharing in kai, and exploring the whenua, moana and awa.
I have lived on the North Shore since moving to New Zealand as a small child more than 30 years ago. My husband and I live in Torbay with our two teenage children.
My association with Westlake Girls started as a student. I, like many other girls, chose Westlake as a destination school to kick start educational aspiration. Later I was part of the team representing the school in busway negotiations which resulted in the funds for the Administration Centre and the sports facilities our students currently enjoy.
I returned to Westlake Girls as an English Teacher in 2009. I have had a variety of roles in addition to teaching English at all levels, including as acting Head of English, TIC Year 11 English, and International Dean. These roles have given me a great understanding of the administrative, academic and pastoral areas of the school.
I hope to be a positive representative for staff on the Board of Trustees as we continue to build greater opportunities and success for our students.
Student Trustee (2021)
Hello to the amazing humans that make up the Westlake Girls community – I’m Sarah Penny, your Student Representative on the Board of Trustees for 2021!
First off, I am over the moon and so grateful to have this opportunity to give the student body’s perspective on board decisions, so a huge thank you to everyone who voted.
The most important thing to know about me is that I want to help people and make the world a better place (a corny saying, but true nevertheless). I also have a dog, am passionate about human rights and the arts (I have a love of stories, dance and drama) – all things I believe will help me act out the wishes and wants of my incredible fellow students (seriously, you’re all so amazing, every single one of you).
I have been an Amnesty leader for two years, have experience on student council, in past Westlake productions, have had public speaking and performance experience through dance and acting and I am a student librarian. Over my time at Westlake I feel I have a deep connection with the goings on at our school and understand the perspectives of my friends and classmates.
Lastly, to Westlake students I want to say that my metaphorical door is always open -or rather my email inbox is always available – and if there is ever any topics or issues you feel I could address, I will do my best to create change for the benefit of our school.
- 23 February
- 30 March
- 18 May
- 6 July (moved from 29 June)
- 17 August
- 21 September
- 16 November
Meetings are on a Tuesday and start at 6pm in the Conference Room of the Gernhoefer Admin Centre. All are welcome.
2020 Annual Report
You can find our 2020 Annual Report HERE
2022 Student Representative Candidates
Listed alphabetically by surname
NB: Our 2022 Student Elections were disrupted by Covid lockdowns and will resume when able.
Last year was the beginning of a new chapter in my life – high school. It was only a year ago, yet the memories of walking into the sisterhood with the bold crimson red blazer and forming new chains of opportunities have become vivid in my heart and mind. However, throughout these two years, I have learnt two primary lessons. Lesson 1: our modern world has no set definition for what teenage is, and similar to that, Lesson 2; there is no set definition of what change is and should reflect.
Over these two incredible years at Westlake Girls, we have accomplished much together, from recently welcoming our grand Event Centre, to fostering united diversity in bringing school trousers into the uniform system. I was sure that I wanted to contribute and work as a team to grow such change. However, I realised that yes, I have ideas, but in my belief, this role of BoT student rep is not about I; it is about “us” and what we will do as a team.
Through my schooling journey, service activities in House student and service councils, Rotary Interact, Amnesty Leader and 40hr-Famine Committee, alongside sporting opportunities in badminton and swimming, have been tremendous pillars in my development as a team player and leader. It enlightened me to recognise the significance of hard work while encouraging, inspiring, and motivating my teammates to strive to their best. We all, as individuals, have an essential role that can enhance our whanau, our team.
There is more to this role than leadership, it is the strength of our communities’ collaboration, and our vision helps our Westlake whānau grow in our unity and succeed towards impactful change. The lessons from past leaders have genuinely shared the idea that leadership can translate vision into reality. So our visions as a whanau should be simple; Ma tīni, ma mano, ke rapa te whai– Many hands make light work, unity is strength.
I cannot make promises to be the perfect representative; however, I can promise that I can be a supportive friend who has her arms open for comfort and an open mindset for all ideas that can boost our journey here at Westlake Girls. A vote for me is a vote for you, and all our votes will foster our unity and, most of all, strengthen our change.
Hi, my name is Sydney Brandolino. I am a Year 11 student from Wairau House and I am passionate about change, student voice, and being involved in the WGHS community. I lead/participate in extracurriculars such as Diversity Club, Philosophy Club, Parallax, Buddy Reading, Debating, and Student Librarians. My goal is to provide a starting place for change. Let’s create change today for a better tomorrow!
Hi, my name is Jappan Kaur.
I have been involved in many extracurriculars, sports and academic achievements at Westlake (list below). I am determined to make a change in our school. Change is something we all want but we don’t really know how to achieve it. We all have our problems with the school facilities like expensive tuck shop prices, not enough cultural appreciation, short morning teas and so on. But all we end up doing is ranting to our friends about those problems. I’m sorry to tell you but that isn’t going to make any difference nor progress.
So, I’m here to tell you the one step easy way to make a change and that is voting for the right person for the job of Student Representative. The Board of Trustees are the ones who can actually make a change. I will take your problems to the Board so real change can happen. I am ready to make a change, are you? If so, tick the box near my name. Don’t let your voice and vote go to waste. A vote for Jappan, is a vote for Change. Hope that you choose wisely!
Extracurriculars, Sports and Academic Achievements:
|Model United Nations 2021||Pupuke Service Committee 2020||Language Week Participant 2020|
|Junior Open Debating 2021||Pupuke Student Council 2020||WaiCare Water Testing 2020|
|Tennis North Harbour Term 1 2020||STEAM Makers Club 2021||Neuroscience Club 2021|
|Tennis North Harbour Term 4 2020||Peace Week Committee 2021||2020 BoT Nominee|
|Inter-Class Table Tennis 2020||Amnesty International 2021||CYGNET 2020/2021|
|Enviro Group 2020/2021||40-Hour Famine 2020/2021||Swimming Sports 2020|
|Chess Club 2020||Maths Enrichment 2021||Parallax Submission 2020|
|Rubik’s Club 2020||English Enrichment 2021||French Club 2020|
|Spotlight Speeches 2021||Social Studies Enrichment 2021||Astronomy 2020|
|Senior Tennis Team Term 1 2021||Science Enrichment 2021||Citizenship Award 2020|
|Academic Excellence 2020||Student Librarian 2021||Bronze Duke of Edinburgh 2021|
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this 🙂
Hola! My name is Damindi and I am applying for the position of Student Representative on the Board of Trustees.
One of the most important parts of this role is being able to ensure that all of your voices are heard. I believe that I am very capable of doing this as I am part of many different groups and areas within our school, I am in a school choir by the name of Nota Bella, I also do sports in school and out of school- Netball, Badminton, Tennis, Swimming. I Go regularly to Sunday School which is like A Buddhist religion school every Sunday, It’s basically like going to church. I love lending a helping hand and helping out someone or doing something in the community that would benefit everyone.
What I would like to do to this school is make the school’s reputation stronger than ever. It’s not that it isn’t strong but I want our school to be the best and the one that stands out in the crowd. I want the people of the public to recognise our school and remember it as the school which puts a stop to bullying.
The most important thing I got out of Westlake is that all of us are a big family, we stand together, No matter what. We might be different fish , but at this school we swim together. Because – for school we unite In virtue and pride, Striving onward ever, With truth and right our guide!
So if you vote for me to be BoT tudent representative for next year. It would be my greatest pleasure to make sure this school stands out, is environmentally friendly, and is the right place for you to stay. Because this school Welcomes Everyone.
I am here for you and I am going to do what is right, not what is easy. May your voice be heard…
Hello, Kia Ora, 你好Ni Hao
My name is Kate Liu, I’m a Year 11 Wairau student.
My goal for the student representative on the BoT for 2022 is to hear everyone’s voices.
To think holistically about our mistakes and therefore get the most out of them for our students’ future.
My name is Renee Martin, I’m a Year 9 Pupuke student.
I am a goal driven, self-motivated team player who’s not afraid to stand up for the things I believe in as well as listen to the voices from those around me to help make this school better for everyone.
I have a passion to make a difference in this world in whichever manner I can.
Family and friends are very important to me, as is learning about my family history and heritage from my grandparents.
In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, walking my dog and playing a variety of sports. I also love cooking food and going out shopping.
I’m Mackenzie Wills a Year 11 student and I want to be your student representative for 2022.
I am involved in many music and theatre groups around the school such as Cantare choir and the school production, my passion for the performing arts is what has made my time at Westlake so memorable.
As your student representative, I want your passions and thoughts to be appreciated. I want to create a school environment that you feel safe and can enjoy.
As your student representative I will listen to you and what you want, because it is up to you what you think is important and as your representative, it would be up to me to make it happen. It would be my goal to be available and accessible to you to make sure all of your voices are heard.