Originally from the UK, I am a Kiwi citizen and North Shore resident of 22 years; married to Charles, an anaesthetist, for 32 years. I have a BSc(Hons) degree and work part-time. I have been an active WGHS parent since 2008 with two daughters graduating from WGHS and, with the youngest in Year 12, 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.
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 attends 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.
My daughter is proud of her school, with very good reason. 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 11) and Frederika (Year 9) are already at Westlake Girls High School, and Delilah (Year 6) 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.
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.
Hi to all of the students, parents and staff. My name is Grace Chen, I’m in Year 12 in Wairau and so honoured to be your Student Representative on the Board of Trustees!
Just a little bit about me: I’m passionate about getting involved at school and involved in many different extracurriculars at school, including four music groups, the Wairau Service and Cultural committees and several more. I have experience in leadership and public/formal speaking roles, being a librarian leader, Amnesty leader and Junior Premier debater. Finally, I’m really passionate about politics and ensuring that student suggestions are heard and carried out in our school.
As your student representative, I want to ensure that the student body’s voice comes first so that we make strides towards creating a school environment in which we are all happy and feel supported in. To all of the students, please feel free to approach me at school if you ever have any concerns or issues you want me to bring to the board. I’m more than happy to bring your suggestions forward.
Of course, I wouldn’t have even gotten the opportunity to become the student representative if it weren’t for all of the students, you girls, putting your votes forward for me. So thank you to all of the girls who voted for me – I really appreciate your votes and support.
- Tuesday 25 February
- TBC April
- TBC May
- TBC June
- TBC July
- TBC August
- TBC September
- TBC November
Meetings start at 6pm in the Conference Room of the Gernhoefer Admin Centre. All are welcome. Any alterations to these dates will be published on the website.