Board of Trustees

Board of Trustee elections: June 2019

Westlake Girls High School announces the following results from our 2019 Board of Trustee Elections. 

Parent Representative votes (in alphabetical order):                                  Staff Representative votes (in alphabetical order):
Michelle Alexander        153                                                                              April Ieremia       42
Joy Bradfield                  178                                                                              Carol Wright       67
Russell Clements           188                                                                              Invalid votes         2
Gayani Dias                     60
Nancy Gavin                    40
Nikki Newton-Cross       119
Carolyn Ranson             143
Kim Tay                          151
Challen Wilson              120
Invalid votes                      3

I hereby declare the following duly elected:

Michelle Alexander
Joy Bradfield
Russell Clements
Carolyn Ranson
Kim Tay
Carol Wright


Jane Donald
Returning Officer

Joy Bradfield


I was first elected Board Chair in 2017, after joining the Board of WGHS in 2013, having had three years of governance experience as Board Chair at Sunnybrae Normal School prior to that.

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.


Michelle Alexander

Deputy Chair

I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to join the WGHS Board of Trustees – a responsibility I take seriously. As a parent I believe one of the best gifts we can give our children is a great education and I appreciate the chance to contribute towards that.

I was born and raised in New Zealand and have lived in Kumeu with my partner Grant and my two daughters, Danielle and Georgia for the past 17 years. I have a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) from the University of Waikato, am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

I have extensive commercial experience and am currently employed as Commercial Director/Chief Financial Officer for Antares Restaurant Group Ltd (the master franchisee for Burger King in New Zealand) and have been with the company since 2008. Before joining Antares, I was CFO of Express Couriers Ltd (a JV between NZ Post and DHL), and prior to that had 12 years with McDonald’s Restaurants New Zealand Limited including two years as CFO. I have also held roles with New Image International and Ernst & Young.

I also have some strong governance experience having been an independent director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee of AgResearch Ltd (New Zealand’s largest Crown Research Institute) for three years as well as being a member of ESNZ’s Show Hunter Executive and Secretary/Treasurer of Show Hunter Waitemata.

My daughter Georgia started at WGHS in 2016, and I enjoy the opportunity to be actively involved with the school and to assist wherever I can to help the school and students to develop and succeed over the coming years.

Jane Stanley


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.

Russell Clements

Parent Trustee

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.

Sania Mohammadi Jafarian

Student Trustee

As a student, I want to play an active role in the ongoing improvement of our school and its many facets. I see the position of a Board of Trustees Student Representative as an incredible opportunity for us as students to be included in discussions about our education and the future of our school. 
After previous experience being a part of the Younite Takapuna and Devonport Youth Executive Board, Service Committee, and the School Student Council for three years, I have been able to gain firsthand experience in what it means to be a part of a team that wants to bring about change in our community. I have also been involved as an Amnesty International leader, a student librarian, and I was in last year’s production, YouthQuake. These opportunities have enabled me to meet a different variety of individuals, allowing me to hear a wide range of opinions and ideas. But they have also impassioned me to want to create a change.


Carolyn Ranson

Parent Trustee

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.

Kim Tay

Parent Trustee 

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.

Carol Wright
Teacher Trustee

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 Representative Elections 2019

The following students are candidates in the 2019 elections for Student Representative on the Westlake Girls High School Board of Trustees in 2020. The students are listed alphabetically by surname. 

Voting closes on Wednesday 4 September.

Grace Chen 

My name is Grace Chen, I am currently in Year 11, part of the Wairau House and hoping to become your Student Representative for the Board of Trustees next year! I was a candidate for the election last year but unfortunately didn’t secure the spot (huge congratulations to Sania!) I’m hoping that this year, I will be able to swing a few more of your votes!
Just a little about myself – I’m involved in many different groups and 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. I’m really passionate about politics and ensuring that student suggestions are heard and carried out in our school – this would be me goal as a representative, to ensure I convey what you guys are thinking about to the Board to ensure we can go to a school that we all enjoy going to.

I believe that my experience in these different areas of the school, as well as my connections and friendships with all of the students (you guys!) sets me up as a good candidate for student rep. I hope to gain your support and carry all of your perspectives through to the board. Thank you!

Abigail Clements

   Hi, I am Abigail (Abbie) Clements – a year 11 student from Pupuke house. I would really appreciate your vote to elect me as the 2020 Board of Trustees student representative here at Westlake.

I believe I am the best candidate for this role as I am passionate about our school and I want to make sure our ideas as students are heard and actioned.

If you give me your vote and I get this role, I will confidently represent YOUR voice by gathering a range of students ideas and providing them as feedback to the BoT. I am very approachable and would love to hear any thoughts or concerns you feel strongly about to improve our wider school community.

During my time at Westlake, I have been involved in many extra curricular activities, in sports, music, service, cultural, and leadership areas. I’ve represented the school locally through various leadership conferences, nationally for sport, and internationally at the Future Problem Solving world competition earlier this year. I am also the oldest of three girls, one of which is currently a year 9 here and another one is in her final year at Takapuna Primary School and heading to TNIS next year. I would draw from my experiences and strive to be the best student representative I can possibly be! I want the WGHS Board of Trustees to hear YOUR opinions so together we can make this school the best it can be.

So, please give me your vote in hope we can work together to improve our school community.

Briar Cook

Involvement with extra-curriculars and improvements for the school has always been something I try to actively participate in, to be a student representative on the Board of Trustees is a position I understand may be a challenge but is one I’m hoping to experience. I think it is important to incorporate a student’s perspective when it comes to decision making surrounding our school and futures, which is why I would be incredibly honoured to share my opinions and be a part of this board.

After being a student representative in both Year 10 and during Intermediate, I have been able to gain an understanding of what it is like to be a leader as well as co-operate with a number of people. I have been a member of Amnesty International and I have also been involved in this year’s performance at Les Miserables, ShowQuest, and the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Festival. These experiences have let me interact with an abundance of people with a variety of different interests and opinions which as allowed me to see different perspectives about a rand of situations which is why I’m hoping to give you that same perspective and insight while endeavouring to make a difference in our school and community.

Hannah Jones

For me, Westlake Girls High School has been a place where I have been able to flourish, learn new things about myself and explore new opportunities. From my involvement in co-curricular activities like Concert Band, Service Committee, Spanish Debate and many more, I have gained a good sense of the Westlake community. However, I am aware that there is room for improvement. This is why I, Hannah Jones, want to be your Board of Trustees representative for 2020.

As a hard-working and determined individual, I believe I have what it takes to represent the student body’s wants and needs. I would consider myself an excellent problem solver, as evidenced by my trip to America for the Future Problem Solving International Competition. I would be excited by the prospect of working with the Board of Trustees to solve the problems we, as students, think we should not have to face. I understand that in such a diverse school, there are many different perspectives and many different areas of importance. As an open-minded and unbiased person, I am willing to voice any concerns you may have – no matter if it is a major cultural or environmental issue, or something small but important such as the ever-growing problem of the bathroom cleaning timetable.

As a member of the Hauraki Student Council for the past three years (which works with the BOT representative), I understand what a huge task being the BOT representative is. Knowing the position’s significance, I would be more than enthusiastic about collaborating with next year’s Student Councils to work towards a better Westlake, striving to remove obstacles that students face when they come to school every day. Working with Sania this year has been an enjoyable learning experience, and I am excited by the prospect of earning her position through this election.

It would be an incredible privilege and honour to be your Board of Trustees representative for 2020. I promise that I would try my hardest to be a passionate and influential voice for every student of Westlake

Isabella Newton-Cross

Let me paint you a picture my friends. It’s Monday. You wake up late because you spent all night completing homework for a subject in maths that you aren’t even getting tested on. You scramble to get ready and rush out the door to your bus. Unluckily for you, it’s pouring down and there’s a lot of traffic.

With your skirt turned to cardboard from the rain, you make it to school only 10 minutes late, but alas, you are still greeted at the gate with the ever-frustrating question of “do you have a note?”. A surge of responses come to mind such as, “I’m late, I clearly did not have time to write a note” and, “You’d think if I were trying to wag school, I obviously wouldn’t only wag THE FIRST TEN MINUTES!!!”. You contain yourself, get your detention paper and slip into assembly.

If you relate to this story in any way, I am your gal. I know what it’s like to be a student at this school. I have the same struggles as you do. Life’s too short to have five people cut in front of you in the tuck shop line because their friends are there. Life’s too long for it to be logical to have all your assessments somehow fall around the same weeks. Life is too dang stressful to not have someone who understands what you’re going through to vouch for you on the Board of Trustees.

I did competitive swimming and water polo so I know how expensive sports can be and how many opportunities we miss out on because of money. I’m a Theatre Sports leader so I have felt the annoyances of the under-appreciation of clubs and groups at school. I do amnesty, social badminton, guitar, saxophone and a myriad of other things.

Confidence is key and I have no problem with expressing my opinions and views on things, so your voice will be heard in a board room full of parents and teachers.

When you vote for me, I assure you that I will make change in this school that will better the experience for all of us!
Thank you.

Sarah Penny

I have always loved stories. Being a creative, passionate soul, I’ve adored films and fairy tales, dance and drama ever since my Green Eggs and Ham reading days. As an Amnesty leader, I’ve heard the inspiring stories of human rights fighters all over the world. And what I’ve discovered is that the best stories of all, are those that we live through ourselves.

I want to fight for you. Your story. Your thoughts, and secret dreams. I want to help you defeat your own dragons, and find your symbolic pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Through becoming the student rep, I would be dedicated to sharing your stories and struggles to do with mental health, school work, life after school and more. I want to help make the talk of 2020 the story you’ve dreamt of it being.

Parmida Raeis-Hosseini

Hello, I am Parmida Raeis-Hosseini, a Year 11 student nominated for the position of your student representative. Why should you vote for me as your Board of Trustees student representative? I believe I can bring change in the Westlake Girls community through your ideas. As students we have countless opinions about our education and our experiences with the schooling system; I want to listen to your concerns and accommodate your ideas for improvements. I want to channel your voice to the Board of Trustees because it has power, validity and value.

Throughout my time at Westlake, I have seen it evolve, however, there is still room for improvement in terms of cultural and general representation. I am a passionate, charismatic and hardworking learner who will not disappoint as I have the determination to represent the student body. I am upfront, and I do not make false promises.

I have been well involved in extracurricular activities in school such as being part of the Premier Junior debate team, Spanish debating team, Amnesty International leadership and have been part of the badminton and netball teams. Not only this, I have also been thoroughly involved in my community by volunteering my time to a charity Op shop called Sweet Charity. These opportunities have allowed me to develop an understanding of what each facet of our school and community is like, making me a suitable and worthy candidate as your student representative. At the end of the day, it’s your vote and your voice.

Alisya Syarief

Hello! My name’s Alisya and I’d love to be your Board of Trustees Student Representative for 2020.

I do a lot of extra-curricular activities such as netball, taharoto orchestra and symphonic band. I’m an amnesty leader and I’m part of Onewa’s service and cultural committees. I’m also part of Onewa’s student council and the Well Foundation.

If elected, I’m not going to promise you a wall and I’m not going to promise you the best high school experience ever. But I do promise you that I will try my best, I will do anything in my power to make high school a little less horrible and a little more bearable for us all. And I also promise spiderman for all!

Greer West-Hill

Being a student at Westlake Girls High School, I want to be able to have an active role in the advancement of my school in years to come. I see this position as a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would be honored to become the student’s voice, helping to ensure that students’ ideas are well valued. I would also love to be involved in ways that the future of our school life and education could be improved for the students attending.

Since I have been at Westlake I have been offered so many unforgettable opportunities, such as the Year 9 STEAM program, Amnesty International, Showquest 2019, Spanish Club and Netball which have driven my enthusiasm for teamwork and greater involvement in my school. I think that being the student representative member of the Board of Trustees could be a great start to my leadership journey, as I would hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.

2019 Meetings

  • Tuesday 26 February
  • Tuesday 2 April
  • Wednesday 22 May
  • Tuesday 18 June
  • Tuesday 2 July
  • Tuesday 20 August
  • Tuesday 24 September
  • Tuesday 19 November 

Meetings start at 6pm in the Conference Room. All are welcome. Any alterations to these dates will be published on the website.

Annual Reports

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report