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 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 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.
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