Board of Trustees Biographies
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. Engari, he toa takitini.
Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.
Chairperson: Penny Harrison
Penny Harrison joined the Board in 2016, has been the Deputy Chair for 18 months and was appointed Chair in June 2019. She also chairs the Planning and Strategy Committee, and serves on the Finance and Discipline Committees. Prior to joining the Board, Penny was Chair of Stanley Bay School Board for six years (2008-2014). She is a self-employed Leadership Coach and Facilitator, and a partner in Communicate Consultants. Her work is centred on adult learning and development and brings her into contact with leaders across a broad range of professional experiences, industries and roles. Penny combines the above with 20 years of business experience, including leadership roles with a major bank and as general manager for two medium-size organisations. Married to Martin Butler, she currently has a son attending the school, as well as three adult offspring. She also serves on the committee of our local Wakatere Sailing Club.
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Deputy Chairperson: Matt Hopkins
Matt Hopkins joined the TGS board of trustees in 2018 and serves on the property committee. Originating from Taranaki and Whanganui, Matt and his wife Tara have lived in Bayswater for the past 20 years, and have 2 teenage children at TGS and a third child at BIS.
Matt is actively involved within the local community, having coached junior basketball for the past 5 years and through the TGS Basketball committee. He is also a committee member of the Devonport Swim Club and competes in ocean swim events.
Trained as a scientist Matt works locally for the New Zealand Defence Force leading a team conducting research into next generation communication systems and cyber security technology. This work involves leading international engagement and collaboration with research agencies.
Staff Trustee: Rosemarie Close
Rosemarie Close has been the Staff Representative on the Board since 2013, and is a current member of the Planning and Property Committees. She is an ex-pupil of the school and has taught at Takapuna Grammar School for the past 33 years. She is currently a Year 13 Dean. She is married to an ex-pupil, Stephen, and their three sons all attended the school. Rosemarie has lived locally since the late 1960s.
Student Trustee: Allegra Bouwer
Allegra has been the Student Trustee since September 2019 and is currently in year 12 at Takapuna Grammar School. She arrived from South Africa at the start of 2018. She is a well-rounded member of the school community, involved in both of the school’s premier choirs, Chorale and Leonessa, as well as being an avid Waterpolo player for the senior girls team and Hibiscus Coast Waterpolo club. She also enjoys coaching the Belmont Intermediate team.
Living and being educated in South Africa, England and New Zealand, Allegra has a wide perspective on different education environments and the impact this has on students and their wellbeing. She believes that Takapuna Grammar School needs to be a place where all students feel that they are accepted, their talents and potential are nurtured and their voices are heard. She hopes to bring her knowledge and experience to her position on the Board and assist in making TGS a place where everyone from all backgrounds feels as if they belong.
Asian Community Trustee: Han Soul Lee
Han Soul joined the Board in 2018. He grew up on the North Shore and attended Hauraki Primary School, Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar Schools. As a TGS student, he represented the school in basketball, swimming and waterpolo. He has worked internationally and currently is at Ernst & Young, where he is part of the Climate Change and Sustainability Services team, leading the Health and Safety and Environment service line. His wife Connie is the lead Ethnic Diversity Advisor at Foundation North, where she works to support growth in community-led projects. Outside of work Han Soul is an active participant in the Ocean swim series and Takapuna Beach series. In his spare time you might catch him running with his dog at Takapuna beach.
Whanau Rep: Andrew Baker
Andrew Baker joined the board in 2019. He is of Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa, Irish and Scottish descent. Andrew resides in Devonport with his wife and daughter following in the footsteps of his great grandparents and father who were Devonport locals. Andrew is passionate about people development and has been coaching and practicing the non-aggressive martial art of Aikido for more than 25 years. He founded Devonport Aikido in 2014.
Andrew is a Member of the Institute of Directors NZ and has a Master of Business Administration. After a long career at Air New Zealand where he worked in Govt Affairs, Communications and Marketing, he created and delivered their Māori strategy. He retired from Air New Zealand to launch 3degrees Ltd, a cultural consultancy, creating tailored cultural strategies for leading national and international businesses.
Andrew also has an extensive professional background in the Māori performing arts and culture including: kapa haka, waiata and mau rākau. He is passionate about quality time with his family and friends and enjoys coaching, cooking, diving, fishing and singing. Andrew and his family are also avid supporters of the Takapuna Grammar School Rowing Club.
Secretary: Sam Harris
Sam Harris is the TGS Board Secretary. She trained as a bilingual PA in the UK, and spent ten years in various full-time roles in England and New Zealand, working in diverse industries such as tourism, dairy, merchant banking, home textiles/importing, the Channel tunnel and NZ Parliament. As well as working for the school, Sam contracts to NZQA, and part-time to the cruise ship industry. She also volunteers for the fundraising event, Sculpture on The Shore. Sam enjoys languages and speaks French and Spanish well, is taking Italian lessons and recently graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing. Sam and her husband have three children, two ex TGS students and the youngest is in Year 12.
Gillian joined the TGS board in June 2019 bringing school governance experience, having completed three years on the Devonport Primary school board, the last 18 months as the chairperson. She combines this with 15 years experience working as a commercial litigator and employment lawyer in London and Auckland. She has enjoyed working on initiatives for authentic community engagement as part of strategic planning and believes that good governance involves staying focused on the strategic direction of the school and ensuring that student achievement and well-being remain at the heart of every decision. She has a long-term interest in the continuing success of the school with a son and daughter heading to TGS in the not too distant future. She spends free time involved in school and sporting activities, including instructing for Waterwise. Gillian hopes that her governance experience together with a legal background will allow her to make a valuable contribution to the school and its community.
Tim Williams joined the Board in 2016, and serves on the Planning and Finance Committees. He grew up locally, attending Devonport Primary, Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar School, and has two children who attend local schools. Tim is formally trained in genetics, but has become a serial entrepreneur. He spent 17 years in Japan, where he met his wife Yuri, and started an e-commerce business, before returning to NZ in 2011. Tim is now a Board member of the IceHouse, a business incubation and growth driver which helps NZ companies grow and go off-shore. He is also actively involved in a number of other local companies including The Donovan Group, 90 Seconds and Technomancy. Tim is passionate about family, friends and the local community, and loves all sport, music and fishing.
Mark Spooner joined the Board in late 2019 and currently chairs the Finance Committee. He is self-employed, as Director of Insight Accounting, a firm based in Takapuna providing accounting and taxation services to small to medium sized businesses.
Mark is a Chartered Accountant and holds two degrees, a Batchelor of Accountancy and Bachelor of Business Studies with First Class Honors and a from Massey University.
Mark currently has two sons attending the school.
Helen joined the Board in 2018. Starting out as an Asset Manager for Fletcher Property, Helen moved into technology start-ups, co-owning a software company for 12 years. She is currently an Agile Coach at Air New Zealand, where her role is to promote agile ways of working and collaboration across the Digital Team and the wider business. Helen's partner grew up in Bayswater and went to Takapuna Grammar as did his mum, and uncle, Sir Peter Blake. Helen has three children, one currently at TGS, and the younger two at Vauxhall Primary. She volunteered at Narrowneck Playcentre for 12 years, and is now an active member of the AUTEUR Influencer Network, a think tank set-up by AUT. Helen loves bringing the community together and travelling, especially to South America.
Haider joined the board in June 2019, and is currently employed in the technology sector. He has previously held operational, sales and marketing roles. Haider trained in the United Kingdom as a lawyer and is also formally trained in board governance and facilitation with the NZ Institute of Directors. He has lived in the Middle East for some years with his family, which provided for a diverse and rich perspective on innovation and other developing global themes, issues and values.
Achievement of young people is a particular passion, especially the role technology plays in disrupting as well as enhancing many, if not all lives and professions, and how young future leaders can express themselves in a wholesome way to combat modern day pressures which ironically technology has contributed to.
Haider, of Pakistani descent, moved to New Zealand in the late 1990's and calls Aotearoa home. Married to a second generation Kiwi of Indian descent, they have two sons at TGS and one daughter at a local primary school. Personal pursuits include long distance running, ocean swimming, cricket, and languages.