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: Vivien Kirk
Vivien joined the Board in 2013 and became Board Chair in 2017. She is currently on the Finance, Planning and Discipline Committees. Vivien is a mathematician, and works at the University of Auckland where she is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics Department and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science. She grew up on the North Shore, and after a period studying and working overseas, has lived locally for the last 25 years. Her two children have both attended Takapuna Grammar School.
Deputy Chairperson: Penny Harrison
Penny Harrison joined the Board in 2016. She chairs the Planning and Strategy Committee, and also 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.
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: Tayla Wheeler
"Success is not the work of one, but the work of many." I am Tayla Wheeler and believe that I can play a part in helping TGS be the best it can be by being the student representative on our school Board of Trustees. I have been a student at TGS since 2016 and am in year 12. I have many attributes that will make me a good student representative.
Some of these are:
- I am passionate about TGS and am actively involved in many sports and clubs including volleyball, netball, water polo, UNICEF, Amnesty and debating. I am also part of the TGS peer support programme
- I have demonstrated leadership qualities. I am a Wehi house leader and part of the school leadership programme
- I am a member of the newly formed Sports Academy and am involved in student coaching
- I relate well with others and am able to communicate with a broad spectrum of people
- I have the ability to make considered decisions
- I believe I am friendly, fair, approachable and well respected by my fellow students
Having a student representative is a great opportunity for the Board to hear things from a student's perspective. For me, this is not about being seen and not heard and you can be assured that I will use my voice and my vote in the best interests of all of us.
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.
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.
Matt Hopkins joined the Board in 2018. He has lived in Bayswater for over 20 years and works locally for the New Zealand Defence Force. Matt and Tara have three children with a daughter at TGS, sons at Belmont Intermediate and Belmont Primary School. Over the past five years Matt has coached basketball at Belmont Primary and Belmont Intermediate. He was fortunate to be one of the dads who founded the Belmont Primary Battle of the Schools, a regular fixture on the peninsular primary school calendar. He is an active member of the Devonport Swim Club and competes in local ocean swim events.
Claire Sinnema joined the Board in 2016, and serves on the Planning Committee. She is a past pupil of the school and her two teenagers are current students. Her toddler will attend the school in the future. Claire’s interest in education is a parental and professional one. She began her career in education as a primary school teacher and she was a primary school deputy principal before moving to the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, where she has an academic position. Her research broadly relates to educational leadership and improvement including studies on curriculum, effective teaching, problem-solving, interpersonal and organisational effectiveness and teacher inquiry. Claire also has a keen interest in educational policy and has been a member of multiple advisory/reference groups at national level.
Whanau Rep: Mark Te Kani
Mark has been the Whanau Community Representative on the Board of Trustees since 2016, and is a member of the Property and Discipline Committees. His association with the school spans more than 14 years; three of his now adult children attended the school and his step daughter is a current student. Mark has lived in Devonport for the past 44 years and is currently serving in the Royal New Zealand Navy as the Executive Training Officer responsible for Seamanship and Diver training. He brings to the Board and wider community a very strong sense of cultural identity particularly for Te Ao Maori (The World of Maori). Mark was appointed as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) in the 1998 New Year’s Honours in recognition of the development of Tikanga Maori within the Navy and the construction of the Navy Marae – Te Taua Moana O Aotearoa Marae. He has played premier rugby for the Navy Rugby Football Club and the North Shore Rugby Club.
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 ecommerce 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.
Russell Malone joined the Board in 2018. He is a member of the Finance and Discipline Committees and has oversight of Health and Safety. Russell recently completed three years on the Board of Trustees at Belmont Intermediate School. He grew up on the North Shore and has lived on the peninsula for the last 15 years. His wife Anna is a psychologist and they have three children, two currently attending the school and one who completed his schooling at TGS several years ago. Russell is actively involved in the community and currently chairs the TGS Hockey committee; prior to that he spent five years involved in TGS rowing. Until recently, Russell held a role as Group People and Performance Manager in an international wine business. He is currently consulting and in the process of completing a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety at Massey University.
Austen Kernohan joined the Board in late 2017 and currently chairs the Finance Committee. He is self-employed, working as a Business Advisor with Quartz Wealth Management. Austen has a commerce degree in Accounting and Business Studies and has thirty years’ experience in leadership roles with large multi-nationals both in New Zealand and overseas. Austen has a son attending the school and a daughter at BIS.
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.