Board of Trustees

Sarah Mills

Position: Elected Member

Kia Ora,
My name is Sarah Mills I am Maori/European.
Currently have 2 children attending Newton Central, with my eldest leaving Newton 2020 to pursue his Intermediate dreams.

There are many pieces that make up Sarah.
I have been employed with ANZ Bank for 16 years and have worked in many roles ranging from Customer Service, Home Lending Specialist and Leadership.
I have loved building relationships with colleagues and providing our customers solutions to their financial needs. With recent business changes due to COVID-19, I have had the ability to comprehend and implement change and communicate policies with our customers and staff members.

Another piece of me is Sport.
I have played sports at a high level including Basketball and Indoor Netball and have developed skills as a team player in a high performance environment.
Currently encouraging Basketball at Newton Central which has been really rewarding seeing our tamariki giving it a go regardless of skill level.

I am heavily invested in the performance of the school as I have my youngest Cub attending Newton over the next 6 years.
I’m here to do what is right for our tamariki and seeing the “best little school in the world” thrive.

Moa Haar-Simmonds

Position: Co-Chair, Co-Opted Member

Māku anō hei hanga i tōku nei whare,

Ko te poupou he mahue he patate,

Ko te tāhuhu he hīnau.

Me whakatupu ki te hua o te rengarenga,

Me whakapakari ki te hua o te kawariki.

Nō reira, tena koutou.

 

Ko Tainui te waka

Ko Pekapeka te maunga

Ko Rangitīkei te awa

Ko Ngāti Raukawa au ki te Tonga

Ko Ngāti Pikiahu Waewae te hapū

Ko Poupatate te marae

Tokorua āku tamāhine, e noho ana ki Te Akāpūkaea.  Ko te huarahi reo tō mātou tino whakahirahira.  Ko te moemoea, ka tipu ake ā māua tamariki ki roto i te reo rangatira, me te ao Māori.  Koinei te hononga ki Te Akāpūkaea ki Newton Central School, ā, ngā uara e pa ana ki āku.

Hikina te Mānuka!

I grew up in many places, including in Sweden (where my mother is from) and in the heart of my marae (on my father’s side) in in Tokorangi just out of Fielding.  I now live with my family in Grey Lynn.  I have been working predominantly in the aviation industry for the last 15 years.  My mahi has taken me all over the world, and has taught me about resilience and the ability to pivot and change where the need arises.

I have two children in Te Akāpūkaea.  My eldest is in Te Uru Karaka and my youngest is in Te Awahou.  There is something special and unique about Newton Central School that shows in the mana and the wairua of the children that come through this kura.  It is extremely hard to explain, and many have tried, but in the end it is a feeling that we have really stumbled onto something quite special and we continue to uphold that special uniqueness that we have.

Being part of the board is a privilege I hold dear.  It continues to give me the opportunity to support an already thriving culture of manaakitanga within the kura.  

Aroha mai, aroha atu, mana mai, mana atu.

Dena Jacob

Position: Co-Opted Member

Tena tatou katoa. 

He uri ahau no Tauranga Moana. 

Ko Mauao te maunga

Ko Mataatua te waka

Ko Ngai Te Rangi te iwi

Ko Waikari raua ko Opureora ngā marae

Ko Ngati Tapu raua ko Ngai Tuwhiwhia ngā hapu.

E noho ana ahau ki Te Rae o Kawharu. Kei ahau e wha ngā tamariki. Ko Tiheii te potiki, he tau wha ki tenei tau (2021). Kei roto ia i te whānau awahou.

Ko Jamie taku hoa rangatira. 

I whakatipu ai oku mohiotanga ki te Pataka Korero o Tamaki Makarau. Ki reira tonu au e mohio ai toku hiahia ki te ako, te whakako i nga reo ataata.

He mea whakahirahira tēnei kaupapa ki ahau, he oi ano he honore tenei turanga noku. He mahi pai, he mahi whai tikanga. 

He manu e kai te miro tonu au ki te ao maaori.

No reira tēna koutou, tēna koutou, tēna koutou katoa.

I grew up in Tauranga and currently reside in Grey Lynn.  I have four children. Tiheii is the youngest, he is year 4 in Te Whānau Awahou. My partner is Jamie. My background in Libraries reinforces my commitment and love of learning and literacy.  These themes are important to me, and the position on the board is an honor and a way to share those commitments. I am forever a learner of Te Ao Maaori.

Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi- With your food basket our people will thrive.

Hannah Andrews

Position: Co-Chair Elected Board Member

Kia ora! My name is Hannah Andrews and I’m the mother of William and Nell. 
 
I’m originally from Christchurch and Blenheim, but have lived in Auckland for over 10 years. While in Blenheim, I grew up in a bilingual primary school environment and am committed to encouraging my children’s learning of te reo while re-exploring my (now rusty!) skills.  
 
I run a technology start-up company working with charities to increase their revenue from their donations. I also love to cook and learn languages: I speak French and am learning te reo with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
 
I am delighted to be part of the Newton Central Board of Trustees and the community that surrounds the school. I strongly believe in our school’s special character and our commitment to Te Tiriti. I hope to support the kaiako in the great job that they are doing, and to help ensure that our tamariki all have the opportunities they seek.

Dr Rebecca Alekzander MBChB DipPaeds FRACP(Paeds)

Position: Elected Board Member

Kia ora, my name is Rebecca Alekzander.  I am originally from Palmerston North, but have lived in Dunedin, Wellington and Queenstown before our family moved to Auckland 6 years ago.  I have two girls, 6 and 8 years who attend Newton Central School.

I am a Paediatrician with a special interest in Child Development and Disability and work at Kidz First Hospital, part of the culturally diverse Counties Manukau District Health Board. Within the hospital I also have a governance role as a member of the Drug and Therapeutics Governance Group overseeing the district health board.

I believe in the importance of supporting and facilitating education. I am an honorary senior clinical lecturer for the Auckland University School of Medicine and a local co-ordinator for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Paediatric Clinical examination.  I hope that by serving on the Board I can help to support and facilitate the education of our community’s children.

I have enjoyed my time on the Board to date and am committed to ensuring that the short and long term visions and strategic plan for Newton Central School are achieved.

Kiri Donaldson

Position: Elected Board Member

Kia ora, I am Kiri Donaldson. I am of Ngāti-Kahu, Ngāti Porou and Irish descent.  Born and breed in Howick, my education lead me to attend Epsom Girls Grammar School, here I fell in love with the area and  as an adult spent most of my life living in Mt Eden and Kingsland. I  am the mother to India Gray (year 3) and Khan Poole  (20 years old). This is my home! Home is where the heart is!

I work in the creative industry as a stylist and producer. I love to cook and you will more than likely get to taste my food at the many school fund-raisers.

I enjoy serving as a Board Trustee and been apart of the school at the strategic level, and look to growing with the school as India does

Geoff Ward

Position: Elected Board Member

Kia Ora, I’m Geoff Ward. Born and raised in Auckland, I returned home four years ago, after fifteen years living and working abroad in England, Australia, the Philippines and Singapore. I’m a Chartered Accountant, currently working for ANZ Bank.

I have two boys, Finn and Reuben. Finn is at Newton and loving it – Reuben starts next year. I feel really privileged to live in this community and that my children have an opportunity to attend this great school. I believe Newton’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, diversity and inclusion will set our children up well for the future.

I am excited to contribute to this unique, forward looking school.

Kim Hankins

Position: Elected Staff Rep

My name is Kim Hankins and I am the current Staff Representative on the Board of Trustees. I have been associated with Newton Central School since 2000 when my eldest son began here as a 5 year old. All three of my children attended the school and I began teaching here in 2006. At present I am specialising in Sport as Classroom Release Time support and I am an Across School Teacher for our Kahui Ako, specialising in Student Agency and Wellbeing. This is my third stint on the board as I was previously a parent representative, and have served previously as the Staff Rep.