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Update from the Board of Trustees: Term 2

Kia ora tātou!


Earlier this term Ridgway held the triennial Board of Trustees elections. Some of Ridgway's Board members did not stand again and we want to thank the outgoing Board members for their work in governing the school for the past three years.


Ridgway's new Board is made up of Kathryn Smith (Principal), Raelene Sloper (Staff representative) and five parent representatives: Jo Pohatu, Barbara Dean, David Eng, Rachel Kirkman and Cushla Thurston. Introductions by the staff and parent representatives are below.


If you would like to know more about the Board's role please have a look at the BOT section of the school website.


We are keen to hear feedback, comments and ideas from the Ridgway School whanau. Feel free to have a chat with any of us when you see us around the school or email the board at ridgwaybot@gmail.com.

You are also welcome to come to board meetings to speak to the board on a particular topic, please let us know in advance.

Property update

We are continuing to progress the school property major rebuild project and will keep updating the community through the building diary. The latest update provides information and a picture of the proposed master plan, and the next steps for gathering feedback from you, our community. We encourage you to have a read and get back to us with any comments or questions you have at this time.

Zig-zag track fence

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our fantastic school fair held in March. It was a very successful day and the money raised will go towards building a new fence along the zig-zag track to the field. However, until we have confirmation on our school property Master Plan, we will hold off renewing the fence in case the zig-zag path will have to be moved.


Ngā mihi
Ridgway School Board of Trustees

Whakatauki: Tangata ako ana i te kāenga, te tūranga ki te marae, tau ana.

(A person nurtured in the community contributes strongly to society).


Introducing the Ridgway Board of Trustees:

Staff representative:

Raelene Sloper

I have had a long association with Ridgway School. My children attended Ridgway during the mid 80s and 90s and I have been on the staff in the office, including duties relating to the Board of Trustees since 2004.

I feel privileged to be part of such an incredible team at Ridgway. I am in a unique position where I am working with children, parents and staff on a daily basis, being one of the "faces of the school" to parents and visitors.

I have worked alongside 2 Principals and an Acting Principal in my time here as well as a number of Boards. This has put me in an ideal position to work alongside a diverse range of individuals involved in the governance of our school.


Parent representatives:

Joanna Pohatu

Tēnā koutou Ridgway Whanau,

My name is Joanna Pohatu, my Iwi are Ngai Tamanuhuri, Rongowhakaata and Ngati Kahungungu. My husband Geoff and I have two son's attending Ridgway School: Kahurangi (aged 9) and Tawhiri Thomas (aged 6).

I have been involved with the Ridgway Whanau Hui group since my eldest son commenced school. I was the chairperson/secretariat for the past 3 years. The Whānau Hui group has been a fantastic way to meet other parents who wish to assist Ridgway school to grow and strengthen its tikanga Maori and Te Reo Māori to ensure we honour our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. I love the support the wider Ridgway whanau have given to our Matariki celebrations and kapa haka.

I am a Senior Policy Adviser for the Ministry of Transport.

I am pleased to be on the Ridgway School Board of Trustees. I look forward to making a contribution to ensure our school continues to succeed and all of our tamariki have opportunities to do their best.


Barbara Dean

Kia ora koutou, my name is Barbara Dean. I currently have two children at Ridgway, Thomas in Year 5 and Elsa in Year 2. Their little sister Naomi is 3 years old and attends Brooklyn Early Childhood Centre.

I work part time as a resource management lawyer at a law firm. I have enjoyed being involved in the Ridgway community by being on the board for the past 3 years and look forward to continuing in this role.


David Eng

I'm David and I'm looking forward to serving on the Board. My daughter Samantha (Sam) is in year 5 in the French unit.
I currently work at the Treasury, but spent most of my career in higher education, as a Philosophy lecturer and then also working for the Tertiary Education Commission.

As a past-time, I love to play tennis, and I'm also currently the President of the Island Bay Tennis and Squash, but will soon be stepping down.


Rachel Kirkman

I am the mother of Kate (Year 7) and Alex (Year 4 in French class). I was co-opted onto the board in 2018 and have since been managing the property portfolio. I enjoy being involved with the school board and will continue my involvement in the building redevelopment project alongside Cushla. In my spare time I work at GNS Science as a Project Manager.


Cushla Thurston

Cushla's primary reason for applying for a position on the Ridgway School Board of Trustees is to share her professional experience as a practising Architect in the education sector to help guide the major building project at Ridgway School which is currently in the planning stages.

The major building project will affect us all in some way throughout the various stages of the project. The decisions made during the process will shape the architecture and the outcomes of the project affecting not only our current community but also future generations of Ridgway children and families. As a board member, Cushla will do all that is possible to help Ridgway School make the most of the incredible opportunity presented by the major building project.

Cushla and Richard's eldest daughter Nina started at Ridgway School in Kotare this year. They have another daughter Amadee (2 years) who will also attend Ridgway from age 5.


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