Board of Trustees
BOT Chair and Personnel Portfolio
I was the Deputy Chairperson on the Te Totara Primary School Board. I am from the Waikato and my wife Tania and I have two children. Our son Max is in year four and our daughter Angela is in year two. During my time on the Board I have been heavily involved in writing policies and procedures. I was on the selection panels for both Principal and Deputy Principal, played a key part in negotiations with our neighbours, Summerset Retirement home, and led the Board ERO response. The current Board has helped shape the strategic plan for Te Totara School's future to ensure that it continues to run in the successful way that it has over the last ten years, providing a secure and successful learning environment for our tamariki.
I am capable of providing strong representation due to my experience on the current Board, my background in law, education and management. I currently work as a lawyer in a managerial position. In the past, I have practised in education law, providing legal advice on a range of issues to public and private schools. I have a strong interest in education, having previously been chair of the Northland College Board of Trustees, far north representative on the Northland School Trustees Association, the vice-chancellor's representative on disciplinary matters at the Auckland University of Technology and having assisted two secondary schools in the far north as part of the Law in Schools project. I also currently co-lecture in evidence law and criminal law at the University of Waikato. Over the course of the last two years I have been vice-president of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Branch of the NZ Law Society, covering the well-being and interests of over 1,000 lawyers.
I look forward to continuing stability and a strong focus on ensuring that Te Totara School continues to be an inclusive, safe and child focused learning environment where every child feels valued.
Deputy Chairperson & Health and Safety Portfolio
Hello, my name is Iain Ings. I am married to Susan, am dad to Yasmin whomis in Year 4 and Marius who has already passed through this wonderful school and is now in Year 12 at RHS. Sue, Marius and I are originally from the UK , with Yasmin born here in New Zealand. I believe I can positively contribute to the governance of the school and will assist the other BOT members in enabling Mrs. Fraser and her team to continue delivering excellence for the students. I have previously been a member of the Te Totara Primary School BOT, from 2008 to 2016 where I looked after various portfolios from Property/New Builds to the School Community and School Charter Development. My philosophy is to ensure that the decisions made at governance level must have a positive outcome for our young learners, must support our staff and must enable them to consistently deliver the curriculum across our multicultural school to a very high standard. I recognise we have a very diverse community and I believe it is important for us to engage with and be accountable to, our community. In my professional life, I have a senior management position within the construction industry and I am also workplace tutor and assessor. In my 25 years industry experience I have learnt that open, honest and timely communication and planning are critical to achieving excellence. With the continued rapid growth of our community and expanding population, it is hugely important that we have fluid long term plans for the continued maintenance and development of the school, to ensure that we can meet the requirements of the local community in terms of student roll, facilities and most importantly our people now and in the future. Te Totara Primary School is already a fantastic institute of learning, which is already delivering fantastic learning outcomes to our students, employs the brightest and most capable staff and consistently year on year delivers for us parents and our children. We now have to navigate our way through the vast changes on the horizon in the education sector, whilst maintaining and stretching our current very high standards. I believe that I can contribute to this challenge and by bringing a wealth of previous BOT/Ministry of Education experience, a level head and strategic focus, collaborative approach with all our stakeholders and foster a positive environment that will build on the current successes and deliver more in the future.
Principal and Priority Learners Portfolio
Anne, along with Kevin and Brian, has been with Te Totara right from the start.
Anne keeps the Board well-informed with thorough curriculum updates, policy proposals, National Standards compliance, learning plan progress and so much more. As a Board, we all appreciate the amount of information Anne provides so that we can make informed decisions at the strategic level, so that Anne and Brian can then implement those decisions appropriately.
Board Member - Finance Portfolio
I have been a member of the Board of Trustees for the last three years taking responsibility for the Finance and Property portfolios. Notable achievements in these areas over this time have been continued improvement in financial management, securing of 5YA funding for school property maintenance and upgrades and the completion of a number of property projects including the construction of the covered court.
My family includes my wife, Kate and our three children Ben (Te Totara 2010-2015). Lucy (Te Totara 2012-2017) and Sam (Year 5). Kate is closely involved with the school as a part-time teacher aide and through involvement in various art projects around the school. We feel fortunate to be part of the Te Totara community and have been impressed with the dedication of staff and standard of achievement encouraged in our children.
I grew up in Hamilton and have a background in engineering, information systems and project management. I hold a Bachelor of Chemical and Process Engineering from Canterbury University. Outside work I enjoy a range of outdoor activities with my family including kayaking, mountain biking and sailing.
My professional career has involved engineering and operations management roles at NZ Steel and Carter Holt Harvey New Ventures as well as various roles implementing business systems in Europe, Asia and New Zealand. I am currently Chief Information Officer for NDA Group, a group of fabrication engineering companies incorporating NDA Engineering in Te Rapa. I have extensive practical knowledge of financial and ERP systems, financial analysis and project management along with the ability to communicate and work with a wide range of people.
My intent is to continue to influence decision-making that continues to improve Te Totara in the best interests of its students.
Board Member - Personnel and Policies & Procedures Portfolios
My name is Melissa Guyan and I have been associated with Te Totara Primary School three years, and currently have a son in Year 3. Prior to moving to Hamilton, my family lived in Suzhou, China for four years where my husband taught at an international school.
I used to be a teacher, but since having children and wanting to be a stay-at-home mum, I have found a new career as a published author. i now run a small publishing business and have published a variety of teen and adult fiction under two pen-names.
Having been in education and being surrounded by teachers in my family, I feel I have a good insight into the day-to-day running of a school and can understand things from both a teacher's and a parent's perspective. I have also lived in, and travelled through, multiple continents, which has given me a well-rounded international view.
I am excited to have the opportunity to to serve on the Board of Trustees for a school that has given my children so much.
Board Member - Health & Safety Portfolio
Ni Sa Bula,
My name is Deron Sharma. My younger sister, Dhisha Sharma, attends Te Totara Primary School as a student of Marama 13.
I am currently in my final year of a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering conjoint degree, whilst working for Waipa District Council.
Te Totara Primary School is blessed to have an engaged community, passionate teachers, and a vision for growing together. BOT members are responsible for the governance of the school, which must ensure that the things that make our school great remain, whilst catering to the challenges presented by the needs of the future. What I bring to this role is a fresh perspective. having gone through New Zealand's education system during NZQA's strategic frameworks alignment. I have a vested interest in advocating for accessible, quality education, which our school does an excellent job of providing. I also represent the voice of a parent who wants to ensure that the school has adequate support and resources in moulding our kids into Te Totara STARS. I have been helping out with the PTA for the past two years, and have decided to take a step further into the Te Totara community by being on the BOT. I have my executive experience with the Hamilton Youth Council and Waikato University Fijian Students' Association to offer this role. Above all, I bring, to this role, my love for children and my love for seeing children succeed, which has previously led me to roles of youth leader and kid's church teacher.
Staff Representative - Policies & Procedures Portfolio
My name is Jo Stewart and I have been a teacher for more years than I care to count so have a range of experiences and a clear understanding of how the Board of Trustees operates in it's governance role.
I have also had experience as a member of both Maungatautari School and Glenview Primary School Boards of Trustees during my teaching career. One as a staff rep and the other as a parent rep. In these roles I attended Board training workshops, attended regular meetings acting as the board secretary at Maungatautari School and supported the direction of the school and Principal.
It will be my pleasure to represent the staff of Te Totara on our Board of Trustees.
I am very fortunate to be one of the original five foundation staff members who joined Te Totara back in June 2007.
I took over the role of Board of Trustees Secretary in May 2012 and thoroughly enjoy it. My main role is to attend the monthly Board of Trustee Meetings, prepare the Agenda, take the Minutes of the Meeting, collate and distribute associated reports, record all correspondence and follow-up matters from meetings.
I am also the Returning Officer for the Board of Trustees Triennial Elections.