The Board of Trustees

The current members of the Awatapu College Board of Trustees are: 

Jeremy Neild
Board Chair

Education is very important to me as a parent. I want all children to enjoy learning, have opportunities to develop their potential and have a positive outlook on life. Having served on the Awatapu College Board of Trustees for 15 years, the last 6 of which have been as Board Chair, I bring to the Board a wealth of experience in education governance, strategic and policy development, finance and personnel. I am currently a self-employed agricultural and business consultant and through these skills I will support the leadership team in growing the capacity and capability of Awatapu College. I am very proud of the progress the College has made and I am passionate about continuing this success.

Vili Igatia
Parent Representative

Fakalofa lahi atu, Tena koutou katoa, Talofa lava, Kia Orana, Malo e lelei, Taloha ni, Ni sa Bula vinaka! As a parent of the school, I have a strong connection to Awatapu College and I am proud of the successes the College has made. My current career as Team Leader working with at-risk youth and children means I am passionate about our children succeeding and appreciate the inclusive, community-orientated environment that exists at the College. My roles as a parent, social worker, minister and community leader have adequately prepared me for serving on the Board of Trustees and I look forward to supporting the leadership team in advancing the educational goals and needs of our children.

Kerry Rickard
Parent Representative

As a parent of two children at the College, I am impressed with the culture, spirit and opportunities offered at the school and appreciate the school’s commitment to providing the right environment for our young people to strive. My working life has been previously as a Primary School Teacher and Principal for 22 years. I am currently serving as a Pastor in a local Church. With these experiences, I understand the dynamics of community and of the education system, and I am excited to be part of the College’s continued growth and development in our ever changing and challenging community. 

Leigh Sage
Parent Representative

I have a propensity to ensure our children get the best educational opportunities available, and maintain one of the most important roles of the Board is to safeguard this. As a local resident, parent of the school and through my affiliations with the Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Tuwharetoa iwi, I have good understanding of the school character and recognising the values and diversity of the community. My background in the building industry means I have a wealth of experience in building controls regulation and compliance, design, construction project management and procurement. Beyond this, I have previously served as a Parent Representative on the Kāpiti College Board of Trustees. These experiences provide me with a practical ability in dealing with all aspects of education governance and look forward to serving the Awatapu College community.
 

Jonathan Spencer
Parent Representative

Having worked in the education sector in the UK and later as Board Chair at Aokautere School, I understand firsthand the barriers to education and am passionate about supporting students succeed in their educational goals. As a father of three, my life is centred around family - a ethos shared by the College. I am currently the Chair of the charity MentorEd which supports children who are having difficulties at home or school by providing support, activities and resources, aiming to raise their self esteem, resilience, perseverance and promote the benefits of education. Through these roles, I have gained a great insight into the inner workings of the education system and I am excited to use these experiences to make a positive difference at our school.

Liz Ward
Parent Representative

Tēnā koutou katoa. This is my second term on the Awatapu College Board of Trustees and I am excited to continue my role as Parent Representative. I believe that it is important to have a servant heart and have found being on the Board a great way to serve this community, which I am privileged to be a part of. My daughters attended Awatapu and I strongly believe that the schools philosophies helped them achieve their best. My decision to stand for the Board was influenced by a desire to ensure that other students continue to have the same opportunities they did. I am passionate about every student achieving a secondary education that will give them the skills they need for their future and firmly believe that everyone has their own special talent. I think the Awatapu model of seeing each student as an individual is a great way of achieving this. As a Board member, I hope to enable the College staff to continue and improve the positive teaching culture in our school.

Gary Yeatman
Principal

I have 20 years teaching experience (History and Economics) and have taught in the Wellington and Hawkes Bay regions. Before starting at Awatapu College as Principal, I was the Associate Principal at Feilding High School. I really enjoy the way staff at the College work to ensure that the needs of individual students are met. Our focus is on success for the individual; whatever form that takes.

Bruce Reiche
Staff Representative

I am proud to represent and serve the staff on the Board of Trustees. I have been involved with the school for a number of years, both as a member of staff and as a parent of the school. During this time I have worked as a senior manager, dean, academic dean and specialist classroom teacher. Having worked in these roles, I understand the challenges which occur within the school community and will bring insight and perspective to the table at Board meetings. I am invested in the school and its ethos, but, more importantly, in ensuring the Board leads in such a way as to create a great working environment and positive learning space for our students.
 

Ashleigh Richards
Student Representative

Helping others and my community is a huge passion of mine, and being able to make an impact motivates me to do my best. I am excited to represent the student body of Awatapu College and use this opportunity to make an extensive contribution back to the school. I think it is important to allow youth voice into perspective which I am proud to present. Being involved in the Palmerston North Youth Council, the Student Council as well as organising fundraising events has allowed me to develop leadership skills and I am look forward to using these skills in my role on the Board of Trustees. I am very proud to be a part of the College's continued growth.