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Governing Council members

Nicola Ngarewa


Nicola Ngarewa (Ngati Ruanui) is the Principal at Spotswood College in New Plymouth, and on the Board of the TSB Trust. She has taught in all sectors of education from Early Childhood to Tertiary including in the NZ Prison system. She is passionate about disrupting the educational norm through transformative leadership and a focus on global citizenship. In 2013, Nicola received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award as a result of the transformative work at Tamatea High School. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Taranaki Daily News Person of the Year for transformative work at Patea Area School. 

Nicola was appointed as Chair by the Minister of Education in 2019. She was a member of the Education Council from January 2017 and remains a member of the Council's Human Resources and Remuneration Committee.

Elg Anderson

Elg Anderson is a Te Reo teacher at Fitzroy Primary School in New Plymouth and a Principal Appraiser.  Elg has worked with beginning teachers as a mentor  and as an assessor of trainee teachers on their placements. She is an accredited educational coach.  Elg has over 25 years’ experience at all levels of Primary school. Elg has a passion for making teaching an aspirational career choice and a rewarding, highly valued, sustainable career for those already in the profession. She has recently been a member of the Council’s Registration and ITE Panels.

Clair Edgeler

Clair is currently the National Professional Services Manager at BestStart and is responsible for ensuring the organisation provides both effective leadership and facilitation of professional learning and development to support teacher pedagogy and regulatory assurance. She has extensive experience in early childhood education and family social service settings, supporting positive experiences and outcomes for tamariki and whanau. Clair was the External Sector Advisory Member for the Open Polytechnic and the University of Auckland Early Childhood programmes and was previously on the Albany Community Pre-school Committee.

Clair was elected by Early Childhood Education Service Leaders in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.  

Clare Wells

Ms Wells was Chief Executive of New Zealand Kindergartens Te Putahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa from 2008 to 2019. Her previous roles include policy advisor for the New Zealand Public Service Association and a senior policy advisor to the Minister of Education. Ms Wells has been on several education boards and groups since 1991, most recently the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards Panel of Experts, the Minister of Education’s Cross-Sector Forum and the Minister’s Continuity of Early Learning Group, the Children’s Action Plan Directorate Workforce Advisory Group, the New Zealand Teachers Council Early Childhood Education Advisory Group (as Chair), the Early Childhood Education Quality Working Group and is a member of the Ministry of Education’s Early Childhood Advisory Committee.

Clare was a founding member of the Education Council in July 2015 and was a member of the Council's Risk, Audit and Finance Committee and the Convenor of the Early Childhood Education Advisory Group. She was appointed to the Teaching Council by the Minister of Education in 2019.

Dagmar Dyck

Dagmar is an Auckland-based teaching artist.  Her artistic practice spans more than 25 years and she has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and across the globe. In 2014 she was awarded the Contemporary Pacific Artist Award from Creative New Zealand. Since completing her Graduate Diploma in Teaching in 2009 Dagmar has merged her skills and is passionate about empowering her students through the platform of the arts at Sylvia Park School.  She has led a 3-year Teacher Led Innovation Fund project, 'Teaching past the Frangipani', that raised issues around relevant Pasifika arts resourcing and presence within the framework of the national curriculum.  She has governance experience as a trustee member on local school boards. Dagmar was a member of the Teacher Expert Group responsible to co-construct the implementation Tapasā. Previously, she was the national facilitator for the Tapasā Cultural Framework Professional Development and Learning workshops. Dagmar is the recipient of a Teacher Study Award and will complete her Master of Professional Studies in Education in 2019 at the University of Auckland.

Dagmar was appointed to the Teaching Council by the Minister of Education in 2019.

Frian Wadia

Frian is the Lead Teacher, Sensory Kindy at GlowKids in Auckland. GlowKids is a service providing specialist early childhood education and therapy for children, with a strong focus on ensuring children with disabilities reach their highest potential. Frian is a passionate advocate for systemic change and policy development to improve inclusion and equity. She has sat on committees including Auckland Parents of Deaf Children, VIPS – Equity in Education, and the National Lottery Individuals with Disabilities Committee. Frian is also a parent of children with disabilities and has lived experience of supporting her children through the education system. Frian was nominated for a Teaching Council role through consultation with parent and community groups.

Frian was appointed to the Teaching Council by the Minister of Education in 2019 after consultation with representatives of parent and community interest groups in relation to schools and early childhood education services.

Jenny Ritchie

Dr Jenny Ritchie is an Associate Professor of Te Puna Akopai, the School of Education, at Te Whare Wānanga o te Ūpoko o te Ika a Māui, Victoria University of Wellington. She has been involved in the early childhood care and education sector since the 1970s, as a childcare worker, kindergarten teacher, parent, teacher educator, education researcher, and more recently, a grandparent. Her research and teaching has focussed on: understanding how to apply a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi within early childhood and teacher education; pedagogies that affirm and support children’s cultural and emotional wellbeing; and exploring ways in which applying Māori conceptualisations can enhance pedagogies that support and care for our planet, and she has written extensively in these areas.

Jenny was elected by Teacher Educators in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.

Lorraine Carr

Lorraine has previous experience in both primary and early childhood education, starting in primary education and moving to early childhood in 2010. She is currently Acting Lead Teacher at Parkland Kindergarten. She has also been part of the Kahui ako, acting as a representative for Manawatu’s local area ECE groups and leading this group in a presentation at the Principals kahui ako meeting, Ministry of Education and ECE centre meeting and with their own Ruahine Kindergartens meeting. She is currently completing a Post Graduate Diploma (ECE) in Leadership.

Lorraine was elected by Early Childhood Education Teacher in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.   

Michael Rondel

Michael Rondel will bring demonstrated commercial and business expertise and strengthen the Board’s capability around financial governance.  He will also bring a South Island perspective, currently limited on the Board.  Mr Rondel leads the Audit division at BDO Christchurch and has a particular focus on the education sector. He has undertaken a number of statutory appointment roles at schools on behalf of the Ministry of Education as well as providing advisory services to Boards of Trustees. Mr Rondel has significant governance experience and is involved on a range of boards and committees, including several in the chair role. He is an approved training provider with the NZ Schools Trustee Association.  

Michael was a member of the Education Council from January 2017 and continued as the chair of the Council's Risk, Audit and Finance Committee when he was appointed to the Teaching Council by the Minister of Education in 2019.

Pat Newman

Pat has over 36 years’ experience as a school Principal and is currently Principal at Hora Hora School, a Decile 2 contributing school in Whangarei. He has teaching experience in Primary and Intermediate education. Pat has extensive governance experience, including current membership of Evaluation Associates Te Tai Tokerau Representation First Time Principals/pastoral care and 15 years presidency of the Te Tai Tokerau Principals Association. He has previously spent eight years as an elected member of the New Zealand Teachers Council, along with 13 years NZPF executive, including two years as National President representing NZ principals in national and world venues. Pat’s teaching career has provided him with hands-on experience in educating, interacting with, and supporting at risk young people.

Pat was elected by Primary Principals in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.  

Pat Walsh

Patrick is the Principal of John Paul College in Rotorua. He has an extensive track record of advocacy on behalf of secondary school principals, including three years as President of SPANZ (life member of SPANZ), Chair of the SIEBA Board and Chair of the NZ Law Society Seminars on Education Law. Patrick was an elected foundational member of the Council in 2003 and has been a member of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Teachers Council for nine years.

Pat was elected by Secondary Principals in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.

Pip Woodward

Pip has been the Deputy Principal of Otumoetai College for 10 years and has experience in both secondary education and tertiary education. She was also previously a Code and Standards workshop facilitator for the Teachers Council of Aotearoa New Zealand. Pip is currently an Executive Member of NASDAP, Chairperson of Bay Inservice Training (BIST Charitable Inc) and was previously on the Outmoetai Board of Trustees, and an Executive Member of both NZHEA and PENZ.

Pip was elected by Secondary Teachers in the 2019 Teaching Council Elections.   

Ripeka Lessels

Ms Lessels has 30 years’ experience in the education sector. Of Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent she has taught at primary and secondary levels and in Māori and English. She is currently on the Principals Council of NZEI representing Te Rohe o te Waiariki. She is active in Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa, holding roles in governance and strategic planning. She was a member of the board that transitioned Kawerau North school to a Māori medium kura, Te Whata Tau o Putauaki, and she became the founding principal in 2012. Ms Lessels is a mentor principal and a member of several professional principals’ associations.

Ripeka was a founding member of the Education Council in July 2015. She was appointed to the Teaching Council by the Minister of Education in 2019 and remains a member of the Council's Risk, Audit and Finance Committee and the Convenor of the Māori Medium Advisory Group.