Introduction

The new School Board held its first meeting on 25 October.  For more on the new Board please visit https://victoriaave.com/school_board/.

A brief introduction to the new Board members:

Gina Lee (teacher representative)

I am a year 6 teacher in Room 2.  I’ve been teaching for 8 years, 3 of which have been at VAS.  I love working with so many fun people and enjoy the supportive community of parents.  Learning alongside the students and being able to be a part of their every day is such a privilege!  When I’m not working, you can find me out in nature, playing golf or winning in a strategic board game!  I am excited to learn and be a part of the board – it will be interesting to see our school from another perspective.

Chun Li

Kia ora koutou, hello everyone, and 大家好!  Born in China and have been living in Aotearoa for 15+ years, my wife, Jie, and I identify ourselves as Aucklanders.  We have two girls, Tisha in year one and Tamsin will start school at VAS next year.  As migrants, we appreciate the cultural differences between the two countries, and recognise the shared aroha and ako values.  Holding a master’s degree in computer and information sciences, I work on learning and teaching in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Auckland.  Outside of work, I enjoy outdoor activities in the mountains.

 John Thorman

My wife, Julie, and I have four children.  Conrad is currently in year two, Hugo in year four with Alena and Sophie now at Remuera Intermediate in years seven and eight respectively. I am a Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years’ experience currently employed as the co-Founder and Managing Director of Corporate Services New Zealand. I am also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.  Outside of work I enjoy sailing, biking and outdoor activities with my children.

Kathryn Alward

I am once again excited and feel privileged to be part of the VAS board.  I have two boys with my youngest, Henry, in year 5 at VAS.  I am a construction lawyer working as General Counsel for Daifuku Oceania – a company that provides Aviation and Intralogistics systems across many jurisdictions.  Outside of work we are a very active family and love the outdoors.  Most weekends you will find me on the side-lines being that embarrassing mum!

 Kerrie Gregory

Kia ora!  As a newly elected member, I am excited to form part of the VAS board.  My partner, Jarrod, and I have two boys – Cooper & Oliver.  Cooper is in year two, and Oliver has just turned five and will be joining VAS in the November intake.  I have been actively involved as a member of the Friends Association, and a Class Parent since Cooper started in 2020.  I grew up in the South Island and studied at Otago, where I completed a Bachelor of Education.  After doing an O.E, I moved to Auckland, which has now been home for 16 years.  Currently I’m a General Manager specialising in all things innovation, process improvement and tech for a large Recruitment Group and also a business owner of a Hotel in Newmarket.  Having come from a teaching background, I am passionate about our children’s learning and development, and I live by a philosophy of ‘be the best you can be and have fun doing it’.  Outside of work we’re an active, sporty family and enjoy spending time together outdoors.

Martin Cooper

I was co-opted onto the Board of Trustees in November 2018 and have been a member since.  My wife, Lidia, and I have 2 daughters at VAS.  Chloe is in year 6 and Caitlin is in year 4.  My background is in engineering and project management before starting my own development management business in 2013.  I have a property development company specialising in apartment projects as well.  I am also the Vice Chair of the Property Council of New Zealand Auckland Executive Branch where we work to champion and foster the health and success of the property industry especially with Local and Central Government.  Outside of work I enjoy biking, tennis and squash and various other sporting activities with the family.

Board members had the opportunity to learn about their new role through Board Governance training run by NZSTA on 28 September and a VAS Board induction meeting on 18 October run by Jane Bush.

Board positions

As is customary at the first meeting of the new Board, or year, an election is held for the office holder and sub-committee positions with the following outcomes:

  • John Thorman was unanimously elected as Presiding Member (formerly Board Chair)
  • Kathryn Alward was unanimously elected as Deputy Presiding Member
  • Finance Sub Committee comprises the Principal, Presiding Member and Kerrie Gregory
  • Health and Safety Sub Committee consists of the Principal, Presiding Member and Chun Li
  • Property Sub Committee comprises the Principal, Presiding Member and Martin Cooper
  • Discipline Sub Committee, as necessary, will include the Principal (as appropriate), Presiding Member and two board members who do not have a conflict of interest

Also on our board are Gina Lee as the Staff Representative, Jane Bush as Principal and Joanne Henderson as Board Secretary.

Finance and school donations

The Board discussed the full year financial forecast for 2022 and noted it is expected that school will incur a deficit.  This is mainly due to the annual School Donations being less than budget.  Unfortunately, our costs are above budget as we have had to cover costs related to illness and other items which are not covered by the Ministry of Education.

We would kindly request that those that have not yet paid their annual donations please log into Kindo or please reach out to Joanne Henderson or Gabrielle Ireland for assistance.

Board contact details

To find the email contact details for School Board members click here.