Garth Wynne says his philosophy of education is encapsulated in two words: inclusivity and excellence. It is his responsibility to lead the whole school, to draw all the elements – school, students, home and community – together to work towards the overarching principle of Each boy at his best.
Garth started at Christ’s College in 2016, bringing a wealth of experience in boys’ education.
He has taught and held senior management roles in schools all over Australia and in England, most recently as Headmaster of Christ Church Grammar School in Perth.
Garth describes his move to Christchurch as a gift, a new adventure at an iconic New Zealand school.
“College gives boys incredible opportunities. It’s a great school in a beautiful part of the world.”
Rob Donaldson’s main responsibilities are the day-to-day running of College and the pastoral care of students, as delivered primarily through the House system.
Rob says Christ’s College has the X factor. It is steeped in history and tradition and has a beautiful campus, but it is not shackled to the past. Rather, it faces and embraces the future. It is a dedicated learning community, focused on preparing the boys for life beyond the school gates.
“College has a wonderful atmosphere. Our students are invariably fantastic young men who are aspirational.”
Originally from South Africa, Rob came to New Zealand on an exploratory basis and decided to stay. He has taught English at Christ’s College since 1988. He was the inaugural housemaster of Somes House and was appointed Deputy Principal in 2004.
Assistant Principal – Boarding and Immerse & Inspire
Ben steps up from Housemaster of Flower’s House to Assistant Principal – Boarding this year, a timely progression in his involvement in the pastoral care of the boys. At College for the past 13 years, Ben previously taught in London, and at Timaru Boys’ High School and Christchurch Boys’ High School.
He believes relationships developed through boarding are unique and that much is learnt along the way to allow boarding graduates to be well-placed for the adult world ahead.
While each boy’s journey is individual and special, Ben’s goal for the College boarding community is to create a safe, caring 'home away from home' environment that allows them to flourish – to be challenged academically, to expand through co-curricular interests, and to grow through wholehearted involvement in the boarding programme itself. He aims for its constant improvement and for the boarding community to focus strongly on the College’s Wellbeing programme, which he believes is critical to the students as they progress beyond College.
Assistant Principal – Curriculum
Nicole was appointed Assistant Principal – Curriculum in July 2019.
After four years at the Taipei European School in Taiwan, she joined College in August 2015, teaching English and ESOL, and two years later was made Head of Teaching & Learning for Humanities and English in the new Centre for Teaching Excellence & Research. Curriculum is her passion and she aims to consolidate College’s ‘coaching culture for teaching excellence’ and explore future curriculum developments for students.
Nicole grew up in the United States, returning to New Zealand at 16, and graduating MA (with Distinction) from the University of Canterbury and GradDip TchgLng (College of Education).
Since joining College, she has commenced a PhD in Positive Organisational Scholarship – looking at how positive psychology can be used to make organisations flourish.
Assistant Principal – Community Engagement and Special Projects
Neil Porter has been a member of the College executive team for 15 years after holding a similar role at Whanganui Collegiate School. In his current role, Neil engages with the community beyond the gates, promoting College, and liaising with other educational organisations.
Service is a real passion for Neil and he enjoys working to develop meaningful, long-term service opportunities for the boys at College
Assistant Principal – Planning, Co-curricular and Administration
Darrell Thatcher has taught at Christ's College for 20 years, including being involved with boarding for 18 years as a Deputy Housemaster, Housemaster and Director of Boarding. His current role involves the day-to-day organisation and planning of College activities. He also oversees the significant co-curricular programme at College. His career has been spent in boys' education, having previously taught at Tauranga Boys' College. He believes that opportunities outside the classroom are equally important to a boy's growth and development.
Director of Advancement
Claire Sparks leads the Advancement team at Christ's College, overseeing all marketing and communications. She sets the agenda for publications, advertising, promotion, social media and community engagement. Claire ensures that a cohesive College message is delivered across all channels and reflects core College values.
Claire started at College in 2014 after running her own marketing consultancy and working for companies as diverse as Yellow Pages, Thrifty Car Rental, BOC Gas and Ansett New Zealand.
The Advancement team unites the strands of communications, marketing, promotion and advertising, Old Boys, event management, development, sponsorship and bequests, domestic and international admissions and reception.
Director of Digital Services
Paul Rodley manages all aspects of information and communications technology (ICT) across the College campus and is also responsible for the learning associated with digital technology.
His main teaching area is robotics, which encompasses a diverse range of skills, including the practical, such as programming and coding, building websites, robots and drones, and the cerebral, such as problem-solving, team building, self-management and innovative thinking.
ICT is challenging, exciting and evolving – and Paul sees it as a tool to facilitate learning.
“It’s all about the boys, about empowering them to have the confidence to get out there and make the most out of life.”
Paul started at Christ’s College as the first Director of ICT in 1999.
Director of Finance & Operations
Director of Finance & Operations (DFO), Rob McFarlane brings a wealth of experience at the highest levels of business management to College, having worked for companies as diverse as Shell Oil, North Solomon’s Pharmacies, Boral Australia, Zeus (New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board), Lyttelton Port Company, Silver Fern Farms and Longbeach Holdings, in New Zealand and overseas.
Rob has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University, Wellington, and is a Chartered Accountant.
He completed three fixed-term contracts at College before taking on the DFO role.
He is delighted to be working in an organisation whose values align so closely with his own.